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It's Getting Hot in Here

Seeing Asheville as a Solutionary

Asheville is in search of equity, opportunity, solutions, and action. Over the course of Asheville’s development, minority groups have been relocated and isolated on the outskirts of the city. This prevents open opportunities for civic engagement and an accurate model for environmental justice to be realized in conversations. Neighborhoods seek to preserve their identities, to protect against the large development trends in a region consistently ranked as one of the best places to visit and retire in. Also, the city is famous for drawing in young, socially and ecologically-conscious individuals, providing them non-stop access to classes and concerts and festivals and commerce, and yet failing to provide a unique and sustainable job culture for the younger (and older) age brackets. While this encourages resourceful living, it denies continuity and political influence for this influential group. As the population becomes composed of more part-time, retired immigrants, of less economic and geographical diversity, the region's development becomes vulnerable to inequitable distribution of health, opportunity, and power.

All of the solutions for a regenerative community are in front of Asheville and its grassroots organizers. The city seeks an integrated and strategic action plan, and norms for cooperation, centered around a solid vision of mass transit, to reduce dependency on oil. While Western North Carolina has a thriving green building industry, despite the recession, urban building code needs to be revised to create space and opportunity for reorganizing buildings and infrastructure for sustainability. Affordable housing, grocery stores, appropriate industry, and mass transit must coexist with restaurants and art galleries and boutiques in the heart of the city. As a region seeking to promote sustainable agriculture, Asheville can be a pattern for integrated ecology, food security, bioremediation, and wild spaces, including greenways, parks, and gardens, throughout the urban space and its surrounding neighborhoods and communities.


Grand Aspirations empowers, connects, and supports youth leaders as they create innovative, self-sustaining, and inter-dependent initiatives that systemically integrate climate and energy solutions, economic security, and social justice.
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Questions and comments to kai.bosworth@gmail.com