|overview: promote sustainable development patterns|
|What is the relationship between development patterns and energy costs?|
As energy prices rise, there is growing interest both in how homes are constructed and where they are built relative to other amenities. People are wondering if new homes are energy-efficient and whether or not they are located near public transit or job centers. If new housing is located close to job centers and public transit then families can benefit by either reducing their car use or not having a car altogether.
In communities with single-use zoning, homes will likely be located much further from destinations and transit than homes in an area with mixed uses. Certain development patterns require automobile travel or offer few transportation alternatives. The congestion and greenhouse gas emissions associated with these land-use decisions have serious environmental implications.
Why should communities consider sustainable development patterns?
Improved coordination of land-use, transportation and housing policies can lead to more efficient development patterns. These improved patterns can help working families and individuals reduce their combined housing, energy and transportation cost burdens. This will free up those families' funds for food, health care, higher education, and other important objectives.
|Solutions in Action|
|Hawthorne EcoVillage Cluster|
A four-block area in North Minneapolis that has been greatly impacted by foreclosure is implementing a redevelopment vision for the area to create a new, welcoming and sustainable community. The Hawthorne EcoVillage is named for the partners' commitment to a community that is both ecologically friendly and economically affordable. The project includes new "green" homes designed to reflect the traditional neighborhood that will be sold to owner-occupants with incomes at less than 80 percent of the area median. It has enhanced park amenities, including a native tree nursery on a former vacant lot which provides jobs and training for green construction practices. The project includes a health impact assessment and is transit accessible.
The Northside Home Fund helps to coordinate activities of Hawthorne EcoVillage.
For more information contact:
Coordinating Consultant to the Northside Home Fund
|Go back to learn about other policies that support connected, livable communities|
To learn more about smart growth policies nationally visit the Smart Growth website