THE REALM OF SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainable development, as I see it, implies much more than just becoming self-sufficient. It is more than the possibility of a better, cleaner, and greener world. It means working with the existing resources and adapting them to our current reality. I firmly believe that the positive social and political implications for the entire world population are limitless. The creation of new technologies based on the use of the existing resources and the lessons learned throughout the years will allow us to see the world from new perspectives and could be the new awakening to still unknown paths.
The problem is that we are used to viewing the most advanced sustainable design projects as the province of wealthy high-end clients, who are willing to pay extra to push the boundaries of eco design, or of large corporations, which are in search of other benefits, such as tax deduction or the positive publicity related to environmentally efficient architecture. Very few small commercial clients decide to invest aggressively in sustainable design, especially in developing countries.
For people with economic limitations, it is hard to think about helping the planet if they are still struggling to make ends meet. According to the World bank’s Poverty data: A supplement to World Development Indicators 2008, 1.4 billion people are living in extreme poverty around the world; that is more than one-quarter of the population of developing countries, while the upper class is, at most, 1% of the world population. If we think of these numbers, we can easily understand the need to stop focusing exclusively on the 1% that has already started to shift towards eco-friendly design.