Monday, April 30, 2007

An Urban Planner's Wish List for Green Development

As an urban planner, I have worked on residential and commercial developments throughout the Dallas Fort-Worth area and before that on the East Coast.

I have developed my own "wish list" of practices I would like to see for all development in the U.S. Here is a short list to start.

1. Require green building standards for all new construction. Right now, certain communities require this, and most don't. These standards can be developed at the local level, modelled after programs and examples around the country.

2. Promote infill development (new development between existing buildings and projects) and adaptive reuse (reuse of existing buildings) whenever possible--and make every effort at the local level to prevent leap-frog development, particularly in the suburbs. Standards could include experiments with transfer development rights or incentives for developers.

3. I wish that all communities would identify environmentally-sensitive areas on a comprehensive plan and develop standards to protect these areas.

4. I would like more education to be available for realtors and development entities on green building and environmental planning practices. This concept should be part of the concept and design process.

5. The promotion of land trusts for prime agricultural and environmentally-sensitive areas.

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