Indigo Development
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Regional Systems of Crises

The following outlines a partial list of the regional issues in terms of the US, but variations of them exist in other developed countries as well as developing ones. An integrative approach to planning may also address other socio-economic issues, such as medical care, education, and drug abuse. The menu of problem areas which may be included in an integrative regional process include:
  • Global competition for basic energy and mineral resources is increasing prices rapidly for most types of economic and infrastructure development.
  • In most regions, industrialized countries are losing factories and high quality jobs to China, India, and other developing countries.
  • In rapidly developing countries many regions are losing farm land and experiencing serious pollution.
  • Much public infrastructure is degraded and inefficient. 
  • Transportation planning and investment centers on highway systems and gridlock grows more intense.
  • In many housing markets prices are at record highs and there is a severe shortage of affordable housing.
  • The damage of petrochemical farming to soil systems and human health combined with the high cost of petroleum makes industrial agriculture a model we can no longer afford.
  • The early impacts of climate change are occurring now and credible forecasts indicate major damage to farm productivity, water supplies, the health of ecosystems, and the capacity for many regions to support present human populations.
  • Farms and wild ecosystems are losing biodiversity required for resilience and adaptation.
  • Toxins are pervasive in the environment and human bodies, many of them persisting for decades, and damaging human health and viability of plants and animals.
  • Efforts to deal with any of these issues are usually fragmented and short-term.
    • There is little ability in most management systems to conceive solutions emerging from a holistic view of the crises.
    • There is a high wall between urban planning and development and rural and wilderness planning.
    • Cassandra-like forecasts are greeted with head in the sand responses. Fear is the dominant emotional tone.
Ending the fragmentation of effort and working holistically with clusters of issues is likely to yield a high level of synergy. For instance, the transition to sustainable farming, the development of new enterprises and jobs, reducing oil and petrochemical consumption, and preparing for climate change form a mutually supporting subsystem of issues. Advances in one area help develop solutions in another There are clear economic and environmental benefits to be gained by working with several issues simultaneously. 

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