Friday, October 24, 2008

2050 Plan for Post Peak Oil Ventura

The Ventura County Civic Alliance has been working on a "Compact for a Sustainable Ventura County." Their website includes a document titled 'Post Peak Oil Vision Plan for Ventura,' a project spearheaded by city councilman Brian Brennan and written by a team from the Department of Landscape Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.


The following is a condensed review of the action plan outlined in the 275 page publication. It outlines a strategy for action, both for Policy Makers and the Community, and includes intermediate goals for 2015, 2025, and 2050.

The peak in global oil production, or Peak Oil, will necessitate a change in the way communities function. The Post-Peak Oil Vision Plan analyzes probable implications of Peak Oil on the City of San Buenaventura and the surrounding region, and describes a vision for post-Peak Oil planning that responds to these implications by building upon positive trends that are already taking place. The regional vision emphasizes preservation of natural resources, concentration of the developed footprint, and intra-regional collaboration. The 2050 vision for the City of San Buenaventura demonstrates the potential for transformation of urban environments. Under this vision, 85 percent of the population lives on less than a third of the city’s land and is within walking distance of daily needs; 50 percent of the food supply is grown within city limits; and greywater and roofwater supply over 75 percent of urban irrigation needs. The community design that results from this plan includes a significant reduction in energy demand and an increase in quality of life.

In order to achieve the overarching goal of decreased energy and resource consumption, the critical systems of a community must be localized. As the process of localization will be expressed differently in each system, the following goals facilitate localization:

• ENERGY: Decrease dependence on imported and nonrenewable energy sources

• WATER: Use local water sources sustainably and reduce external dependence

• NATURAL COMMUNITIES: Preserve and restore local habitats to provide ecosystem services for a post-Peak Oil world

• FOOD: Establish a localized food system that is supported by sustainable practices

• MOBILITY: Reduce dependence on automobiles and expand existing transit system

• SHELTER: Increase dense, mixed-use development and sustainable housing design

• ECONOMY: Expand opportunities for a localized economy

• COMMUNITY: Localize the needs of residents while enhancing the beauty and identity of San Buenaventura

LOCALIZE. Localization is the overarching critical factor in reaching the goal of reducing energy and resource consumption while enhancing quality of life. By building a greater connection between people and place, an increased respect and understanding of the land and its systems is cultivated. The following strategies are necessary in order to localize:

Act Now. Begin research, experiments, and education programs that will facilitate the post-Peak Oil shift in society and its critical support systems.

Adapt. Transition existing infrastructure, land use, and lifestyles in order to meet the needs of future generations.

Collaborate. Connect governing bodies and citizen groups throughout the region in order to protect the wealth of resources, including water, agricultural land, transportation systems, and human resources in order to thrive and prosper post-Peak Oil.