Through a grant from EPA's Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program, two non-profit organizations are offering free technical assistance to communities looking to improve their sustainability and physical design.
Livability Solutions, a coalition of cutting-edge planners that includes the Project for Public Spaces, Dan Burden's Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and the Congress for the New Urbanism, is offering one or two-day workshops "intended to provide communities with strategies to enhance livability, to create lasting economic and environmental improvements, and to effect positive change for their residents. We will focus on helping communities reach a tipping point or overcoming a significant hurdle in reaching a particular livability or sustainability goal. Coalition members will work with selected communities to identify the tool or palette of tools that will best help them achieve their livability and sustainability goals, building off of each community’s unique character, culture, creativity, and effort." Applications are due Nov. 22.
Global Green USA is offering "sustainable neighborhood design technical assistance" based on the US Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Design system. For more information and the application, which is due Nov. 18, visit http://globalgreen.org/leedndtechassist.
EPA is offering a webinar to explain more detail about these and other assistance opportunities Nov. 9 at 2pm, click here to register
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator with the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323, firstname.lastname@example.org or @l4est
The National Association of Realtors® has found that the majority of Americans prefer living in mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods, “where shops, restaurants, and local businesses are within an easy stroll from their homes and their jobs are a short commute away,” according to the NAR’s newly released 2011 Community Preference Survey.
According to the survey, 56% of people in the U.S. prefer living in a “smart growth community,” and 43% opt for a “sprawl community.”
It seems that the cost and hassle of driving these days is impacting how people choose where to live. Most people would opt for smaller residences, if it means they can drive less, the survey found. This point is also made by Kaid Benfield, the director of Sustainable Communities & Smart Growth, in his blog post on the Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog “SWiTHBOARD.”
On the other hand, the many people who “prefer the sprawl community are motivate mostly by desire to live in single-family homes on larger lots,” according to the survey. And the privacy that single-family homes and larger lots provide appeals to many people.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info