Look for the Discussion Bubble for specific community issues that can help us develop a growth strategy. Most relate to our three Legacy Update themes: Sustainable Growth, Livable Design and Fiscal Responsibility.
Forsyth County contains a finite amount of land that must accommodate growth over the next twenty years and beyond, making future land use decisions even more important. As a community, we have two choices for how we accommodate growth: continue implementing the same land use patterns that have evolved over the past several decades and possibly have “build-out” in the near future; or engage in sustainable land use patterns that promote more compact development.
Compact development and compact redevelopment of buildings that were previously used as retail. You must not allow any additional zoning for residental! You must think of rezoning, multi-use zoning and not the way of the past but the way of the future. Multi use, access to retail and mass transit are the only ways we will survive and continue to grow.
Preserving the farm land and natural area biodiversity in the population dense area is important to the functioning of ecological services. ie rainwater collection and filtering, shade, and air cleaning.
Preserving farm land and potential urban food production areas can preserve the possibility of having a resilient local food system in Winston-Salem/Forsyth Co.
Tax incentives for planting native and food producing plants.
This town can lay claim to the first planned forestry in America, one the first community gardens, and probably the richest documentation of the natural world during the transition to European settlement in America by the Salem botanists. These are all incredibly unique historical resources we can capitalize on and hopefully use to inform our decisions that affect land use patterns into the future.
According to The Trust for Public Land, “Every minute, America loses more than 3 acres of forests, farms, historic sites, meadows, and woods. That adds up to more than 3,000 acres a day…almost 1.5 million acres each year.” This acreage is indicated to be more land than the entire state of Delaware.
We must educate our citizenry that sound land stewardship and land use provides a multitude of societal benefits. To do this, we must provide and support environmental educational programs at all grade levels in our public schools and we must advertise these benefits on radio, television and Internet. We must include information whenever possible in water bills, etc. [We must avoid ethnocentric thinking that everyone watches the city’s television and that everyone receives a public water bill.]
“I have purposely presented the land ethic as a product of social evolution, because nothing so important as an ethic is ever written. It evolves in the minds of a thinking community.” – Aldo Leopold (from the movie, Green Fire, Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time)
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