Across the United States, political leaders and residents alike are talking about how they can build a more sustainable community. Even in San Antonio, many changes have taken place to ensure that there is a promising future for all residents.
Sustainable communities, by definition, are designed to be environmentally, economically and socially resilient and healthy. The cities and towns work toward integrated solutions to issues rather than just targeting the symptoms of each problem one at a time. This helps them to address environmental problems in the present while offering a long term solution for the future. This prevents the same issues from recurring generation after generation.
What does a sustainable community look like? Look around you. San Antonio 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 San Antonio.
Some neighborhoods even share neighborhood gardens. Many areas offer bike lanes and walking tracks. You may even spot solar panels, windmills or geothermal machinery that is used to supply alternative power to schools, businesses or homes.
Three factors work together to build a more sustainable community. The environment, the economy and social equality all work together to make life better for all residents. The City of San Antonio is addressing these factors through sustainable, permanent solutions in order to make the community a better place to live for all people.
Today, San Antonio is much more environmentally friendly than ever before. All residents have access to cleaner air and water than they have in the past. The air is cleaner thanks to a reduction in the reliance on cars and fossil fuels which create greenhouse gases and pollution. Rivers, streams and lakes have been cleaned up, and industrial pollution has been greatly reduced.
Despite an international economic crisis, San Antonio 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.
The final piece of this puzzle in ensuring that all residents have their social needs met adequately. This means that everyone has access to high quality health care, education and transportation, no matter their background or income level. This is made possible by encouraging all residents to participate in their local decision making processes.
Creating a more sustainable community requires that all of these factors be addressed at the same time. They must be equally strong in order to ensure the community is as sustainable as possible. If just one of these factors is not adequately addressed, the future of San Antonio as a strong, sustainable city may be at risk.
The City of San Antonio has become a much more sustainable community over the last few years, but its leaders continue to strive to be even more sustainable in the future. The leadership of the city, as well as its residents, are committed to ensuring environmental health, improving economic equality and offering programs to meet social needs. This movement will continue, regardless of election cycles or political climates.
To ensure the city continues to make progress toward its sustainability goals, San Antonio 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 San Antonio can live healthy lives both today and in the future.
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