Tuesday, April 21, 2009


One thing I have not missed in being just a citizen the last seven years, was the jargon that is used in the political world.

My most horrible favorite is sustainability. Boy you add sustainability to anything and people just fall over themselves thinking how wonderful that thing is.

Take farming. One buzzword now is sustainable farming. Cripes - all farming is sustainable. If you have a farm, you're going to make that farm produce year after year or you're not going to have a farm.

Obviously, in business it's the same thing. If you don't continue to have customers - you won't have a business, sustainable or not.

Now government has taken up the buzzword of sustainable community. I asked the planner what the heck that meant. The answer given was:

"In my mind it means planning, implementing and providing for our grandchildren and their future the most liveable city that we can; to be all that we can be or want to be as a community."

Geez, ya think? It's like no one ever thought of the future before we had the word sustainable hooked to it.

Hopefully we can get a different new favorite buzzword soon.


At April 22, 2009 at 2:58 PM , Blogger ragingsquall said...

One only needs to look at ruined downtowns (see Detroit) or empty fields of subdivisions with no (or only a few) houses built in them (see Canyon County) to know that sustainability should be something at least discussed in planning and development. To the extent you're questioning sustainability as a buzzword, I agree (such labels can cause more harm than good, how many "green" things are minimially eco-friendly at best). However don't let dislike for a buzzword get in the way of an important concept. Sustainability should absolutely be an important criteria in the Treasure valley so we avoid becoming an even worse expanse of spread-out development with gridlocked traffic. Better yet, instead of getting rid of the buzzword, how about decision-makers such as yourself provide a more concrete definition?

At April 22, 2009 at 3:13 PM , Blogger Sara said...

The problem is sustainability has become the be all and end all. Slap that word on anything and it seems the work is done.

Detroit is the way it is because of a number of factors - corrupt government, schools that don't teach and certainly don't graduate students, crime, lack of a workforce to differentiate jobs other than UAW car job banks, to name a few.

Sustainability has no meaning. It is an empty word that sounds good until one is asked to define what it really means.

Here's an idea. Tell us your definition of sustainability.

At April 23, 2009 at 11:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't understand what ragingsquall is referring to when mentioning downtown Detroit, or empty fields of subdivisions and their lack of "sustainability" I cannot imagine the investors in a subdivision would not of wanted their community to be successful. I think the point Ms. Baker is trying to make is that people are throwing the word around assuming since it is mentioned it will be so.

Stamping a buzzword or a seal of approval is not what we need. We need smart, economical ideas to improve our community including longevity(the new buzzword).


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