The Rebirth of Resiliency: Implementing Sustainable Practices to Build Adaptable Communities
Submitted by Stacia Neugent, GreerWalker
On Tuesday, August 13th, CREW Charlotte hosted a panel on the rebirth of resiliency at Byron’s Southend. The panel featured Dylan Kirk, sustainability coordinator for Mecklenburg County, Kristina Held, partner at Insight Architects, and Zack Wyatt, executive director for Carolina Farm Trust. Emily Buehrer, landscape architect and project manager with Stimmel Associates, served as the moderator.
In a time when there continues to be frequent extreme weather events, designing with the environment in mind has become even more important. Resilient design is the intentional design of buildings, land, communities and regions in response to these vulnerabilities.
One of the topics discussed at the luncheon was the cost associated with “green development”. Kristina confirmed that there are additional costs associated with making sustainable choices, but they are relatively small on a percentage basis. It is also important to keep in mind that this references the monetary costs, but there are many other costs to be considered when making the decisions regarding development. You have to consider the impact to the land being consumed as well as the impact to the communities in which you are developing. The panel discussed that the “urban sprawl” effect is one of the biggest issues impacting the Charlotte region. The impacts of urban sprawl include increased air and water pollution, increased infrastructure impacts and reliance on cars due to longer commutes.
While we may have a ways to go to get to where we need to be, the panelists acknowledged that recognition is the first step and discussions like this luncheon are shedding light on this important topic. Emily concluded the luncheon with a powerful Dr. Seuss quote, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better, its not.”