By M. Paloma Pavel, Carl Anthony
Activists, analysts, and practitioners describe leading edge ideas that advertise fit neighborhoods, reasonable housing, and available transportation all through America's towns and suburbs.
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Clearly, those working for environmental conservation and those working to alleviate poverty must join forces to support sustainable development. This vital symbiosis is as yet embryonic. While community practitioners and organizers like those whose work is described in this volume are achieving breakthroughs around the country, sustainable development is still a vague, idealistic concept to many Americans, meaning different things to different people. Environmentalists deﬁne it as development that does not overexploit natural resources and that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Second, it promotes a reexamination of the concept of ‘‘smart growth’’ to ensure that projects receiving wide public acceptance incorporate social equity along with environmental goals. Third, it lays the groundwork for explicit performance standards for equitable development, to be widely shared by the development industry as well as by the general public. Finally, working at the metropolitan scale in the United States, it should create a road map of short- and longer-term strategies, indicators, and policies for how to get to regional equity.
It also means restoring awareness of the relationship between human communities and the life-support system of the planet upon which we all depend. In this book, breakthroughs are described as achievements of community organizing and building solidarity across lines of race, class, and municipal jurisdictions. These achievements are presented through journalistic stories that invite the reader into the lived experience of community advocates and through brief and compelling strategy pieces that summarize issues that need to be addressed and tools needed to bring about change.