A lot is being said about the growth that is cannibalizing Bozeman. Binary ultimatums like growth vs. decay seem to promulgate the sentiment in favor of growth. Yet, growth is synonymous with wealth and wherever money is made— greed, corruption and crime follow representing the inherent decay of growth in a form of class tension between the Haves and the Have Nots.
Looking at the newly constructed buildings in Bozeman’s core, I cannot help but see its indicative old red-brick-beating heart literally turn black with the completion of each new development project. Rather than a boon the buildings seem to represent a shroud in which what was desirable will be laid to rest. The heart of Bozeman is turning black.
What is born from this hostile takeover? What did we want that wasn’t already ours? We had everything. All one needed to do was to sit still and observe the breathtaking natural beauty that has transported each soul to these pure lands.
We each belong here. But we must redefine how we belong here together. It is imperative that we acknowledge and protect our communal wealth. That we continue to create a desirable home and that we welcome those who wish to come, with a new paradigm of living not the one whence they came from. We cannot allow for guests and newcomers to unconsciously usurp the very reason they choose to come here. Recreating the corporate machine that filled them with existential dread and flooded their communities with poverty and crime. We must stand firmly in our identity as stewards of a beautiful place and continue to set strict parameters for growth so that it will continue to represent the charm and goodwill that made Bozeman unique.
Economic growth is synonymous with ecological decay, I propose we consider degrowth.