Ten Key Ingredients of a Green and Healthy Community

Everyone has a different answer on what makes a great place, depending on how wonky you'd like to get. Kaid Benfield lists his top 10 ingredients for a healthy community.
September 18, 2017, 11am PDT | Hazel Borys
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The Quincy Market area of Boston.
©2014 by F. Kaid Benfield, used with permission

"If someone asks what a green community, or a healthy one, means to you, what comes to mind? I’m willing to bet that for most people it is the visible and tangible aspects: a lovely city park, perhaps, or mature street trees, or bicycle lanes on a city street. If you’re a bit more wonky, you might also think of access to healthy food, or to public transportation. If you work on these matters for a living, you might think of more technical matters such as where we get our energy, what happens to our waste, and whether neighborhood streets are designed in a pattern that facilitates walking to accomplish everyday errands."

"These aspects are important, and in a long environmental career I have worked on most of them. But I’ve also usually worked on them in piecemeal fashion, one at a time. I’ve lobbied for transit funding, for example; I’ve worked on green neighborhood revitalization; I’ve worked on how carbon emissions tend to vary from one regional location to another; and more."

People Habitat author Kaid Benfield shares how his transition from a national, nonprofit environmental group to the public sector has changed the way he talks about his top 10 facets of a healthy community.

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Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in PlaceMakers
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