What Are The Negative Environmental Impacts Of Conventional Vs. Green Building?

What are the negative environmental impacts of conventional vs. green building? Suburbs are entire communities that are not sustainable. I think the design of communities is a huge impact of unsustainability,...

I think the design of communities is a huge impact of unsustainability, i.e., suburbs - very unsustainable, totally built around the automobile. No one who lives in the suburbs can walk any place. They have to get into their car to drive. It's very community-unfriendly. Other than kids being able to walk outside and meet their playmates in the street, that's about the only thing the suburbs have got going for them. Everyone has to drive. There's not even nearby shopping. There are very few suburbs where you can walk - or even bicycle - to an ice cream shop or to a store to buy a loaf of bread. Even if you could ride your bike to those places, it's often too dangerous because the roads are usually busy freeways. That's the most unsustainable element of contemporary building that has occurred. Almost no sustainable thought goes into the design of contemporary housing. In the past 10 or 15 years, some of that kind of thinking has started, but it's way too little, way too late.


But I've always maintained that suburbs could be retrofitted. And I think they should be. I think that houses should be bought up by an organization when they go up for sale. Then I think that organization should designate those houses as commercial properties and not necessarily rezoning. Let's talk about livability, not zones. There should at least be places within walking distance where you can buy everything you need to make sandwiches. No community should ever be more than a ten-minute walk from a place where the people can go buy what they need to sustain themselves, that way we don't have to get in the car to go to the grocery store. There should still be little mom and pop stores, but they've all been crushed by the corporations because they can't compete.


© High Speed Ventures 2011