Published 28 December 2005
US organisation The Sierra Club, noted for its campaign against urban sprawl, has published a guidebook of 12 “healthy & livable” communities, built on redeveloped urban sites.
Criteria for selecting the 12 projects included access to public transport, redevelopment of existing urban areas, homes located near businesses & offices, minimal pollution & energy-efficient design.
The organisation said: “Much of the development in the US today is sprawling, low-density, car-dependent â€˜bigbox’ or â€˜strip-mall’ construction, which produces more & more traffic and harms our land, air & water. The Sierra Club believes there is a better way to build and, in doing so, to produce healthy neighborhoods & livable communities.
“While the Sierra Club opposes poorly planned, sprawling development, built on natural areas & farmland, we support quality investment in areas that already have a history of development to enhance communities & the environment. By reinvesting in existing neighbourhoods and creating more walkable, transit-accessible places to live & work, a select subset of the nation’s development leaders are raising the bar for neighbourhood design. By embracing conservation, green building techniques & affordable housing, and by building on the assets we already have, these developments offer a path to a more sustainable future.”
Selected projects ranged from the massive Atlantic Station in Atlanta, which encompasses 56ha and has 1.1 million mÂ² of retail, office, residential & hotel, to small-scale projects like 66 homes & an industrial building in Hopkins, Minnesota.