Sustainable communities seek to grow in ways that expand economic opportunity, protect public health and the environment, and create and enhance the places that people love.
These resources can help North Carolina's rural and urban areas to plan effectively for future growth and lessen the environmental impacts of development:
Green Communities – USEPA Smart Strategies for a Sustainable Future
Smart Growth America is a coalition of national, state and local organizations working to improve the ways we plan and build the towns, cities and metro areas we call home. The coalition includes many of the best-known national organizations advocating on behalf of historic preservation, the environment, farmland and open space preservation, neighborhood revitalization and more.
The Low Impact Development Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Low Impact Development technology. Low Impact Development is a new, comprehensive land planning and engineering design approach with a goal of maintaining and enhancing the pre-development hydrologic regime of urban and developing watersheds.
N.C. Cooperative Extension / Watershed Education for Communities and Officials has developed resources to help citizens, developers and policy-makers have an informed discussion about the costs, benefits and trade-offs of LID in their community:
The U.S. Green Building Council is a non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation. Their programs include:
The North Carolina Green Building Technology Database will help you find projects in North Carolina that have implemented specific green building techniques, strategies, or technologies."Green building" is sometimes referred to as "high performance building" or "sustainable building." It means that energy, water and materials are used efficiently during the construction and lifetime of the structure; the health and productivity of occupants is supported; and the impact of the structure on the local and global environment is minimized. This database is a collection of case studies, but it is organized in such a way that you can identify projects by any of about 140 techniques, strategies, and technologies related to green building. You can also identify projects by location, building type or site condition.
Mountain Ridge and Steep Slope Protection Strategies
N.C. League of Municipalities Green Challenge