Pennsylvania's goal is to create a partnership between economic growth and environmental conservation--activities once thought to be polar opposites. To find a synergy between those goals today, the concept of sustainability provides direction for all state agencies. The job is to make smart use of existing assets in order to recapitalize Pennsylvania's economy and boost state revitalization.
This approach to government has promoted new partnerships all over the state, as the Keystone Principles of sustainability must be tailored to Pennsylvania's public lands, rural areas, small towns, and big cities. Over a vast and varied landscape, sustainable use emphasizes one key idea: reuse. And, for this priority, Pennsylvania offers countless opportunities because of its large inventory of abandoned industrial sites. The ethos of sustainability also aims to hem sprawl, by reclaiming abandoned urban areas while protecting undeveloped lands as open space for agriculture, tourism, and recreation. Better housing for those who don’t have adequate dwellings is part of the plan, too.
The wisdom of sustainability becomes more widely accepted as energy prices rise. Emphasis goes to efficient infrastructure and development that concentrates rather than scatters traffic. Likewise, in growing jobs for Pennsylvanians, the policy encourages businesses that have a better chance of lasting a while and controlling the footprint they leave on the environment. That goal goes hand in hand with planning for environmental restoration and conservation, protecting the states' heritage, and encouraging people to get out and enjoy Pennsylvania's many attractions.
Still, while leading the effort across the state, the Commonwealth knows it can't run the whole show. Plan regionally and implement locally is the idea, and many cities and communities are already taking the initiative.