Sedona AZ (October 12, 2018) – Sustainability is such a broad topic that sometimes we can have a hard time talking meaningfully about it. In the broadest sense, sustainability means looking at how we as human beings can act to ensure that we can meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. At a local level, it means looking at what we can do proactively to ensure the long-term safety and health of Sedona residents in a changing world.
The other day I went to a presentation by Coral Evans, mayor of Flagstaff, who talked about what they’re doing to ensure they’re prepared for the future. Flagstaff has developed a Climate Action and Accountability Plan that that looks at the future of the city in light of changing climate conditions and attendant threats to the environment. The plan includes strategies that will reduce carbon emissions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. According to their website, the Southwest is one of the most vulnerable regions in the United States to the impacts of climate change. They have developed a strategic roadmap to guide the Flagstaff community in preparing for climate risks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting the wellbeing of residents for decades to come.
The Flagstaff plan was developed by working closely with residents to find out what their experiences have been and what they think can work in their community. This is something we in Sedona can do.
Sustainability is something we must talk about as a community. We all need to be involved; the city can’t and shouldn’t move ahead without all of us participating in that conversation. Do we want to proactively plan for future changes and impacts? Is that something we can do? What would it mean for us as residents and businesses? These are big questions, and our answers will have long-term impacts.
For the past couple of years Sedona’s focus has been on managing the impact of traffic on our community. That’s an important part of a sustainability effort. Many of the Sedona in Motion strategies will reduce carbon emissions. Enhancing walkability and bikeability will get some of us out of our cars. Transit and shuttles can get tourists and residents around town in a more sustainable way. Encouraging drive-through tourists to stay on I-17 can result in a meaningful reduction of traffic and pollution in our city. It’s time to talk about whether or not we want to develop other strategies to ensure our future.
If you’re interested in what Flagstaff is doing, look at their website at www.flagstaff.az.gov/1732/climate.
This article reflects my personal opinion and does not in any way reflect the views of the Sedona City Council.