By Gerald Braun
DiSC 2022 has exceptional potential to be a cutting-edge, world-class project true to the four words of its title. This can make Davis a gateway for innovation and an example of sustainable design, living and working. But he can only do so if voters approve of Measure H.
Ongoing engagement between the DiSC project team, City of Davis staff, and independent experts can identify environmentally critical features that will make DiSC a model for 21st century innovation hubs. For example, DiSC can be powered by a zero-carbon microgrid that integrates community-scale vehicle batteries and solar panels on the roof.
I have served on Davis commissions and appointed advisory committees. I hold municipal staff and elected officials in high regard. I have no doubt that DiSC has been properly checked, problems identified, trade-offs assessed, solutions determined and trade-offs reached. Davis’ governance process works. The concerns of DiSC critics have been addressed and do not warrant another step back.
What are these concerns?
More local economic activity, more traffic? True. More economic activity is a good problem to have in most cases. Modern American cities have the planning tools and skills to adapt to changing traffic patterns. Davis seems to use them reasonably well.
Additional additional vehicle emissions? True. Vehicle emissions are a significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions in California. Better to proactively address new vehicle emissions in Davis’ emissions inventory than to outsource them to other communities that do nothing about them.
Loss of prime farmland? Industrial agriculture in California has its own deeply concerning climate impacts. It is a necessary but mixed blessing. Padding is an important goal, but “padding” projects are not an option to do what DiSC can do.
DiSC can be what our city council is looking for if voters approve of Measure H and allow our city government to follow through with active attention, collaboration and guidance.