A new comprehensive guide for sustainable development in the federal government, authored by thought leaders from HOK, the General Services Administration and the University of Maryland, has earned a top award from the Federal Planning Division of the American Planning Association. The guide is being recognized as part of the GSA Sustainable Development Education Initiative, which was selected as the winner in the "Outstanding Sustainable Planning, Design and Development Initiative" category.
Sounding the alarm not only for the federal government, but also for the nation and the world, the authors of this 40-page guidebook declared that "Today's world is decidedly not sustainable and neither are the Government's operations. But both of them can be." To that end, it provides specific principles for "How to live sustainably as a species on a finite Earth into the indefinite future."
"The economy is a social structure within the greater ecosystem," explain the authors. "The ecosystem is not subservient to the economy. Without a high quality of matter and energy to transform into goods and services, the economy is on a shaky foundation. We need to connect the laws of thermodynamics back to our economic and ecological decision-making."
"Incremental change will not be sufficient," the authors declare. "Existing policies, programs and rating systems must be examined in a closed-loop context; their limitations understood and their applicability reconsidered."
"The New Sustainable Frontier: Principles of Sustainable Development" was published in September 2009 by the U.S. General Services Administration. Jonathan Herz, of the GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy, authored the publication with the assistance of Anica Landreneau of HOK and Matthias Ruth of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland.
Formal presentation of the award will be made at the American Planning Association's 2010 National Training Conference for Federal Planners, April 6-9 in New Orleans.