Monday, October 06, 2008

"Green" developers council?

Got an e-mail from developer David Smoots in response to the recent Citistates Report.

He proposes that developers, city officials and residents collaborate to find alternatives to sprawl.

He writes:

Our community must be prepared for a paradigm shift. It will require the collaboration of developers (I am one), city officials and citizenry to consider alternatives to the sprawling kind of development we’ve had in Charlotte for so long. In one recent national study, “Measuring the Market for Green Residential Development,” homebuyers admit we have to face the issue of environmental responsibility head-on. Nearly 38% strongly agree, and 41.2% somewhat agree, that “in order to protect the environment we will need big changes in the way we live.”

While New Urbanism has caught on over the past two decades, Charlotte should now prepare for the next step. One idea: Motivate the Urban Land Institute to implement a strategy among local members and push for the creation of a Sustainable Stewardship Council.

This council would work with citizenry, government and private entities on environmentally friendly development issues within our community. An involved SSC Council could help promote water strategies, energy strategies, transportation, health strategies, recycling and reuse of materials in rezoning, and permit-related activities. The upshot? Local real estate developers would become better community leaders.
Several things are notable about his suggestion. First, it sounds like a good idea. I mean, it couldn't possibly hurt and it might help educate developers. Second, it's further proof that at least some developers think (know?) that building "green" is a market niche that they can exploit. More and more customers are looking for "green."

Is there a role for city and state regulations? Should city standards and zoning rules be changed to make them more environmentally sound? Note, this might not mean ADDING regulations so much as changing the ones we already have.


Anonymous said...

"Local real estate developers would become better community leaders."

Say what? We non-developers need to become better community leaders. The last thing we need are the foxes in the hen house.

barkomomma said...

Quiet, sheep! Don't you know socialism is easier in crowded cities? It makes it easier for the few to exploit the masses when they're in a tight knot instead of spread out. Now, into the pen with you!

Anonymous said...

We should have people pay for the real costs of their large houses. The property tax rate should increase as homes get bigger. Owners of new homes and businesses should pay for all the costs of development.

Jumper said...

There should be a term for the exact OPPOSITE of green building. Mary should be judge, and give a prize for the best descriptive term.

Anonymous said...


Here are some terms along those lines:

EgoHome: A house that sprawls or rises far beyond the square-footage required to sustain the family contain therein, or far beyond the pale of settlement, causing the over-allocation of alternative dollars toward those who need help the least, while helping to sustain ecological and energy inefficiency.

OneOfUsIsm: The belief that mega-buck salaries and bonuses must be paid to those well-educated but lacking the common business sense necessary to avoid disrupting the nation’s entire economy. (See EgoHome).