Collaborating For Greener, Healthier Cities

<p>For 37 years, L.A.-based non-profit TreePeople has advocated an enlightened method of community and governmental engagement to create healthier urban ecosystems and built environments.</p>
May 29, 2007, 5am PDT | Josh Stephens
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"We built so much of the city from a single-purpose perspective without realizing that it resulted in an unending war against nature, instead of working with nature's energy and systems. In the frontier environment in which the city was built, we wasted vital resources like water, energy, nutrients, and biomass because there didn't appear to be any cost. But now coping with the results of that wasteful system design including: polluted stormwater, urban flooding, water shortages, air pollution, respiratory disease including several thousand premature deaths each year, are costing us literally billions of dollars each year."

"We can work as a community to set some voluntary but aggressive goals-for instance, we could all agree to have one or two car-free days per week. During the energy crisis and water shortages of the past we set targets and the community hit them. Los Angeles reduced its water usage by 30 percent and hasn't returned since. As a community, we can feather out many actions that will have a radical impact without too much sacrifice and lifestyle upheaval. We can immediately choose-without having to wait for infrastructure change and without having to wait for Washington, D.C.-to decide to do something that's going to take 30 years to take effect. I'm sure that the L.A. community can take action that will result in a 20 percent or greater reduction in greenhouse gases in a very short amount of time."

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Published on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 in The Planning Report
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