Thank you for Robert Ivy’s March editorial, “Emerald City: Shattering the Myths of Sustainability,” which addresses how sustainable solutions need to be critically analyzed in order to be effective. While I have yet to read David Owen’s book, Green Metropolis, I completely agree with his assertion that “the truth should be derived from facts, not mere emotions.” Whether applied to sustainability or any other field, this assertion is so patently obvious that it is unfortunate it even needs to be lauded as a unique idea.
Sustainability isn’t about focusing on what makes people feel good; it’s ultimately about reducing our demand on nonrenewable resources and relying on ecological goods and services without exceeding our carrying capacity, all of which are inherently scientific concepts.
I look forward to reading Green Metropolis, a book written by an individual who understands that finding solutions for a sustainable built environment depends on verifiable facts and evidence; in other words, the scientific method.
Note: This appeared as a Letter to the Editor in Architectural Record.