Village Of Spartanburg


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Article written by President of Carroll Properties, Elizabeth Belenchia, exploring her vision for an economically and eco-friendly village in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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Village Of Spartanburg

  1. 1. Spartanburg Rising .......................................................................Creating a Sustainable "Village of Spartanburg" Sustainability as a word evolved in the 1980's to describe a phenomenon that would address renewable natural resources as well as the full integration of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, industrial design, urban planning, engineering, graphic design and interior design. It would create intergenerational equity to insure that health, diversity, ecological integrity and environmental factors would be included in the future wealth of all of us. Some people have always lived in complete harmony with the earth. They recycle everything they use, sleep in a tent, grow their own food, teach their children at home, use only solar energy, drink from a mountain stream, compost their waste, breathe only clean air, never extract minerals from the earth, avoid disease and live in peace with neighbors. We talk about Footprints in the Sand which wash away with the tide, but our "Carbon Footprints" do not wash away. A Carbon Footprint is an overall measure of your personal, community or corporate environmental impact on the earth. You can measure your own baseline "Footprint" at!footprint!index!asp Each of us can start with our personal base and then explore ways to set priorities to change our actions to reduce our "Output". Output begins with Intake. Intake measures resources going in. This includes energy, land, people, water, money, supply chain, leadership, strategy and efficiency. Output is the result of the intake process. It may include waste, carbon, water, energy, productivity, brand, social factors, health, governance and profit or loss. These are factors we used to take for granted but can no longer. Yesterday I attended a luncheon in Greenville with the USC Moore Business School presenting. Their premise was that in the 70's and 80's "International" was the buzz. Today international is a given and their energy is being transferred to the Emerging Process of Sustainability! We have been asked "what is our model"? We are not following. This is a project being created as a potential pilot for other communities to copy. Spartanburg can be on the cutting edge. Because it is the natural and right thing to do, this grassroots initiative has not been forced. Participants are volunteering and contributing to the leadership from Clemson Architecture in design thoughts. USC Upstate has contacted us and two professors are contributing to expand the plan to incorporate Urban Sociology and Biology. We are exploring Advanced Materials and Engineering, Landscape Architecture and Entrepreneurism from Clemson. We invite other collaborators. The City of Spartanburg is facing economic crisis. According to Sam Mc Clary with the SC Employment Security Commission which can be verified at the July 2009 Unemployment Rate was 26.6%. This number exceeds Depression Era levels. This is no time for the Status Quo. Is it time for us to embrace Thomas Friedman's "Green Revolution" as a means to working out of this crisis? Please feel free to contact Elizabeth Belenchia at or 864-542-4455, for further information, or to offer your thoughts for the success of the project.