June 25, 2013
by Kaid Benfield
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Urbanism without effort: sometimes the best places are created instinctively

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
In Urbanism Without Effort: Reconnecting with First Principles of the City my friend Chuck Wolfe posits that today’s city planners “underemphasize impo… Continue reading

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January 28, 2013
by Kaid Benfield
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Culture clash, or culture convergence? Rightist survivalism meets green urbanism

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
There is a very interesting and highly idealistic planned community in the works in northern Idaho.  It is contemplated for about 3,500-7,000 families on two … Continue reading

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November 26, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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Mitigating the environmental paradox of smart growth: softening urban density

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
To move more deliberately toward anything resembling a sustainable future, we need to use land more efficiently, building more compactly, with significantly higher… Continue reading

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May 3, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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Visualizing the "edible city" in three minutes

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
  
The American Society of Landscape Architects has produced another great video, this one about growing food in cities.  I’m a big fan of ASLA’s work, in p… Continue reading

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April 20, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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Turning abandoned and obsolete properties into "park-oriented development"

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
One of the problems I have with a lot of what passes for smart infill development – on the whole, a good thing – is that parks and green space are trea… Continue reading

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January 25, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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How a rain garden cleans industrial pollution

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
 
(Note: Today’s post was conceived and largely authored by my friend and frequent collaborator, Lee Epstein.  Lee is an attorney, land use planner, and s… Continue reading

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January 18, 2012
by Kaid Benfield
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More walkable urban development is good. But is it good enough?

Kaid Benfield, Director, Sustainable Communities, Washington, DC
Where would you rather be?  Here?
 
Or here?
 
Let’s try it again.  This time assume you are an environmentalist who understands that we need m… Continue reading

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March 16, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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How parks can help revitalize distressed neighborhoods

  
Long-disinvested communities frequently lack amenities, including walkable access to neighborhood parks.  Yet parks and neighborhoods need each other.  In his well-researched book Urban Green, my friend Peter Harnik of the Trust … Continue reading

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March 7, 2011
by Kaid Benfield
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Assembling the green facts to support preservation

   

“The reasons for preserving our existing building stock aren’t strictly cultural and sentimental; preservation should be understood as a land-use tool and as an economic tool that can be used to build denser, more attractive … Continue reading

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