Rebuilding as the "Town of the Future"

After Greensburg, Kansas was nearly flattened by a tornado in 2007, rebuilding the town has taken an environmentally conscious road.

"The town's John Deere dealership also used the opportunity created by the tornado to start over. Its new state-of-the-art facility uses recycled oil to heat and cool its floors, wind turbines to create electrical power and lights that don't require electricity.

'There's a tube that comes down from the roof and it is mirrored inside, so it actually collects the light,' said Mike Estes, a fourth-generation owner of the dealership. Estes learned so much about building green that he started a separate wind turbine business.

'We thought our farmer customers could really benefit from this,' he said. 'If they are saving money on their energy, they have ... disposable income that they can spend anywhere on their farm.'

The John Deere dealership will save money as well. It cost Estes a lot more up front to build this way, but he estimated his business will save about $25,000 a year in energy costs."

"'This town is definitely an example for the rest of the world. We have people from around the world coming out of their way to come to Greensburg,' he said. 'So it's a great place for people to come and have an emerging experience with what a town of the future looks like and feels like.'"

Full Story: After tornado, town rebuilds by going green


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.