When a city is a leader in sustainability, it’s pretty important that you have a great team of people committed to sustainability.
On Thursday, I profiled Mayor George Heartwell, who has the vision to turn Grand Rapids into a sustainable city for years to come.
He explained the triple bottom line sustainability plan, later, Haris Alibasic, the Grand Rapids director of sustainability explained it to me more in depth.
Although most people think of sustainability as majorly environemntal, it’s a whole lot more than that.
It’s first for economic viability of the community, then social and environmental.
Then Alibasic said that a lot of people don’t realize the impact that the government actually has on society.
He said the main focus is make the quality of life in the city great. That in turn helps attract and retain smart, young innovative people that will help continue to push the city forward.
“We have to think of the long term impact,” he said. “Whatever we do affects future generations.”
It’s sad to see people and the majority of politicians focusing solely on immediate issues.
It helps that more people, especially the younger generations, are focusing on how to live environmentally friendly.
“They gravitate toward cities that are,” he said.
He said ArtPrize is sustainable. Maybe not from an environmental standpoint, but in that it has a huge viable economic impact that brings lots of talented, innovative people here every year, even if they don’t end up staying.
It helps put Grand Rapids on a permanent map that will be brought up constantly when in conversations.
I’ll have more later from Alibasic, including simple steps to take to be sustainable.