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Feature: Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities

By making our neighborhoods, cities and metro regions stronger, more livable and more efficient, we can save money, protect the environment and improve our quality of life. For decades we have allowed our older communities to deteriorate while allowing newer ones to gobble up the landscape with suburban sprawl.  The choices we make for our own habitat have enormous impacts on our well-being, economy and natural environment.

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Setting the record straight on the Governor's CEQA reform proposal

Posted October 1, 2014 by Amanda Eaken in Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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The draft update to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines on transportation-related environmental impacts is the best kind of policy-making: evidence-based, elegant in its simplicity, and transformative. The draft Guidelines are not perfect, and NRDC is working closely with...continued

New groundwater policy brings California into the 21st century

Posted September 16, 2014 by Marcus Griswold

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For decades, California's voluntary Groundwater Management Plans have effectively failed to protect the people and ecosystems that depend on this water. Too many people are siphoning off water from our extremely limited resources, resulting in declining groundwater levels, sinking...continued

How three little letters can make such a big difference: LOS, meet VMT.

Posted September 2, 2014 by Amanda Eaken in Living Sustainably

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If you prefer listening, or want to learn more, check out this Urban Solutions podcast. Jeff Tumlin of Nelson Nygaard, Chris Ganson of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and I connect the dots between California’s climate change laws AB32, SB375,...continued

Strategic Growth Council affirms its role as lead agency implementing cap and trade revenues for sustainable communities

Posted July 16, 2014 by Amanda Eaken in Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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“We definitely know both in statute and because of agreement among the Council that the Council will retain all important authority over this program and all responsibility for the success of this program.” – Mike McCoy, Executive Director of Strategic...continued

Moving beyond "smart growth" to a more holistic city agenda

Posted July 8, 2014 by Kaid Benfield in Green Enterprise, Living Sustainably

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   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

Little Tokyo and Talbot Norfolk Triangle become leaders for urban sustainability

Posted July 1, 2014 by Samantha Wilt in Living Sustainably

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This is a guest post by my colleague Marissa Ramirez Updated  7/2/14: added resource links The Little Tokyo community of Los Angeles and the Talbot Norfolk Triangle neighborhood in Boston are joining other North American cities to lead a new...continued

Agriculture Department to demonstrate green infrastructure, organic farming in DC 'outdoor museum'

Posted June 27, 2014 by Kaid Benfield in Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably

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    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

'Cause how many of you that sit and judge me, ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?

Posted June 26, 2014 by Amanda Eaken in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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It seems only appropriate to invoke Buck Owens' classic if we're going to talk about Kern County. One week ago this evening, the Kern County Council of Governments (COG) voted unanimously to adopt the region’s first ever Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable...continued

Testing California's Waters

Posted June 25, 2014 by Alisa Valderrama in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Reviving the World's Oceans, U.S. Law and Policy

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Summary: Stormwater runoff from our urban and suburban environments is a primary source of beach water pollution in California  -  yet California cities and agencies are constrained by state law from raising money to fix the problem. As a result,...continued

Budget Deal a Shot in the Arm for California Sustainable Communities

Posted June 16, 2014 by Amanda Eaken in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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With less than 6 hours left before the constitutional deadline, California lawmakers passed a budget last night that includes substantial new revenues for implementing California’s landmark Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Law (SB 375), both this year and into the...continued

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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.

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