Across the United States, political leaders and residents alike are talking about how they can build a more sustainable community. Even in Virginia Beach, many changes have taken place to ensure that there is a promising future for all residents.
By their very definition, sustainable communities are cities that have purposely been designed to be healthy and resilient environmentally, economically and socially. Instead of focusing on fixing the issues one at a time, these cities evaluate the commonalities of the problems and offer integrated solutions. By using this approach, they can address today’s issues while also preventing the same issues from recurring in the future. This means that the next generation will be able to live a more healthy life than the one before it.
What does a sustainable community look like? Look around you. Virginia Beach is well on its way to becoming a much more sustainable community than it was just a few years ago. The use of natural resources is decreasing, and the pollution level is going down along with it. The waterways are being cleaned up, and there are more public parks and greenspaces being built every year. If you visit these parks, you will see people of all ages, cultures, races and even income levels. They all have equal access to the space, and share in a wealth of new cultural events that are being planned in Virginia Beach.
All across Virginia Beach, people of all cultures and income levels are sharing in new cultural and social events. Local groups have planted neighborhood gardens in areas that were previously food deserts. Bike lanes have been added, and walking tracks have been built. Alternative power sources can be spotted all across Virginia Beach, from solar panels on businesses to windmills at schools.
There are three keys to building sustainable communities. These are the economy, the environment and social needs. By ensuring all of these aspects are addressed with an eye on permanent, sustainable solutions, the city of Virginia Beach becoming a better place to live for all of its residents.
Virginia Beach has become a lot more environmentally green over the last few years. Making sure that residents have access to the cleanest water and air possible is vitally important for both today and the for the future. This has been done by reducing the reliance on cars and traditional fuels. There have also been campaigns to clean up local waterways, and regulations are being enforced to limit industry’s impact on the environment.
Despite an international economic crisis, Virginia Beach has continued to encourage its thriving economy. Jobs have been created, and unemployment has been reduced. Better wages have led to a better quality of life, and this has led to an even better economic environment.
Ensuring equality in the way every resident’s social needs are met is the last of these three factors. By working toward this goal, more Virginia Beach residents have access to affordable health care, high quality education and reliable transportation than ever before. This process can reach every culture and income level, because all residents are encouraged to participate in all decision making processes.
These three factors work together to build a strong, sustainable community. If one of the factors is faltering, however, the entire community becomes weak. Economic, environmental and social concerns must be addressed equally to ensure a strong city for today and for the future.
While much progress has already been made, the City of Virginia Beach is dedicated to continue making progress toward being an even more sustainable community. The city’s leadership is committed to improving the environmental health, offering economic opportunity, and ensuring social equality for all residents.
To ensure the city continues to make progress toward its sustainability goals, Virginia Beach is using a list of 26 indicators to judge their progress. These indicators bolster confidence because they show that progress has been made, but they also show there is still much work ahead. By keeping an eye on this list of indicators, city leaders and residents alike and ensure all people in Virginia Beach can live healthy lives both today and in the future.
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