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Smart Growth

Village Green: Backyard Cottages Strengthen Neighborhoods, Add Affordability

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

  We know we need to absorb more people and homes in our existing communities in order to avoid the unacceptable environmental, economic and soc...

Village Green: "I watched the growth - it's become 'Paradise Lost' for me"

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Today’s title comes from Jeff Holm, chair of the Board of Supervisors for Baldwin Township, Minnesota.  Baldwin is a rural community s...

Village Green: Vancouver's medal-worthy Olympic Village

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

    Vancouver’s civic leaders believe that the athlete’s village built for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and the planned neig...

Village Green: Some Fighting Words About Suburban Sprawl

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

  “The biggest fight I think we’ll see in the next ten years is the fight between people in cities who are trying to transform them ...

Half a Bridge: A Review of "The Smart Growth Manual" by Andres Duany and Jeff Speck with Mike Lydon

Frank Gruber | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Frank Gruber

If The Smart Growth Manual used images that were more urban, it would have an easier time facilitating a dialogue between the warring camps of urbanists.

Village Green: Reflecting National Trends, DC Rebounds in the 2000s

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

New end-of-year data confirm what some of us have been reporting for a long time: central cities in the US are no longer in decline. This is great news for the environment.

Village Green: The Year's Top Stories for Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

All in all, we had a mixture of good, disappointing, and great news for smart growth and sustainability in 2009. Taking a long view that considers where this issue was fifteen or even ten years ago, I remain very optimistic.

Living With No Regrets on Climate Change

Tom Tomich | Posted 05.25.2011 | Los Angeles
Tom Tomich

It could be a long time before we achieve consensus on global climate strategy. In the meantime, there are "no regrets" strategies we can implement to improve our lives and our future prospects.

Village Green: It's Time to Update What Constitutes a 'Green Building'

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

For most of the US Green Building Council's LEED for Homes award winners, the residences' green features will be offset by the damage caused by the sites' automobile dependence, and distance from jobs and services.

Village Green: Hey Copenhagen, Climate Protection Must Include Smart, Walkable Neighborhoods

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Copenhagen is a veritable model of human-scaled urbanism, with incredibly pleasant streets and neighborhoods where, it seems, almost no one needs a car to get around.

Waste Not Want Not: City Living is the Way to a Wealthier Nation

John Petro | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
John Petro

To reduce the country's excessive energy consumption, we need to make our new and existing suburbs more like cities. This means embracing the principles of smart growth and transit-oriented development.

Village Green: It's Time for a Sustainable Revitalization Agenda for Smaller Cities

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Most small New England cities were once booming industrial centers, but over time they became subject to considerable disinvestment in the form of plant closings, job losses, weakened civic infrastructure, and shrinking tax bases.

Bike to Work Day: Motivation for Getting Back on the Bike

Scott Dodd | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Scott Dodd

The theory is that drivers get more used to seeing bikers on the road and know how to deal with them. So it might actually be a smart strategy not to be out there by yourself.

Village Green: It Takes a Village to Age In Place

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

One of the goals of smart growth must be to create neighborhoods that foster "aging in place."

Village Green: Distracted Driving Is Also an Enviromental Issue

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Texting-while-driving is not just a safety issue, it's an environmental issue too. If our streets aren't safe and perceived as such, it'll be that much harder to convince people to walk or bicycle.

Village Green: How to Fix Local Transit & Road Planning

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Most of the issues of growth, mobility, equity and the environment that we address here are fundamentally regional in character. But our political mechanisms place most of the authority for dealing with them at the smallest levels of local government.

Village Green: How to Make Smart, City Neighborhoods Even Greener

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

We need compact development, not large lots, to protect our waterways. But how do we soften the localized impacts of density and deal with the stormwater that runs off of dense urban sites?

Village Green: Tax Sprawl, Subsidize Infill

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

When it comes to policy on sustainable progress, we should be including measures that change the way we are doing things, not merely advance the technology that allows us to do things the same.

Village Green: New Numbers Prove Smart Growth Reduces CO2, Cost-Effectively

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Suddenly people who two years ago wouldn't give smart growth advocates the time of day are talking about things like transit-oriented development and growth boundaries.

Village Green: Revitalizing Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine (Part 1)

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Cincinnati's historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is poised to become one of America's greatest revitalization stories, in the process creating a national exemplar of sustainable development.

Village Green: Dramatic New Maps Show the Geography of US Carbon Emissions

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

The maps demonstrate vividly that, although emissions on a per-acre basis are greatest in highly urban areas, it is in the suburbs and outlying areas where we pollute the most on a per-household basis.

Village Green: Federal Stimulus Threatened to Overrun Small Town with Sprawl

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

New development should pay its own way, or at least make a justification as to why the subsidy is in the public interest when all factors, including the consequences of sprawl, are considered.

Village Green: Putting the "UD" Back in HUD, Sustainably

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Let's be honest -- HUD has become the Department of Subsidized Housing, and that must change. We've got to put the "UD" (urban development) back in HUD.

When the Real Estate Market Recovers, Smarter, More Sustainable Development Will Claim a Larger Share.

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Suburban sprawl as we have known it may not be dead but it is surely not well, and we are already seeing the beginning of its end.

The United States of Transit Cutbacks

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

One of the sad ironies of our time is that, as demand for public transportation is soaring to levels not seen in 50 years, the recession has dampened government support for transit.