As many readers know, I am a huge fan of the American Society of Landscape Architects and their leadership on thoughtful ways to integrate nature into our cities. It’s easy to take nature for granted when we are in...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_in_DC.
We know from exhaustive past research that walkable neighborhoods and cities reduce driving, associated emissions, and living costs. Three important academic studies published earlier this year demonstrate that they are good for our health, too. In particular, the research,...continued→
Have you ever noticed how those of us who promote walkable, “smart growth” city neighborhoods often choose historic districts to illustrate what we advocate? Take the photo at the top of this article, for example: I’m not sure what...continued→
More than $100 trillion in public and private spending could be saved between now and 2050 if the world were to expand public transportation, walking and bicycling in cities, according to a new report released by the Institute for...continued→
For better or worse, we live in the age of the sound bite, when even the most intellectually complicated subjects must, to be understood, be simplified to a couple of easily communicated sentences. It’s all about hyper-short attention spans,...continued→
Cities need nature, as I wrote in an earlier essay. But what is not so well understood is that nature also needs cities. There is simply no way we can protect and maintain a beautiful, thriving, natural and rural...continued→
However improbable it might have seemed twenty, five, or even two years ago, Detroit could well be on the verge of a major turnaround that could make it one of the biggest success stories in urban America over the...continued→
(Today’s article is excerpted and adapted from the 2014 book People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities, distributed by Island Press.) This won’t be breaking news to most readers, but Americans don’t walk very much. Periodically,...continued→
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→
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→
Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.