THE FRACTAL FRONTIER Sustainable Development Trilogy By Tony Wernke and Terry Mock, SLDI Co-Founders On the Cover The spectacular view of the southern Oregon coast is from a tetrahedron-shaped mountain (pictured right) – the tallest peak rising from the sea in Oregon. The dramatic land/seascape area includes Ocean Mountain Ranch, a SLDI model sustainable land development project, which is located in the headwaters of the Port Orford Community Stewardship Area overlooking Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and the largest remaining old growth forest on the southern Oregon coast. http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/10/southern-oregon-coast-mixing-nature-traditioneconomics-sustainable-future/ Also depicted on the cover, the SLDI Code fractal symbol represents a geometrical algorithm introduced herein which balances and integrates the triple-bottom-line needs of people, planet and profit into a holistic, fractal matrix that becomes increasingly detailed, guiding effective decisions for sustainable results. It was originally developed to enable sustainable land development throughout the planning, financing, design, regulating, construction and maintenance processes while always enabling project context to drive specific decisions. ―Pass It Forward‖ The information contained herein has been derived from extensive research of preexisting theories on sustainable development as well as the direct vetting and feedback from numerous sustainable development and other specific subject matter experts. The authors have adopted the spirit of "Pass It Forward" for the contents of this document. As individual thought leaders reflect on this information, adopt it, and share the work with others, it may adapt as specific circumstances dictate and our knowledge of the world evolves. As such, you are encouraged to share, copy, distribute and transmit this work under the conditions that you attribute it to The Fractal Frontier - Sustainable Development Trilogy and include this link to the entire document - http://www.triplepundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/THE-FRACTAL-FRONTIER.pdf. In addition, you are asked to share your reflections and experiences with the original authors, so we may in turn also share them with others to help achieve a sustainable future. The principles embedded in the SLDI Code sustainable development matrix are universal in their application and need not be confined to land development projects. In the Pass-It-Forward spirit, the SLDI Code fractal symbol and the SLDI Code Sustainable Development Matrix diagram have also been gifted on behalf of the sustainable land development industry to be used by anyone on any effort in which triple-bottom-line sustainable results are desired. Nothing in this document should be construed as an endorsement, warranty or guaranty (express or implied) by Sustainable Land Development Initiative, nor any persons or organizations involved in the creation of this publication. SLDI 2400 Green Street, Suite 201 Dubuque, IA 52001 563-690-2020 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.triplepundit.com/author/sldi/
PART I Designing a ‗Big Wheel‘ for Civilization Everyone who has ridden a tricycle understands the fact that three wheels are more stable than one or two. In fact, a three-legged stool gives greater stability than one with four (or more) legs when the surface on which the stool sits is not perfectly level. We also have learned that the simple balance of three applies not only to working with the laws of gravity, but to all aspects of life, hence the triple bottom line of sustainable development. What is harder to understand is why humans have so much difficulty applying this basic scientific fact through better balanced public and private policy. Our current predicament is reminiscent of a comment that world-class architect and sustainability pioneer William McDonough commonly makes in his presentations as he circles the globe with a Cradle to Cradle design message of hope for a future civilization where “waste equals food.” Having witnessed his presentations in person and on video numerous times, we still chuckle with the audience at the irony as McDonough delivers one of his standard lines to illustrate the situation in which we find ourselves. “If we‟re so smart,” he snidely remarks, “why did it take us 5,000 years to put wheels on our luggage?” Our Past Cycles of History The truth, as McDonough well knows, is that humans do not have a good record when it comes to building sustainable civilizations. Civilizations throughout time have made the same errors which have caused their downfall. According to research, such as documented in Jared Diamond‟s book Collapse: History warns us that when once-powerful societies collapse, they tend to do so quickly and unexpectedly. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: peak power usually means peak population, peak needs, and hence peak vulnerability. After telling the stories of particular societies that collapsed, Diamond asks pointedly, What lessons can we draw from history? The most straightforward: take environmental problems seriously. They destroyed societies in the past, and they are even more likely to do so now.