Background image of Rows of lettuce in a community garden


Future We Want: Your Turn

Funding green growth to quickly eradicate poverty.

In the run-up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June, we asked for transformative ideas that will help us build a Future We Want (as the UN puts it).  The wider Ecotrust community responded with some though-provokers, which have us chatting around the watercooler, real and virtual.

Great Portland Pulse, a project that maps the way services and public investments spread — often unevenly — across our home region tweeted, “An equitable region is the #futurewewant.”  Equity mapping is an important, emerging tool guiding metropolitan regions everywhere in making cities more just and livable for all. In Denver, for instance, these maps are helping the city decide how to invest in future bus and light rail lines. The World Bank is strategizing on how it funds green growth, in order to most quickly eradicate poverty.

307 People of Color Collectively
An equity map for the city of Los Angeles shows access to parks (green) for neighborhoods of color (shades of red/yellow). The City Project via Flickr.

It’s a movement that overlaps with the marine planning work we do, which ensures that new marine protected areas, offshore energy sites and other ocean ventures jibe with existing fishing and recreation uses. And it’s the type of work our software team will be joining more and more.

We consider food the gateway to talking about resilient economies, communities and ecosystems and there were, appropriately, many food-and farm-related ideas flowing in with the #futurewewant tag. Community member Janie Malloy pushed for more urban food forests, along the lines of Seattle’s forthcoming 7-acre forest in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. “Support urban edible landscaping,” Malloy said.  Farm to Fork Events, which sets up farm dinners all over Oregon, would like to see their concept of agri-tourism and community building grow, as a building block to “a healthy, vibrant sustainably food system.” And Josie Osborne from the Tofino (B.C.) Botanical Gardens urged a more ethical, cruelty-free food system and “ better food security for all.”

Beacon Hill Festival 2011
An area at the edge of Jefferson Park (above) in Seattle will be turned into a food forest.


Food security is on our agenda as well, as we pursue our food and farms work — whether it’s pushing for more money to get fresh local food into schools or expanding a robust networking site at FoodHub to connect growers to hospitals, cafeterias and other large institutional buyers.

Tell us more. How can we better improve on equity and food system work as we move forward and build out a future we all want?