Commentary: Moving toward a more resilient future

Editor’s note: Transition Town—All St. Anthony Park is a group of neighbors working to help mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects by reducing the neighborhood’s carbon footprint and better prepare for severe weather and possible economic instability. The following is a draft of the group’s 2040 Plan—a vision of life in the community 25 years from now— submitted by the organization’s planning group.

How might our community make a positive, local response to climate change? We began collecting ideas after receiving a grant from the St. Anthony Park Community Foundation last fall.

Ideas poured in after a December Bugle notice, during a February “Envision St. Anthony Park in 2040” meeting and in 281 responses to the “Responding to Climate Change” survey in March and April.

The following draft of five general visions gleaned from these responses reflects our community’s hope that we can evolve in a constructive way.

Small footprint. Strong community.

In 2040:

• St. Anthony Park is a diverse but cohesive community of people with various backgrounds, income levels and ages, where many participate locally in education, government, commerce, services and other activities that benefit the community and wider world.

• We live in a “20-minute neighborhood,” with many of our needs met within a short walk or transit ride. Exemplary neighborhood pockets are found throughout St. Anthony Park, with a variety of housing options, green space, urban farms and gardens, shops, schools, services and public places to meet, work, learn, play and linger year round.

• Businesses, industry, organizations and residents continue to reduce their energy use, even though most electricity and natural gas now comes from renewable sources. Small local businesses fill many of these needs.

• Low-impact modes of transportation are the norm, organic materials are composted nearby and waste is minimized through thoughtful shopping, reuse, upcycling, sharing and recycling.

• Life is satisfying and we do not worry about severe weather events because the local effects of severe weather have been mitigated. People know where to turn if they have trouble.

There’s more. To read more specific visions on 14 topics ranging from energy to food to healthcare, visit the 2040 Plan page at TransitionASAP.org.

What do you think? Have we missed something? Is there a topical vision statement you would like to help flesh out for the 2040 Plan?

Please reply to visions@transitionasap.org.

The writing group for this piece includes Marilyn Benson, Kit Canright, Janet Dieterich, Ranae Hanson, Len and Mimi Jennings, Mindy Keskinen, Barry Riesch, Ginner Ruddy, Michael and Regula Russelle, Allie Rykken, Pat Thompson and Tim Wulling, with help from Mike Blandford, Jay Dregni and Meredith Sommers.

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