03 January 2015

A Citizen's Guide to Sustainable Urban City Planning For 2030

Mary Vincent - Shenzhen China
In 2007, I ran for City Council in my city on a Sustainable Economic Development Platform while working a technology job in Silicon Valley, California.

At the time it was a visionary platform but very doable in my opinion. The city wanted to build housing and a business on land that will be covered by water due to rising sea levels in San Francisco by 2050. The city was not looking at the long term strategy incorporating both environment and economic needs. Now, many cities have implemented long-term sustainable economic principles for their cities while involving businesses and citizens in these planning decisions.

A sustainable city has a long-term plan in place for citizens to live, work, learn, and play. Transit Oriented Development is an important concept that I campaigned on. Urban planning, includes sustainable development in water, waste, energy, food production and transportation using fewer resources, creating thriving communities, promoting a healthy lifestyle, inspiring new ideas and driving economic growth. I spoke about these topics at a Google conference in San Francisco, a Technology conference in Silicon Valley, Technology Groups in the UK, and at a Net Impact Conference on Organics and Business. I created Green Star Solution, a consulting firm to help create and enable these innovations and I've shared updates on various digital platforms including my Smart Tech News blog and Twitter http://www.twitter.com/MaryVincent .

I became a Stakeholder Advisory Group Member to the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Department of Energy Literacy Education Group Stakeholder, Advisor on Technology and Environment Global Health Research Foundation, and Mentor for the Stanford Engineering for Good and Technology Entrepreneurship classes. Also while living and working near Budapest Hungary, I established an Earth Week in my city and worked with business owners to add environmental solutions into their business operations.

The City of San Francisco has a great Environmental Plan here for reference that can serve as a model for other cities http://www.sf-planning.org/ftp/general_plan/I6_Environmental_Protect ion.htm.
ICLEI also has a great platform and community for sustainable city models.

The Masdar Engage Blogging Contest is an innovative concept to help folks share their ideas and I hope to travel to Abu Dhabi to participate in the conference.