Environmental Issues: Urban Solutions

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Sustainability Achievements of the 2011 NCAA Final Four in Houston, Texas
In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, the producers of the NCAA Final Four have integrated ecologically intelligent practices into the event’s planning and production. The paper products and other supplies we have bought and the facilities and services we are relying on have all been selected with a sensitivity towards reducing the threats we all face from global warming, deforestation, toxic wastes, and hazardous chemicals in our water and food. This year the NCAA teamed up with LG Electronics USA, Waste Management, Reliant Park, the City of Houston, George R. Brown Convention Center, and the Natural Resources Defense Council to launch the long journey they need to take to reduce their collective ecological footprint. This document explores their achievements.
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Picturing Smart Growth
Visions for Sustainable Communities Across America


Cities and towns across the country are embracing smart growth as a better solution to meet the needs of their growing populations. Smart growth principles accommodate growth and development while saving open space, revitalizing neighborhoods and helping cool the planet. See visions created through photo-editing software for how 70 communities across the country could apply smart growth principles to improve their streets and neighborhoods.

Environmental Characteristics of Smart Growth Neighborhoods
Case Studies in Sacramento and Nashville

Issue Paper
These studies, published in October 2000 and February 2003 for NRDC in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, suggest that the environmental benefits of smart growth are real and can be measured.
Solving Sprawl
Models of Smart Growth in Communities Across America

Sprawl is taking a grave toll on our environment and the way we live, giving us mind-numbing traffic, ugly strip development, fragmented communities, and loss of open space. This November 2001 book from NRDC, Solving Sprawl, offers an inspiring contrast to these grim trends. Through 35 real-world stories, the book illustrates how people in cities, suburbs, and rural areas have found profitable, community-oriented alternatives to sprawl.

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Jobs that Build a Better Future
Clean energy investments will create millions of manufacturing jobs and whole new industries

Investing in clean energy can help heal the environment and boost the American economy.
The NRDC Greening Advisor
The NRDC Greening Advisor can help any business or organization to reduce the environmental impacts of its operations and events.
Solving Sprawl: An Overview
Across America, communities are finding ways to ensure that the growth they get is the growth they want.

Sprawl -- the blighted landscape of cookie-cutter suburbs, strip malls, and far too many highways that has spread across so much of America -- is a hot topic. But all across America, communities are finding alternative ways to grow and prosper that beat back sprawl, save landscapes and improve quality of life. A new book from NRDC, Solving Sprawl, tells this heartening story.

For additional policy documents, see the NRDC Document Bank.

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Kaid Benfield's Blog

Kaid Benfield writes about development, community and the environment on Switchboard.

Kaid's Recent Posts

New guide from ASLA highlights urban green, literally, in Portland
posted by Kaid Benfield, 10/27/14
Compact and connected communities improve public health, says new research
posted by Kaid Benfield, 10/20/14
For smart growth, not all urban density is created equal
posted by Kaid Benfield, 10/6/14

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