Carmody on sustainable neighborhoods

Making changes in neighborhoods now, such as those envisioned by the University District Alliance Vision and Planning Committee, is key to facilitating future advanced sustainability. For example, "by 2030, it is expected that there will be 25 percent more residents in the district, 31 percent more households and 15 percent more jobs," writes Brittany Storoz in Finance and Commerce.

John Carmody (Center for Sustainable Building Research) tells Storoz "though the University District will continue to boast convenience as a powerful magnet for residents, a growing interest in protecting the environment will be another strong challenge when developing a sustainable neighborhood." Early last year the Minnesota Legislature passed guidelines requiring builders and developers to reach certain renewable energy and carbon emission elimination goals by 2030. Carmody maintains that while these guidelines will eventually become mandatory, they don't ensure that everything possible is being done to meet sustainability goals. "Just because we go do these checklists does not mean we're getting to the goals and the outcomes that we want to have," Carmody told Storoz. "They're a good start ... but it doesn't mean that we're going to really affect these other issues the way we would like to."

Carmody says these initiatives seemed radical three years ago but are already being globally realized.