Posted by Doreen Higgins on Sep 16, 2019
Nick Deffley, the Director of the City of Savannah’s Office of Sustainability, talked to us about our environment this week. Nick has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Organizational Effectiveness, and he works closely with the internal city operations, local, regional and national partners with the objective of furthering the sustainability of our region. So what, actually, is sustainability?
 
It concerns matters of our surroundings, the people, the environment, the future, and the assurance that these elements will be sustained and improved as time moves along. The three key elements that Nick emphasized are, economic prosperity, the social milieu, and the environmental circumstances in which we live. He went on to describe the specific items in his care. One is environmental, prominent in all our minds at this time, concerning the effects of hurricanes, of precautions against their damage in terms of building requirements, road planning, community needs and planning, sea level rises and forecasts. Longer term there is greenways planning, such as the Truman trail, and paying attention to future needs for green space, parks, and recreational facilities. In this context Nick mentioned the “brownfield” issues, where plans must be formulated for derelict and abandoned properties which are an eyesore, sometimes dangerous, unproductive in terms of taxes, and could be made available for a return to productive use. Nick brought two items to our attention as potential contributors to the quality of life. One is electric vehicles, particularly for public transportation, and the care and planting of trees to maintain our tree canopy.
 
Nicks office and staff are working closely, and are supported by, many local and regional partners in business, education, and other occupations. All are key workers in on-going policies to promote energy efficiency and clean energy. Long term, Nick told us that his office has the objective of ensuring community resilience in environmental, social, and economic matters and to become a leader in the Southeast US and its coastal communities on the Southeastern seaboard.
 
Below is a photo of Nick Deffley