During his reelection campaign, Mayor Slay unveiled the first Sustainability Plan for St. Louis. He reduced the 260-page plan to a more manageable 29-point agenda. Many questions remain: What is sustainability? How can the city become more sustainable? How can the public participate?
"Ultimately, it's making St. Louis cleaner, healthier, more vibrant, more fun and safer." That is how Mayor Francis Slay defines sustainability.
The Mayor is taking the lead on the effort, but creating a sustainable city requires a team effort. Slay brought in Catherine Werner to captain the team.
She serves as the city's first ever Sustainability Director. She tells me sustainability goes beyond just thinking 'green'. "We're were talking about not just the environmental aspects but also from the social and economic realms", says Werner.
The next step in promoting the plan was to take on strategic partners in the region. The city turned to Washington University and their sustainability director Phil Valko, "We are working to meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability to future generations to meet their needs at the same quality of life or better", says Valko.
So what is sustainability? It's a multifaceted approach to make the city of St Louis and the region at large a better place to live now and down the road.
On Wednesday we will look at how teams are coming together to solve the problem in any urban area--what to do with vacant lots.
Part two of the series can be found here.