It’s one thing for advocates and pundits like yours truly to advocate the greening of cities, towns and suburbs through environmentally responsible revitalization and land development.
But it’s quite another for local governments to develop and implement policy instruments that can make that goal easier, rather than harder, to achieve.
At best, fixing that involves specialized knowledge and the application of technical detail. And, make no mistake: in our country, it’s up the locals.
A lot of towns and cities now recognize that there is merit in going greener. They now want to encourage the kind of development that will help reduce pollution and consumption of resources while at the same time saving taxpayer money and providing beautiful, walkable, convenient neighborhoods that give people choices about how to live. But this is new territory for many jurisdictions that wish to follow good, 21st-century green practices but whose basic authorities governing how to plan and build neighborhoods haven’t changed for fifty years or more. A lucky few may be eligible for limited planning grant assistance, but most must rely on models, tools, templates, and good instincts to provide help...