Can Sustainable Design Mitigate The Effects Of Sprawl?

"Green Building" projects like the Charles River mall in Massachusetts hope to help preserve the environment, but some activists say it isn't enough to combat the effects of sprawling development.
November 27, 2001, 7am PST | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Michael and Barbara Faron always feel good after visiting the Bread & Circus grocery at the Charles River mall. The organic rice cakes, the free-range chicken, recycled paper and plastic - it's environmentally friendly shopping, they say. What they didn't know is that the mall buildings themselves are ecologically sensitive. Rainwater is collected from the rooftops and sent to an elaborate network of underground tanks that recharge the aquifer deep below the parking lot." The methods the developers used are increasingly common in Massachusetts as developers embrace the practice of "green building," also known as sustainable design." Yet, some critics cite that an environmentally conscious development on farmland near a beltway is still sprawl.

Thanks to Christian Peralta

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Published on Monday, November 26, 2001 in The Boston Globe
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