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Growing Where We Live

February 8, 2013: 

Urban Agriculture Takes Root across the Country


From new urbanist developments featuring farms and community gardens to urban farms and community gardens tucked away in vacant lots, parks, school yards and rooftops, the concept of growing food where you live is taking root all across America.

The growth of agricultural urbanism, one of several names for new communities featuring farms and food gardens, has prompted Ed McMahon, senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute, to declare that “agriculture is the new golf.”

A LEEDing Community

February 8, 2013: 

By Steve Wright

New rating systems for green neighborhoods is inaugurated


In a short decade, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has become the standard for measuring the sustainability of a building.

With everyday people fighting soaring energy costs and striving to spend their dollars efficiently in a bad economy, LEED has gone from an obscure movement to a clear concept in the vocabulary of mom and pop consumers.

Malls Get Makeovers into Mixed-Use Hubs

February 8, 2013: 

Forward-thinking developers are transforming tired, old malls into revitalized mixed-use centers of community activity


Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a growing number of aging and obsolete shopping malls are being transformed into vibrant, walkable mixed-use communities, creating more-profitable retailers and developers, property-tax-flush governments, and more content and less harried residents and workers.

A New Kind of Zoning

February 8, 2013: 

Communities of all sizes are adopting form-based codes


Hurricane Katrina nearly blasted Pass Christian, Miss., off the map. The brutal storm leveled three out of every four buildings in the small Gulf Coast community. The historic downtown was hit especially hard. Just a handful of buildings survived.

“It was pretty horrific,” said Jeffrey Bounds, city planner.

Sustainable Partnership

February 8, 2013: 

By Gary Fineout

DOT, HUD and EPA form a new, unique relationship under the Livable Communities Initiative


It may be just a fledging partnership, but a unique arrangement among three federal agencies could set the stage for a concentrated focus on creating sustainable communities that aim to improve the environment, provide access to affordable housing and offer residents low-cost transportation.

Selling Green

February 8, 2013: 

By Judy Newman

MLS listings are emphasizing the eco-friendliness of homes.


When potential buyers are considering a home or condominium, more and more of them are no longer just looking to see how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has or if the kitchen is equipped with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

Some also want to know if the refrigerator has an Energy Star designation, if the toilets are low-flow or how energy efficient the windows are.