Plan for Livable Communities

America’s homebuilders and homebuyers are making decisions today that will affect the quality of our lives for decades to come. New construction, whether of a single home or a large development, contributes to the state’s economic vitality and helps meet our pressing need for more housing. At the same time, every new home places additional demands on our supplies of land, water and energy, and on our infrastructure of roads, sewers and other services. 

Green building offers homebuilders, community leaders and residents sensible solutions that improve an individual home’s performance and provide broad based community benefits. These benefits range from cleaner air to reduced traffic congestion, from more appealing recreational opportunities to greater economic vitality. 

For local municipalities, green building can provide many economic benefits. Developments designed to reduce dependence on cars help ease traffic congestion, which can improve business productivity. Mixed-use developments encourage economic vitality and a diversified municipal tax base. Infill projects help revitalize older urban areas and allow public funds to be used for upgrading existing services such as schools, transit and sewers, rather than diverting limited funds to the development of new services.

Developments designed to cluster homes help preserve open space for recreation, views and natural habitats. Pedestrian and bicycle-friendly neighborhoods provide people with opportunities to exercise and get to know their neighbors. Higher density urban infill developments allow people to live closer to where they work, shop and go to school, which means less time spent driving and more time for family, community and personal activities. Clearly, green building cannot solve all the social, economic or environmental challenges facing America’s communities. Still, green building gives homebuilders a valuable set of strategies for meeting residents’ expectations for livable, healthy, sustainable communities.