Highly enlightening new data from the New York City-based Citizens Budget Commission demonstrate the immense importance of walkability and transit in shaping how affordable large US cities are for a range of household types. When typical housing and transportation...continued→
Kaid Benfield, Special Counsel for Urban Solutions, Washington, DC,
Special counsel for urban solutions, NRDC; adjunct professor, George Washington University School of Law; co-founder, LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system; co-founder, Smart Growth America coalition; author of several books on smart growth and sprawl.
Attorney, recovering litigator, cyclist, blogger, dreamer. Kaid’s latest book is People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think about Greener, Healthier Cities.
Follow Kaid on Twitter: @Kaid_at_NRDC.
Few things have been as simultaneously destructive to the natural environment, the economy, and our social fabric as the tidal wave of suburban sprawl that washed over the US in the late 20th century. Driving rates and related emissions...continued→
American city dwellers place a high value on their cities’ food offerings, from restaurants to farmers’ markets. We also love historic buildings and good public spaces. Traffic, not so much. These findings are from a new study released...continued→
New York’s City’s hugely successful and justly celebrated High Line wasn’t the first elevated urban railroad bed to be converted into a much-loved linear park. Today, as we mark the national holiday of France, let’s also pay tribute...continued→
I have spent most of the last twenty years working on an agenda grounded in, for lack of a better phrase, “smart growth.” That agenda basically holds that our regions must replace suburban sprawl with more compact forms of...continued→
Heirloom and Pollinator Garden at USDA headquarters One of the more thoughtful landscaping undertakings I have seen will be installed over the next fifteen years on, appropriately enough, the grounds of the US Department of Agriculture headquarters in...continued→
It’s not unusual for a farmers’ market to dispense healthy, fresh produce by vehicle, moving from one location to another as the hours and days go by. There’s one that sets up in a school parking lot in my...continued→
It is almost a tautology to declare that our future, and that of our children and their children, depends on how we shape our communities for the 21st century and beyond. Here in the US, we’re going to be...continued→
As a nation, we Americans don’t walk very much, especially compared to residents of other countries. Nationally, we take only about ten percent of our total trips by foot, while we take 83 percent by car, truck, or van. ...continued→
Last week I participated in a terrific conference called From Main Street to Eco-Districts: Greening Our Communities, hosted by a chapter of the American Institute for Architects in Corning, New York. Held a block off of Corning’s own, magnificent...continued→
I have been trying trying to understand what makes historic places special to so many of us. Part of it is that they are relatively rare in the United States, I guess. For several decades our newer everyday architecture...continued→
How reinventing university-city relationships can boost communities' sustainability (guest post by Lee Epstein)
Nearly from time immemorial, a scholar’s relationship with the place where his or her learning occurred was a fraught thing. From the Middle Ages when universities were invented, the recipe inherently made it so: take a young person, plop...continued→
A sustainable built environment isn’t one thing. It is many things, functioning best when assembled together in the right places with the right ingredients. Context is everything: a so-called “green” building won’t be green in its performance if it’s...continued→
Having spent much of my life in and around the Smoky and Blue Ridge mountains, I’ve seen my share of black bears up close and personal. But in city environments, not so much, with perhaps one startling and ultimately...continued→
We humans have an intrinsic emotional need to connect with nature. The eminent biologist E. O. Wilson first called this need “biophilia,” and the term has stuck. Yet cities also, and fundamentally, need the structure of hardscape urbanism –...continued→
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