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Book details
  • SubGenre:Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
  • Language:English
  • Pages:215
  • eBook ISBN:9780988261310

Path To Progress

Innovative Solutions for Growth, Prosperity, and Security

by Charles Moor

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MANY AMERICANS RECOGNIZE THAT SOMETHING IS MISSING IN THIS DAY AND AGE. From widespread income insecurity and community disintegration to the loss of civic respon¬sibility and our current environmental crisis, most would agree that somehow America has “gone off the tracks.” To fix our communities, we need to understand the context of our growth and development, as well as what created great communities and what destroyed them. Recognizing that confidence in our national leaders is at an all-time low, the proposals presented here are designed to make changes outside the gridlock of the federal government. This book presents solutions that can create change at the individual, community, regional, and state levels. Although strategic federal action has been successful in the past—think of the post World War Two Marshall Plan, the GI Bill, the creation of NASA and its research and development spinoffs, cutting poverty in half, and so on—people seem to want less government today. In such an environment, individuals, businesses, and nonprofits can—and must—pick up the slack. Bolstered by the ideas of the world’s foremost scholars, this book will give you the background, tools, and knowledge to make the informed decisions that can lead to more freedom, increased fairness, and a better quality of life for everyone.
As of January 2012, the world held seven billion people, up from five billion just twenty years before. The middle class in China, India, and Brazil is just taking off, which means those countries will desire the same resources Americans currently take for granted. If the rest of the world attempts to consume resources at the same rate as the United States, we would require five Earths. We already know that dozens of toxic chemicals can be found in our bodies of water, in the food we eat, in the air we breathe. Species are disappearing a thousand times faster than normal, and the planet has not seen such a burst of extinction in sixty-five million years, since the dinosaurs disappeared. Islands and nations are already building seawalls to keep out the rising oceans. By the middle of the twenty-first century, it is predicted that fourteen states will experience high or extreme water shortages due to global warming. Since 1982, America has paved, built on, and developed thirty-five million once-rural acres, as much land as is encompassed in New York state. Bruce Katz, vice president and director of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, notes that between 2007 and 2030, "we will develop another 213 billion square feet of homes, retail facilities, office buildings, and other structures. That’s double the amount of space in the United States today.” We are living in extraordinary times and are facing enormous challenges and tragedies on a vast scale. We are being increasingly buffeted by high-powered hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, and acts of international terrorism, while dealing with increasing economic insecurity and growing inequality. A system that cannot deliver the well-being of people and the planet is in big trouble. We can no longer put our heads in the sand. Bold action is necessary, and if the government is too gridlocked or uninterested, then we—as individuals, communities, corporations, and nonprofits—must. My strategy for regional growth and prosperity has four key components: environment, economy, equity, and security. When these four issues are addressed simultaneously, growth and prosperity will be advanced in the most comprehensive, holistic way. Sustainable development, which in this case means both economically and environmentally, will occur while permitting more individuals to grow out of poverty and further stabilize the middle class, the backbone of America. This book is a synthesis of historic and contemporary literature explaining our environmental, social, and economic condition. I reference only the most respected, highly acclaimed researchers, scientists, academics, and professionals. Once presented, the call to action should be clear. America will add between one hundred and one hundred forty million people by mid-century. As the population grows, leaders will be asked to make increasingly difficult land-use decisions. “Where and how will we, our children, and future generations live, work, shop, play and travel from place to place? How we choose to answer questions like this will determine how we accommodate growth without squandering valuable natural resources, sacrificing the livability of our neighborhoods or violating our sense of community,” says the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Plan of 2011.
About the author
Charles Moore grew up in a small, Rust Belt city where he was shaped by the close-knit, working-class roots of its people. He experienced both the warmth of the folks who stayed there despite the trend to leave for greener pastures, and the insecurity of the poorer residents who relocated there in hopes of finding a safe place to lay down new roots. Cultivated by his childhood camping trips and his exploration of the dozen or so acres of woodlands separating the city from the newer suburbs, Mr. Moore developed an appreciation of the peace of the natural world and eventually pursued a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning. After completing his studies, he returned to his hometown and began working to try to revitalize its neighborhoods. In order to foster greater change and become a resource to his community, he pursued, and completed, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning. Soon after, Mr. Moore earned certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has worked in both the private sector—as an environmental planner for a nationally acclaimed engineering firm—and in state government—for the New York State Department of Transportation. Mr. Moore’s varied and complementary background has helped him appreciate the broad effects of urban, transportation, and environmental policies. With this understanding, combined with his near-obsessive reading and research over the years on the issues that shape our communities, he wrote this book with the hopes of inspiring and educating others. Driven by the deep hope and belief that we all would like to leave the world a better place for our children and others, he has created a tool that lays out the groundwork and the knowledge for achieving those goals.