I feel what Van Jones is promoting in this short film is exactly what the citizens of St. Petersburg are looking for. A renewal based on "Human Technology". That is a revival of community and economy through sustainability. I found the Bartlett Park site while searching for green and sustainability blogs in Florida. "The Sunshine State" is full of communities striving to strengthen their bonds through group action and a common move towards a more sustainable lifestyle. What makes Florida so interesting is how the cities and counties of the state are finding new ways to promote a connection among their citizens and make their region more eco-friendly. Currently, Orlando is about to unveil the largest solar electric system in the south at the Orange County Convention Center. Fort Lauderdale received a $2 million grant to promote energy efficiency and Destiny, FL is en route to become one of the most innovative sustainable communities the world has ever seen.
St. Petersburg also has a firm belief in revitalizing communities through sustainability. Through this blog's authors, I've learned about the water conservation, wildlife, energy and recycling programs the Bartlett Park community has undertaken. What better time than now to bring together people from all walks of life across the state to have a discussion on how Florida moves forward? Green Cities Florida (May 19-21st at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando) will be a showcase for where the state has been and where its citizenry, businesses and government want it to be in the future.
Green Cities is a different approach to green conferences. Instead of a broadly focused and comprehensive gathering of green industry professionals; Green Cities aims to bring together a specific region and focus on its most relevant issues. Members of business, community and government come together to learn and share their experiences so progress can be made more quickly and efficiently.
Of particular concern at this conference is the push towards a green collar economy in Florida including a detailed analysis of Florida's share of the stimulus package and best practices for Florida business and government utilization. Among the numerous sessions and workshops available are:
Economic Crisis and Targeting a Green Recovery for Florida by Kathy Baughman McLeod
How Green Business Can Set Your Company Apart While Changing the World by Marci Zaroff
The Bridges: Sustainable Community Design by Martin Black
Building Florida's Clean Tech Economy by John Adams
You can find a full list of sessions and workshops here:
Certifications are also available and provided by organizations such as the American Institute of Architects, the US Green Building Council and the American Planning Association.
I would like to thank Bartlett Park for allowing me to post this article and I sincerely hope the readers can make it to Green Cities Florida. Bartlett Park has an interesting story and would have just as much to offer as it has to gain at the conference. Too easily forgotten in discussions of creating sustainable communities is the reality check of poverty and crime and how they can be the biggest hurdles a town has to overcome. St. Petersburg is in a unique situation to tell the other regions of Florida how they are solving their problems with a strong focus on community, government and progressive thinking.
For more information on Green Cities Florida please visit the following
Hope to see you there,
Derek Gordon/Green Cities Media