For smart growth, not all urban density is created equal

Have you ever noticed how those of us who promote walkable, “smart growth” city neighborhoods often choose historic districts to illustrate what we advocate? Take the photo at the top of this article, for example: I’m … [Read more...]

What we like – and don’t like – about our cities

American city dwellers place a high value on their cities’ food offerings, from restaurants to farmers’ markets. We also love historic buildings and good public spaces. Traffic, not so much. These findings are from a … [Read more...]

Moving beyond “smart growth” to a more holistic city agenda

I have spent most of the last twenty years working on an agenda grounded in, for lack of a better phrase, “smart growth.” That agenda basically holds that our regions must replace suburban sprawl with more compact forms … [Read more...]

Pedestrian safety leads to more walking, or is it vice versa?

As a nation, we Americans don’t walk very much, especially compared to residents of other countries. Nationally, we take only about ten percent of our total trips by foot, while we take 83 percent by car, truck, or van. … [Read more...]

What makes a good Main Street work?

Last week I participated in a terrific conference called From Main Street to Eco-Districts: Greening Our Communities, hosted by a chapter of the American Institute for Architects in Corning, New York. Held a block off … [Read more...]

How green infrastructure investments can create commercial property value

A new publication from my colleagues in NRDC’s water program shows how green infrastructure practices – integrating nature strategically into urban environments to control runoff and enhance other environmental values – … [Read more...]