Supported by a grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation through the institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.
Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Regional economics, Regional planning, Social problems, Social reform
Many scientists and scholars believe the world is headed toward multiple ecological and social crises during the lifetime of much of the world's population. If they are correct, a shift in how economies work will be necessary. We will no longer be able to rely on the ever expanding use of natural resources with the attendant pollution from their extraction, processing, transport, disposal, and social costs including civil disruptions and wars associated with greater scarcity. A number of proposals have been made that offer either comprehensive or partial solutions to the regional and global dimensions of these impending crises. One intriguing voluntary and business-oriented solution proposes a framework for trustees for future generations to access sufficient capital for the redevelopment of local economies. They would use the funds, principally raised by long-term bonds, to solicit competitive proposals from business and other partnerships to contract to deliver carefully measured outcomes needed by both current and future generations. This paper critically analyzes this solution and reviews other proposed or existing solutions. It concludes that this new approach should be evaluated and demonstrated along with others to test the viability of tools that could be used to achieve both necessary short and essential long-term outcomes. New tools include long-term finance for life cycle measured outcomes, an institutional framework for contracts with businesses and others to deliver the outcomes, including early replacement of the most problematic infrastructure and systems, and ultimately market mechanisms to enhance revenue from aggregation and sale of standardized outcomes to the global finance community.
Marsh, Langdon and Craig W. Shinn. (2012) Redeveloping Regional Economies for Present and Future Generations: Prosperity for people within ecological limits. Portland, OR: Institute for Sustainable Solutions