Manoj Patankar: 2012 Efforts in Sustainability Pose Questions for Future Developments

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Despite efforts to achieve better sustainability in America, some experts believe events in 2012 reveal that the focus on the matter is not great enough. Manoj Patankar, sustainability educator, discusses these trends in relation to urbanization.

In the United States of America, it may seem that each year more and more citizens are aligning with solutions based on a greener environment and greater sustainability. While there are many conservation efforts to help the nation achieve a higher degree of preparedness, a recent article from The Atlantic Cities suggests that the matter of sustainability is not receiving as much attention as it deserves. As environmental factors and urbanization trends fluctuate, some are seeking more unification when it comes to developing communities that are better prepared to maintain themselves in the face of disaster or hardship. Manoj Patankar—a leading academic who helped establish the Center for Sustainability at Saint Louis University—responds by asserting that present times is full of many opportunities to fortify our country in relation to this growing issue.

In the article, Kaid Benfield—Director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council—posits that the nation as a whole is not responding as it should to the growing threat of climate resilience. Benfield states, “Beach erosion at the rate of one and a half feet per year and, in 2012, the most severe drought in half a century have had little to no effect. Certainly the typhoons and tsunamis that have occurred outside our country have had little to no effect in moving policy in the U.S.”

While severe weather has devastated many communities across the United States, Manoj Patankar responds to Benfield’s analysis, by stating that these events actually provide greater opportunity for the country to plan ahead in cases where natural resources and environments are compromised. Manoj Patankar comments, “It is time we consider urbanization as an opportunity for sustainable community development. When faced with the challenge of rebuilding disaster-struck towns like Joplin, Missouri, communities are seeking and implementing bold new visions.”

The article highlights some efforts and approaches that could lead to sustainable urbanization, such as developing unified green spaces or by balancing gentrification trends. However, Manoj Patankar is one professional who agrees that a greater discussion needs to occur regarding this widespread topic. He encourages interested parties, academics and professionals to share their ideas on this matter at events such as the annual Sustainable Disaster Recovery conference hosted by Saint Louis University’s Center for Sustainability.


Manoj Patankar is a leading educator and academic administrator who has greatly contributed to the field of aviation, workplace safety, engineering and sustainability. In addition to serving as a university professor in varied fields, Manoj Patankar has fulfilled immense administrative and leadership duties as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chief Academic Office at Saint Louis University. Manoj Patankar is also the author of several widely-read texts on aviation safety and has won several awards for his academic research and publications.

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Fiona Davis
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