Sustainability Now! from KSQD Radio
Sustainability Now! from KSQD Radio
Sustainability Now! Sustainable Community Commons in Santa Cruz

Radio show #23, July 12, 2020, with Len Beyea, addresses sustainable community planning in Santa Cruz and cities in general. Len writes that “The modern city has grown up during the era of the automobile, resulting in sprawling land use, paving over of up to 60% of urban space, loss of productive farm and range lands, forests, and wetlands, destruction of riparian habitats, and increased runoff and erosion; while within the urban spaces offering a lack of walkable neighborhoods and real centers of social and civic engagements, financially unsustainable infrastructure, traffic jams, and almost total dependence on private motorized transportation for shopping, school, work and basic services.”

He addresses the current state of Santa Cruz County’s urbanized spaces and their unsustainable characteristics, principles of urban design for walkable neighborhoods and “new urbanism” that can bring our cities back into balance, visualization of a transition to more sustainable and inviting spaces for various local neighborhoods where we live, work, and engage socially, and exploration of the concrete and specific changes that can help get us there. You can read about attempts during the 1960s to turn Santa Cruz into an industrial city in “The plan to make Santa Cruz into Detroit and Los Angeles,” by Ross Eric Gibson in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Another interesting publication about sustainable planning is “Civic Commons: Reimagining Our Cities’ Public Assets,” 2016.

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! at and  Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation in Santa Cruz.

Additional resources (provided by Len)

Local groups working on Santa Cruz area planning issues:

And further information about New Urbanism, walkable cities, transit-oriented development, etc (and this is a very partial list):