Green Community

By Susan Piedmont-palladino, Timothy Mennel

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The health of our planet and our selves depends on how we plan, design, and construct the world between our buildings. Our increasing dependence on fossil fuels over the last century has given us unprecedented individual mobility and comfort, but the consequences are clear. Climate change, sprawl, and reliance on foreign oil are just a few of the challenges we face in designing new — and adapting existing — communities to be greener.

Based on the National Building Museum's Green Community exhibition, this book is a collection of thought-provoking essays that illuminate the connections among personal health, community health, and our planet's health. Green Community brings together diverse experts, each of whom has a unique approach to sustainable planning, design, politics, and construction.


"Local Sustainable Energy Sources" by Erica Heller, AICP, and Mark Heller, AICP

"Healthy Communities, Green Communities" by Howard Frumkin

About the Editors

Timothy Mennel is senior editor and acquisitions manager for Planners Press and Planning Advisory Service Reports at the American Planning Association. He coedited Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York and developed the exhibition Growing and Greening New York: PlaNYC and the Future of the City at the Museum of the City of New York. He has been an editor at Random House, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Artforum, and elsewhere, as well as a consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation. He has a PhD in geography from the University of Minnesota.

Susan Piedmont-Palladino is an architect, a curator at the National Building Museum, and a professor of architecture at Virginia Tech's Washington-Alexandria Architecture Consortium (WAAC). She was the curator of the exhibition Green Community at the National Building Museum. Previously she served as a guest curator for Tools of the Imagination: Drawing Tools and Technologies from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. She is the author of Devil's Workshop: 25 Years of Jersey Devil Architecture and Tools of the Imagination, the companion book to the exhibition, both published by Princeton Architectural Press. She is the former national president of Architects- Designers-Planners for Social Responsibility.

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Sept. 15, 2009
APA Planners Press / National Building Museum

Table of Contents

Chase W. Rynd and W. Paul Farmer, FAICP


Funder's Introduction
The Home Depot Foundation

Curator's Introduction
Susan Piedmont-Palladino


The Sustainable City: A Mythical Beast?
Sir Peter Hall


Round, Round, Get Around: Reducing Transportation Burdens in the Green Community
F. Kaid Benfield

Introduction to Connectivity
Fred Hansen

Creating the Planning and Infrastructure Framework for Mixed Use Mixed Income Transit-Oriented and Urban-Infill Development
Jonathan Rose

Sustainable Megapolitan: How Large-Scale Urban Development Can Help Green America
Robert E. Lang and Mariela Alfonzo


Green Communities and the Redefining of Community Wealth
Timothy Beatley

Finding Common Ground: Historic Preservation and Green Building
Richard Moe, with Patrice Frey

Managing Development to Create Sustainable Communities>
Douglas R. Porter, FAICP


Energy and Communities
William Browning

Energy and Community Greening
Thomas L. Daniels

The Spillover Effects of Growing Crops for Biofuels
Scott A. Malcolm and Marcel Aillery

Green Infrastructure for Blue Urban Watersheds
Mary Rickel Pelletier

Local Sustainable Energy Sources
Erica Heller, AICP, and Mark Heller, AICP

Healthy Communities, Green Communities
Howard Frumkin

Atlantic Station

Climate Change and Public Health
James A. LaGro Jr.

Toward Sitopia
Carolyn Steel

Food and Community Greening
Thomas L. Daniels

The Impact of the Built Environment on Health - The Brain's Stress Response and the Brain-Immune Connection: Implications for Health Care and Urban Design
Esther M. Sternberg

Representative Earl Blumenauer
Image Credits


"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. Green Community is 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."

—Shaun Donovan
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

"Green Community is a rich, fact-filled, and up-to-date collection of today's critical environmental issues and how to deal with them. It is invaluable."

Roberta Brandes Gratz
Author of
The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way and Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown

"Green Community is a thoughtful, provocative collection of essays that explore a dizzying range of concepts that are contained in that elusive phrase "green community." These timely essays vitally inform us-poised as we are on the cusp of what will likely be generational changes in our global economy, in how we provide the energy we need, in how we travel, and in our ideas about what constitutes "the good life" in our neighborhoods, towns, cities, and suburbs around the world."

—Harriet Tregoning
Cofounder and former director of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, former secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning, and cofounder of the Smart Growth Network

"Congressional representatives, architects, preservationists, economists, environmentalists, and academics, all very successful in their fields, have contributed essays to this book jointly edited by Piedmont-Palladino of the National Building Museum and Mennel of the American Planning Association. Divided into four thematic sections on transportation, preservation, energy, and health, this book ties a multitude of traditional liberal issues under an urban planning agenda. Contributors, all proponents of the green perspective, attempt in the aggregate to define sustainability in urban design. An example of the difficulties these advocates encounter is the management of urban sprawl and the control of population density. However, essay authors avoid many issues and major alternatives. For example, the energy section does not mention waste-to-energy plants. Beautifully illustrated with handsome graphs on thick high-quality paper, this book is ready for the museum gift shop yet has academic value as some essays are well documented and provide additional reading lists. Other graphically displayed data are not cited. This collection of essays provides an excellent introduction to some basic urban planning concepts such as transit-orientated development (known as TOO). Summing Up: Recommended."

—August 2010 issue of CHOICE