Visions for Transforming America

President-elect Obama will take office next week vowing to fight climate change, tackle oil dependency and revive the U.S. economy. NRDC believes that smart growth and transit are a big part of the solution. As New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote recently, we can’t rebuild America without thinking about how we build our streets, cities and neighborhoods.

NRDC believes that this can be done in a way that not only is environmentally and socially sustainable but also can bring “America the Beautiful” to the communities where we live, work, and shop. And now, my colleagues on NRDC’s communications and smart growth staffs have created an exciting new web feature that shows how it can be done.

In particular, we have created a map of the United States featuring 70 locations across the country that are ripe for transformative change. Open the map, zoom in on a location and, without leaving our Web site, you will be shown a Google Maps satellite view of the existing site, given some context about the metro area, and be treated to a brief slide show demonstrating how each can be converted, step-by-step, from sprawl, vacant property or disinvestment into a lively, beautiful neighborhood.

For sample images and much more, please visit my NRDC blog today and let us know what you think.

Kaid Benfield is director for sustainable communities and smart growth at The Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. He has his own blog on land development and community issues and enjoys contributing here, too, since there is so much common ground.


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