Tuesday, February 24, 2009

NRDC dot Org.

Natural Resources Defence Council

This site is a treasure trove of well-reasoned, professionally written articles, arguments and ideas about sustainability, environmentally responsible living, green urban development, water resources managment, architecture - the topics list goes on and on - as does the roster of top-flight thinkers and career environmental activists who write and post here.

NRDC online description - posted at the website of the US Fish and Wildlife Service:
"An environmental activist organization endeavoring to use law, science, and the support of more than 1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things."

Tonight I was particularly taken by a blog post by Kaid Benfield, Washington DC's Smart Growth Program Director, on the subject of beauty viz a viz sustainable communities, architecture and historic preservation projects:

I was in a committee meeting about a month ago where a couple of us were pushing for greater recognition of historic preservation in our movement's advocacy for smart, green neighborhoods.

But we were unsuccessful. In fact, we were quickly silenced by the viewpoint that the application of a literalist definition of historic - "if it's old, it's historic" - by NIMBYs is actually preventing sustainable development, and the problem is only going to get worse as more mediocre buildings from the 1950s and 1960s pass the 50-year mark generally considered to define eligibility for landmark consideration.

Benfield affirms in this post beauty's "power to motivate" and he contends that architectural beauty "is not merely in the eye of the beholder" but rather is inherent in "the ability" certain buildings have "to be loved and valued by the everyman." In this context, Benfield links to green architect Steve Mouzon's Original Green website and the charming page dedicated to "Lovable Buildings."

NRDC.org is one of those rare resource, opinion and information sites you stumble on, start exploring, bookmark, return to (time and again), and eventually find yourself able to trace certain essential elements of your own progressive philosophy and consciousness directly back to that one foundational source.

Pay a visit. Let me know what you find.

UPDATE: Predicatably, NRDC is providing important, comprehensive information on LEED Certification for new construction and renovation projects. LEED (acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification was developed and is administered by the US Green Building Council and it is fast becoming the industry standard by which all building projects wishing to be verifiably and legitimately labled "Green" are evaluated.

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