“If there is to be an ecologically sound society, it will have to come from the grass roots up, not from the top down.” - Paul Hawken

Aquinas College

General Information

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Local First is a start-up nonprofit organization located in West Michigan whose mission is to support locally-owned businesses, farms, and community groups through a variety of initiatives focused on the Triple Bottom Line. They are working to create an educated population who knows they have a choice when spending their dollars. Check out the member directory to find local businesses dedicated to local sustainability!

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Photo by Dan Burden, courtesy of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

The links below are excellent resources for general introductory information on sustainable community design.

Links

Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU)

CNU is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works with architects, developers, planners, and others involved in the creation of cities and towns, teaching them how to implement the principles of New Urbanism. This is a great site to learn the basics of New Urbanism and sustainable community design.

Green Communities

The Green Communities organization strives to make affordable, green housing available nation-wide. The web site contains a variety of resources on the topic, including links, articles, model projects, events, and much more.

Local First

Local First is a start-up nonprofit organization located in West Michigan whose mission is to support locally-owned businesses, farms, and community groups through a variety of initiatives focused on the Triple Bottom Line. They are working to create an educated population who knows they have a choice when spending their dollars. Check out the member directory to find local businesses dedicated to local sustainability!

Local Government Commission (LGC)

The LGC is a nonprofit organization working to build livable communities. The site provides a detailed look into the various issues faced by communities working towards sustainability and offers resources to help manage these barriers.

Matter Network

Matter Network is a media complex dedicated to creating, collecting, and organizing news and information about the clean technology and sustainability revolutions. The site covers many topics, including energy, the environment, green buildings, green gadgets, investing, transportation, and urban planning.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

The NRDC uses law, science and the support of more than 1 million members and on-line activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. The site has a wide variety of information for both the beginner and the expert in this field. Of particular interest are two in-depth case studies on smart growth neighborhoods in Sacramento and Nashville.

Playbook for Green Buildings and Neighborhoods

The Playbook for Green Buildings and Neighborhoods provides strategies, tips, and tools that cities and counties can use to take immediate action on climate change through green building, green neighborhoods, and sustainable infrastructure.

Smart Communities Network

The Network is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy that examines the basic principles underlying a sustainable community. The Smart Communities Network site also has information on sustainability issues like green buildings, transportation, and case studies.

Urban Advantage

Urban Advantage helps cities, community groups, nonprofit organizations, developers, property owners, and transit agencies effectively communicate possibilities for smart growth. The site offers project examples with various pictures and links to additional information.

Walk Score

Walk Score “uses a patent-pending system to measure the walkability of an address,” in order to help people find a walkable place to live. This site provides a list of the most walkable neighborhoods in the United States and information on the benefits of living in a walkable city.

Walkable Communities, Inc.

Walkable Communities was established in the state of Florida in 1996 for the express purposes of helping whole communities become more walkable and pedestrian friendly. The site has photo gallery of livable communities, a section on resources, and links for more information.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo courtesy of Bigfoto
Site by CMC/GrandNet