New Beginnings – Sustainability “Where do we go from here?”

There is little question that the last 100 years of automobile oriented development has left our land fragmented, resource depleted and congested. What new mechanisms will take shape to deal with the complex issues of urban sprawl, an injured economy, dire automobile dependence, and weakened networks for pedestrians and bicyclists? As we enter the new era of smart growth, sustainability, complete streets, and unpaving the way to a new future – what new standards will emerge and shape development?

Today we face different challenges; our growing dependence on the automobile may have permanently disfigured the urban and ex-urban environment. Many facets of the built environment are left in disrepair due to the struggling economy, wounded housing market, and fiscally irresponsible governments. Many are demanding change and aiming to redefine the American Dream.

Yet, now we enter the new era of shaping development through the LEED rating systems such as LEED ND. If the efforts to curb the automobile have been unsuccessful, what are we doing wrong and where do we go from here? Will LEED ND, and other LEED systems, have what it takes to inspire sustainable, non-automobile dependent projects? In 2040, will we find a great success or another boondoggle?

Follow our feed as our exploration unfolds, examining sustainable concepts in building, land use and transportation.

-Jacquelyn Renée Schneider

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