Sunday, October 4, 2009

About Digital Millwright

Digital Millwright is about urbanism.  Urbanism has two meanings.  It is a philosophy that states that traditional cities are vitally important, and also refers to the study of areas with dense population. This blog embraces both meanings, valuing cities as sustainable centers of collaboration, innovation and social progress; and following developments in urban studies and planning.    

Digital Millwright is about infrastructure, the stuff that makes modern life possible and profoundly shapes it in the process. For our purposes, today's infrastructure includes the increasingly globalized systems that supply us with water, food, electricity, waste disposal, building materials, consumer products, information and transportation.   This emphasizes information systems as an enabler of other types of modern infrastructure.

Digital Millwright is about sustainability, or living in a way that makes our planet healthier and preserves it for the future. This blog begins with the approach of  The Natural Step organization, which defines sustainability as the elimination of society's contribution to the
  • progressive buildup of substances extracted from the earth, i.e. minerals and fossil fuels
  • progressive buildup of man-made substances, such as hazardous chemicals and wastes
  • destruction and degradation of nature and natural resources, such as forests and wildlife habitat
  • development of conditions that prevent people from meeting their own needs, such as inadequate pay and hazardous working conditions
Digital Millwright is ultimately about sustainable cities and infrastructure, which promote the health of people, profits and the planet. Stakeholders increasingly measure public and private goods and services with this triple bottom line. They expect public and private offerings to benefit or at least avoid harm to the surrounding community; turn a profit or wisely spend public funds; and benefit the environment or have minimal impact. As Thomas Friedman recently pointed out, sustainability has even been embraced by the leadership of the People's Republic of China.

On this blog, I monitor current events and publications; review books and films; interview experts, leaders and visionaries; and publish the work of a variety of writers from different perspectives. I would like your active participation, and welcome comments on whatever we publish. Please contact with your thoughts, ideas, or suggestions.

But what is a Digital Millwright?  Click here to find out!