Let’s start small. While it’s nice to think about doing our part to save the planet, adopting a workable sustainability agenda for the Memphis region isn’t really about that, it’s about doing our part to save our city—ecologically and financially.
I first started hearing the term “sustainability” in reference to the built environment about 10 years ago when I was in graduate school. I suppose it wasn’t until then that Americans began witnessing the same kind of disinvestment in suburban communities that had been ravaging the nation’s urban cores for decades. The idea of creating sustainable developments arose out of the concern that we were simply building new communities that were cannibalizing old communities.