October 13, 2009

Addressing the Sustainability Challenge

More than 20 contributors discuss the need for sustainable communities in the new book Green Community.

WASHINGTON, DC — Where will we get our energy in the future? Is the greenest building one that already exists? What is the relationship of water to communities? Is there an ideal density for mass transit?

These and other sustainable living questions are addressed in Green Community, a new publication featuring essays by experts from around the world. Planning, development, energy, agricultural policy, and public health experts contributed to the publication, which has been co-edited by Susan Piedmont-Palladino, National Building Museum curator, and Timothy Mennel, American Planning Association Planners Press senior editor.

The book and its essays focus on the interconnectivity of density and transportation, conservation and preservation, energy and resources, and local health and global health. The contributors represent a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives, resulting in a multi-disciplinary collection of essays which examine the people and places of sustainable communities. This publication presents the opportunities and challenges for planning and designing sustainable communities, and demonstrates that creating sustainable communities is critical to the long-term health of our environment and our economy.

Contributors include: Timothy Beatley; F. Kaid Benfield; Congressman Earl Blumenauer; William D. Browning; Thomas L. Daniels; Howard Frumkin; Sir Peter Hall; Fred Hansen; Erica Heller, AICP; Mark Heller, AICP; James A. LaGro, Jr.; Robert E. Lang; Mariela Alfonzo; Scott Malcolm; Marcel Aillery; Richard Moe with Patrice Frey; Mary Rickel Pelletier; Douglas R. Porter, FAICP; Jonathan F. P. Rose; Carolyn Steel; and Esther M. Sternberg.

Commenting on the publication, Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said, "Today, more than any time in history, we live in a global economy where quality of place drives the free flow of capital. And as the lines between urban, suburban and rural challenges blur, from poverty to housing affordability, strong neighborhoods are increasingly becoming a yardstick with which we measure America's success. With Green Community, Susan Piedmont-Palladino and Timothy Mennel have assembled a definitive work on the sustainability challenge — offering us a blueprint for integrated transportation, housing and land use development, and catalyzing a new generation of metropolitan and rural decision making that builds a geography of opportunity for every American."

In addition to essays, the book includes photographs and rich explanatory diagrams, and is a way for the Museum and APA to extend the life of the exhibition by the same name.

The Museum and APA's Planners Press co-published this publication to expand and deepen the content from the National Building Museum's ground-breaking exhibition, Green Community. The exhibition, which opened in October 2008 and runs through October 25, 2009, is the first major exhibition in the United States to explore the complex process of creating and sustaining healthy communities.

The publication of Green Community is made possible by the Home Depot Foundation, the founding partner of the Museum's sustainability initiatives.


Roberta Rewers, APA Public Affairs, 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org
Sara Kabakoff, National Building Museum, 202-272-2448, ext. 3201; skabakoff@nbm.org