The city now boasts a collection of LEED-certified buildings, and has een called the greenest rural town in America.
"That such visionary development is occurring in this sun-washed, wind-whipped agricultural community of 900 residents can be attributed to a single event: a monstrous tornado in May 2007 that killed 11 people.
In the weeks after, as federal and state officials assessed the damage and estimated the cost of rebuilding, business and civic leaders gathered with residents to come up with a reconstruction plan. The most important goal, city leaders said in interviews, was to build a sense of economic dynamism that would generate new businesses and jobs and persuade Greensburg's talented young people not to leave.
'We had the chance to start over,' Mr. Estes said. 'What do you do when you start with a clean slate? You want to build it better. Right?'"