The term sustainability appears to have had no effect according to Herbert Girardet. We seem to be in a spiral of ever changing climate change, problems with pollution and break down in society even through adopting the practice of 'sustainability'.
For the past 25 years Sustainability has been held as the answer to the problem of the degeneration of our planet and resources. But we are still tackling the same and even more desperate problems, so something is not working. The term sustainability has been abused and taken for granted. Why not regenerate damaged eco systems and run down communities; re use them?
'Sustainable development (SD) has been a global orthodoxy ever since it was agreed as a guiding principle for collective human action in the runup to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The official definition is well known: "Sustainable development … meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Effectively, it was a marriage of convenience to facilitate north-south collaboration on enhancing human livelihoods while also halting humanity's deteriorating relationship with its host planet.'
regeneration v. 1. bring new life or strength or 2. grow new tissue
How long is sustainable anyway? Who is it to benefit; society now or in the future and who exactly should be sustainable? Do we not need to benefit from a sustainable world now as well as in the future?
Urban communities are growing at an alarming rate as we exit into towns and cities just as in the industrial revolution for work and now our growing thirst for knowledge of place and culture and being part of the bigger picture. In order to do this we have put greater strain on the need to burn fossil fuels to accommodate society. The combustion of these fuels contribute to climate change. Should this powerful source of energy generated not be put to use? Regenerated into renewable energy or source.
Girardet believes we have the capabilities to be renewable in energy now and to regenerate local communities and economies in order to become a sustainable society and protect the worlds ecosystems. The teaching in Universities and Buisness schools needs to change to fix the idea of regeneration into the culture of everyday.
'The concept of regenerative development aims to fill this gap: it means that we need to develop comprehensive rules for an environmentally enhancing, restorative relationship between humanity and the ecosystems from which we draw resources for our sustenance'
As cities are the main source of pollution to the atmosphere through burning of fossil fuels they need to become responsible for the regeneration of the soils, forest and watercourses rather than sustaining them; to make their energy source from a renewable energy source. Create a circular process rather than a linear one........'giving plant nutrients back to nature, storing carbon in soils and forests, reviving urban agriculture, powering human settlements efficiently by renewable energy, reconnecting cities to the regional hinterland' .
This whole concept makes so much sense it is difficult to ignore, Why not work with what we have and build on the regeneration of the land, place, space and community. I will now be using the hashtag regeneration instead of sustainability!
MA Creative Practice