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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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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

Cleaning up a Global Mess: Hope from the "Commitments Commencement" at Dickinson College

Posted May 20, 2014 by Jacob Scherr in Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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Last Sunday at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Madeleine Albright was blunt in her assessment of our generation’s legacy to the class of 2014:  What I’m saying, dear Graduate, is that the world is a mess. I’m sorry, but it’s...continued

American Cities Targeting Sustainability to Low-income Neighborhoods

Posted May 12, 2014 by Jacob Scherr in Environmental Justice, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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Cities have gotten increased attention in the on-going UN deliberations on a new set of global sustainable development goals, but too often one key dimension of sustainability is overlooked or underappreciated - equity.  In this blog, reporter Sarah Glazer speaks...continued

Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theorists Threaten Cities' Sustainability Efforts

Posted April 22, 2014 by Jacob Scherr in Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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Comments (10)

I can remember when “Agenda 21” was at the top of NRDC’s international agenda.  In the run-up to the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992, we were actively involved in the final negotiations of Agenda 21 – a 351-page totally-voluntary...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

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