Steady State Burlington
Steady State Burlington is a long-term project that offers citizens a chance to step back and consider a vision for the future. After thousands of years of growth in resource consumption and hundreds of years of economic growth as we know it, truly considering a sustainable approach to our economic systems is a daunting task. Nonetheless, we believe that if any place is ready for this conversation, it is Burlington.
In the short term, we make space for this conversation by drawing a contrast between growth solutions and steady state solutions. This is a simple distinction. Growth solutions solve problems with a “more” approach. Steady state solutions tend to demand a root-of-the-problem, community-driven approach.
Burlington, Vermont is at a critical juncture. The current mayor, Miro Weinberger has been very pro-growth and pro-development. A large population in Burlington has been adamantly opposed to his approach. Weinberger has also has had the responsibility to lift Burlington out of debt.
The goal of the Vermont CASSE chapter is not to take a hard-line approach on any single issue; we live in a complex world. However, there is an essential message we believe presents valuable input in the face of many challenges: We cannot escape all of our challenges through growth. Growth is not a panacea—it is a short term solution that often exacerbates challenges. So, it is time to work together collectively to find alternative solutions. It is the goal of the Vermont chapter to help organizations and politicians understand that we need to increasingly find steady state solutions rather than growth solutions.
Steady State Agriculture for Burlington,Vermont
This project builds on the work of many researchers over the years who have envisioned a steady state agricultural system for Burlington, Vermont. Did you know that research shows a majority of Burlington/ South Burlington residents would allow others to use their lawns to grow food at little to no cost? Did you know that it is possible to feed the entirety of Chittenden County with the land that is available within Chittenden County? Did you know that we if we did this, we could reduce GHG emissions by over 80%? The food system is the greatest threat to four out of nine planetary boundaries, and it is an essential system which lies at the foundation of the economy. It is the goal of the Vermont Chapter of CASSE that Burlington residents understand what a steady state agricultural system is—and what tangible steps we can take to get there.
The Culture of a Steady State Economy
Creating a movement is about having fun! Burlington is poised to be a model for an alternative set of values, essential in a steady state economy. The Vermont chapter seeks to amplify this voice by partnering with with artists and storytellers to share stories of life as a citizen of the steady state economy.
Steady State Vermont (future project)
It is important to create solutions that are scalable, so future plans for the chapter include envisioning a steady state economy across the state of Vermont, examining state-wide challenges and solutions.