Thursday, July 31, 2008

Salkin on Smart Growth

Patricia Salkin (Albany) has posted Smart Growth and the Greening of Comprehensive Plans and Land Use Regulations on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

Global warming, climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the carbon footprint, and going green are just some of the buzz words in the news over the last two years that have captured the attention of lawmakers and policymakers at all levels of government. In Congress, lawmakers have proposed, among other things, mandating standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and governors across the country have announced myriad programs designed to encourage the use by governments of green products, the construction of green buildings, and the offering of a combination of tax incentives and grants for private developers and other members of the public who develop and install various renewable energy products. However, It is initiatives at the local government level that have the greatest potential for most quickly and most efficiently slowing the pace of global warming. This is because local governments are the critical decision-makers in how communities use and conserve key resources. Municipalities serious about curbing emissions as well as energy and water usage within their communities, to both combat global warming and to preserve the immediate environment, have found many successful ways to implement plans that reduce the strain on environmental resources. Local governments have begun to incorporate principles and goals of sustainability and carbon reduction into comprehensive land use plans. This paper begins to examine the elements of a "green audit" for local comprehensive plans and land use regulations.

Ben Barros

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Interesting article. Regrettably, this "new mindset" that municipalities are adopting or encouraged to adopt, is something that really could and should have been adopted long ago, completely independent of the recognition of "climate change."

I would hesitate to go along with the solar panel installation at the municipal scale. One thing noticeably absent from the list of suggestions is the obvious: have government offices TURN OFF THEIR COMPUTERS at the end of the day. The aggregate waste of electricity arising from unused computers is disgusting...that and the amount of juice devoted to excess blogging!

Posted by: Sam Gompers | Jul 31, 2008 10:15:41 AM

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