The Coalition for Smarter Growth became active in the DC area in 1997. Its mission is to ensure that transportation and development decisions accommodate growth while revitalizing communities, providing more housing and travel choices, and conserving our natural and historic areas. It is the only organization offering regional solutions to the interconnected challenges of housing, transportation, energy and the environment. CSG employs a comprehensive and collaborative approach, providing expertise and strategic advice to everyone in the community. Through grassroots and grasstops advocacy, we inspire communities to take action that improves their neighborhoods and the DC region.
Smart growth is a critical solution for climate change. Green buildings and hybrid cars are important pieces of a climate change solution, but they are not enough. Where and how we grow have a much larger impact on carbon emissions than the fuel-efficiency of our vehicles. Buildings and transportation account for 46 percent of our energy use and emissions. Our emissions will continue to increase to unsustainable levels unless we reduce driving by planning walkable communities. Putting new jobs, shops, schools and homes near transit is one of the most powerful ways local officials can address climate change.
Cool, producing fewer greenhouse gases, is cool! Mixed-use, walkable developments with a dense street grid and frequent transit significantly reduce vehicle trips, vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions compared to typical auto-oriented suburban development. There is great potential to reduce the carbon footprint of future growth while simultaneously improving access to jobs, increasing transportation choices and offering better housing opportunities for households throughout the region.
CSG’s Cool List. EYA’s Arts District project in Hyattsville, MD, is an urban infill project located on Route 1, two miles from the DC line. New restaurants, including Busboys & Poets and Tara Thai, shops, including Yes! Organic Market, a multi-plex cinema and a fitness center will serve the area and 550 new townhomes. With livework units and performance space, the developer, EYA, hopes to build on the city’s effort to cater to local artists and create a sense of community. Limited retail parking, small street blocks and sidewalks encourage residents to visit local retail by foot. With over 500 daily buses and a MARC rail station within walking distance, the community offers several transit options. The Prince George’s Plaza Metro station is one mile away and the West Hyattsville and College Park Metro stations are within two miles.
The Arts District project is estimated to reduce daily car trips by 1,409 and decrease driving by 14,941 miles each day. This translates to an annual reduction of 3,139 metric tons of CO2, a savings of 25 percent, which is equal to the electricity use of 408 homes for one year.
Now, that’s cool!
For more information on Cool Communites, click here.