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Encouraging Communities to Go Green

March 4, 2009

Today Carol and I went to Georgia Tech for a lecture on Encouraging Communities to Go Green.  This is part of GA Tech’s Innovations in Economic Development Forum bringing together researchers, students, economic developers and policy-makers to discuss leading-edge ideas and practices in economic development and innovation policy.  Maia Davis, Principal Environmental Planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission was the presenter and her lecture was based on a new program the Commission has rolled out to certify local governments that are going green.  There is a points system and a certain number must be reached.  Once this level is reached there are two more levels that cities/counties can aspire to.  This program has just been rolled out and the first chance for certification is about to end.  They are expecting to hear from the City of Atlanta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Cobb County and maybe one more.  One of the cool things they were talking about that is yet to be completed in our area was Complete Streets, www.completestreets.org.  My first question was “what is complete streets”?  It’s totally cool though, the main theory being to take our busy car-jammed streets and make them multi-use and safe for all kinds of people.  A street that can accomodate people of all ages in cars, buses, on foot, on bikes, in wheelchairs and any other mode of transportation.  Check out their website, it’s full of good information on something that should be a focus here in Atlanta.  I think the closest example for us locally would be “Peachtree Boulevard” running north of Piedmont Road where the street is now tree lined and has much wider sidewalks.  As a result traffic moves smoother and you actually feel safe walking on the sidewalks. 

You can find more information about the Atlanta Regional Commission on their website www.AtlantaRegional.com and more on their mission to green up our communities at www.AtlantaRegional.com/greencommunites.  Also on this website you can find the application and checklist for becoming a green community.

The next lecture in this series at GA Tech will be on April 1st.  The topic is “Sustainable Manufacturing”.  We usually get there around 12pm for a brown bag lunch and the lecture starts at 12:30 and lasts about 90 minutes.  For more information, please don’t hesitate to email me at carsonmatthews@bellsouth.net or call 678-595-9286.

Carson Matthews – Associate Broker/EcoBroker – Keller Williams Peachtree Battle

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