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"Helping neighbors plan their own communities' future: a model for inclusive revitalization"

Kaid Benfield, an expert on community, development and the environment with the Natural Resources Defense Council, writes about how urban neighborhoods are the building blocks of sustainable cities in this essay for Switchboard, the NRDC blog.

"Unfortunately, nothing has been worse for the environmental, economic and social resilience of our cities in the last several decades than the decay and disinvestment of our inner-city neighborhoods and accompanying suburban sprawl," he writes.

"Strengthening our existing communities before building new ones is critical to environmental recovery," he continues. "But rebuilding our disinvested city places is not easy, and it can be especially challenging to do so with inclusion and with state-of-the-art green practices, bringing environmental benefits to long-neglected populations."

Benfield explains how the LEED for Neighborhood Development evaluation tool helps measure how "green" a community is. He also argues that LEED-ND is very useful for neighborhood planning, particularly because it values resident participation in the process. 

LISC has been a long-time partner with NRDC in using LEED-ND in a number of communities, and Benfield gives examples in Indianapolis, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Ithaca, N.Y. Planning for projects ranges from transit-oriented development to walkable streets.

Read the full post, here.

Posted in Physical Activity and Recreation, Planning

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