As the post-recession economy continues to plod along, those in the non-profit sector continue to face stiff funding competition. Organizations furthering the smart growth/new urbanism cause may find this to be particularly frustrating, as re-working how and where America builds has never been so important.
There are various ways to define building sustainability. A narrow perspective assumes that sustainable development simply means that buildings minimize energy consumption and climate change emissions, but a broader perspective recognizes that sustainability requires consideration of additional economic, social and other environmental impacts, such as lifecycle affordability, social equity, community integration, public health and safety, and land use impacts.
As managing editor of Planetizen, I'd like to make a quick note on today's op-ed, Resisting Dickensian Gloom by Tony Recsei. Mr Recsei asked for a chance to respond to a recent criticism of his work by Planetizen regular Michael Dudley. It is our policy at Planetizen to allow points of view that are critical of the status quo in urban planning, so I agreed to run the piece. I did ask Mr. Recsei to tone down some of the more personal attacks on smart growthers so that his points could be presented more clearly to our audience, and I believe he has done that.