Natural Home magazine recently announced their Ten Best Eco-Neighborhoods.
How did they come to these conclusions? Here is the criteria they used:
Our picks for the nation’s best green housing developments emphasize communities working toward sustainability by incorporating green building, energy efficiency and reuse of previously developed land. Several are enrolled in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) programs such as LEED for Neighborhoods (LEED-ND) or LEED for Homes.
Here is the list alphabetically by city, with the area/community in parentheses:
1. Austin, Texas (Mueller)
2. Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Greenbridge)
3. Denver, Colorade (Stapleton)
4. Grayslake, Illinois (Prairie Crossing)
5. Issaquah, Washington (Issaquah Highlands)
6. North Charleston, South Carolina (Navy Yard at Noisette)
7. Portland, Oregon (Helensview)
8. Salem, Oregon (Pringle Creek Community)
9. Seattle, Washington (High Point)
10. Staten Island, New York (Markham Gardens)
Here are some of the eco-friendly additions that earned these communities the mention:
- Rainwater runoff systems
- Grey-water systems
- On-site Zipcar (car-sharing program) fleet
- Area wetlands protection
- Within walking distance of public transit systems, schools, civic centers
- Native, chemical-free landscaping
- Recycled-content building materials
- Paints that emit few volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- All homes meet Built Green and Energy Star standards
- Reused old-growth cedar and fir
I am happy to live where we live (San Francisco Bay Area). But I’m also so excited to see areas within large cities that are making such all-encompassing eco-friendly communities. If we could have this where we are now (perhaps if I could help initiate?), our lives would be complete!
As it is, we’ll continue to learn about changes, such as Green neighborhoods, that are making such a big difference in their larger communities.
And we’ll continue learning about all of the things that we can do to Green our own home and neighborhood!