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September 22, 2009

Coastal and Waterfront Smart Growth

As I've written before, Smart Growth and Sustainable Urbanism provide us with tools to protect our water and other natural resources, reduce our carbon footprint, and grow our communities in such ways that promote liveability, local economies, and strong community ties. Another often overlooked fact is that city-dwellers typically emit much less carbon dioxide (as measured through home heating/cooling, electricity use, and transportation) than suburban dwellers. Transportation makes up a big part of this, of course.

Now, those of us living in coastal areas have a new tool to use: the Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities, website at: http://coastalsmartgrowth.noaa.gov/ with a new report, list of available tools and resources, and case studies. Coastal communities are unique in the value and importance of the waterfront, and must balance protecting the resource's natural values, while capitalizing on the value for tourism, industry, recreation, and other uses. This website should give us some help along the shore to balance all these needs, and create thriving, sustainable communities on Lake Superior's coast.

I've heard great things about one of the tools listed, the Coastal Community Planning and Development workshop, offered by NOAA's Coastal Services Center, and I'm looking to host this training during the first 1/2 of 2010. If you're interested, drop me a note.