Here’s Brooke Walsh’s latest post from Baldwin Township in Sherburne County:
The analyst house Greenbang is calling for more sustainable city programs to come to the suburbs and exurbs. To draw attention to this goal, it notes in a recent blog post that green infrastructure, new ideas and “smart” technology are moving into many rural areas in the third world, yet the suburbs and exurbs of the First World are still mostly lacking in the kind of sustainable technologies embraced by urban areas.
For example, Phillips is working to advance solar lighting in Africa, GE is working on waste-to-energy in the Phillipines and IBM is working on IT-enabled health care in Nigeria, but who is working on improving sustainability with new technology in the exurbs?
Movement toward green infrastructure in the Third World is important, but it begs the question: why aren’t similar improvement programs going on as extensively in the suburbs and exurbs of the developed world, where there are more resources, more money and more opportunities to create green improvements?
Elk River has made efforts with its waste-to-energy plant and windmill, but the city is still laid out in a way that makes it largely unwalkable.
What kind of green infrastructure could places like Baldwin benefit from in the future? Should Baldwin make new technology to promote sustainability a priority?