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Sustainable Hope and Help for Social, Environmental and Economic Recovery
January 2009


Terry Mock
Executive Director

While the politics of economic recovery continue, SLDI has offered the Obama Transition Team a proposal designed to make the process – and our future – more sustainable.

In D.C., a dozen real estate trade groups have asked Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to include them in a $200 billion lending program. Some of the country's biggest property developers are warning policy makers that thousands of office complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings are headed into defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies. By one estimate, $160 billion of commercial mortgages need to be refinanced next year, and lenders aren't offering the generous terms that were common in the past.

A delegation of senior staff from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), led by ULI Worldwide President Richard Rosan, met recently with members of the U.S. Department of Treasury transition team for President-elect Barack Obama to discuss how the incoming Administration should carefully consider how the federal government can spur innovative private-sector strategies aimed at sustainable growth.

Rosan emphasized to transition-team members the importance of land use as a critical element in determining the economic and environmental well-being of urban areas. The entire land use industry, including all related businesses, represents at least 25 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, he noted. “How and where land is developed has a direct, lasting impact on how much, or how little, the overall economy grows. Responsible land use can be a key tool to grow out of the recession and ensure long-term sustainability for America’s economy.”

Meanwhile, splattered across front pages of newspapers all over the country last week were reports that banks are refusing to account for how they've used public bailout dollars so far. Twenty-one banks that received at least $1 billion each were asked four simple questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings? What's the plan for the rest?

Not one bank gave a detailed answer. Apparently the banks - and maybe even the Treasury secretary - don't get the message: Transparency is not only the best policy, it's the only rational one.

Amid all the bad news and demands being placed on the US President-elect Obama transition team this holiday season, Sustainable Land Development International (SLDI) offers a reason to hope for the future by formally submitting its offer of assistance to help boost the team's economic recovery plan and policy agenda – and save the country billions in the process. In a transparent and public proposal to the Obama team, SLDI has offered a public-private partnership, its Sustainable Land Development Best Practices System, and the breadth of its research and collective knowledge to combat the country’s economic woes, enhance environmental stewardship and increase social responsibility - all at the same time.

Your participation and comments are welcome and encouraged. Please click here to review the proposal delivered to the Obama Transition Team and reply to me with your comments.

Happy New Year!

Terry Mock
Executive Director
Sustainable Land Development International

Sustainable Land Development International

Promoting land development worldwide that balances the needs of people, planet and profit - for today and future generations.

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  • 2008 SLDI Newsletter Archives:

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    In the January issue of Sustainable Land Development Today...

    In land development, height really does matter – and Intermap's precise 3D elevation maps ensure that your projects are done right. You can depend on Intermap’s accurate elevation maps to help make your business decisions, whether you're designing a new road or planning an entirely new community.


    Click here for more information about our 3D elevation maps.

    • Achieving Sustainable Land Development
      (November/December 2008) Working through the decision model toward achieving each of the goals in a comprehensive fashion right from the beginning of the project can result in a project which delivers maximum social, environmental, and economic value.
      Source: Sustainable Land Development Today
    • Sustainable Land Development – Building a Bridge to a New Global Culture
      (November/December 2008) A year-end look back at where the sustainable land development movement has come from, along with a new prediction of where we go from here.
      Source: Sustainable Land Development Today


    Headlines

    • Arena Design Includes 'Green' Features
      (December 16, 2008) Planners of the city's downtown arena want the project to meet the LEED standard but extra costs threatens building that is rare among sports venues.
      Source: Louisville Courier-Journal
    • Ancient Soil Technology Sequesters Carbon
      (December 17, 2008) Former inhabitants of the Amazon Basin enriched their fields with charred organic materials—biochar—and transformed one of the earth's most infertile soils into one of the most productive. Now, scientists, environmental groups and policymakers forging the next world climate agreement see biochar not only as an important tool for replenishing soils, but as a powerful tool for combating global warming.
      Source: Physorg.com
    • Cities May Sprout Vertical Farms
      (December 27, 2008) Dixon Despommier, a Columbia University professor of public health, sees putting crops into skyscrapers as a much more environmentally sustainable way to feed a hungry world.
      Source: Christian Science Monitor
    • Way of Life Slipping Away Along Chesapeake's Edge
      (December 28, 2008) The Chesapeake Bay is not tar-black and dead. It is not bright-green and toxic. It looks just as beautiful as ever, come a sunrise in Annapolis or a sunset over Tangier Sound. What the Chesapeake has become is emptier.
      Source: Washington Post
    • How a Local Firewood Cooperative Can Lower a Nation's Carbon Footprint
      (December 9, 2008) How can we stop the burning of forests as poor people burn firewood to make a living? Wood is also increasingly popular as a biomass fuel. So what’s the deal? Can we burn wood and not impact the environment?
      Source: Environmental News Network
    • New Program Makes Recycling Electronics Easy, Free
      (December 25, 2008) A new state-run program that lets people recycle their old, broken or unwanted computers, monitors or televisions free of charge is opening shop Jan. 1.
      Source: Beaverton Valley Times
    • Pedal Power to Light up Times Square New Year Sign
      (December 18, 2008) The ritual dropping of the ball in New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve, seen on television by millions around the world, is becoming a bit greener than in years past.
      Source: Reuters
    • New Greenroof Graces Department of the Interior building
      (December 17, 2008) Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today cut the ribbon opening a new green roof that has been planted on the third wing of the Main Interior Building in Washington.
      Source: NBC News
    • Environmentally Friendly Vessel Will Provide Commuter Service to Tiburon
      (December 13, 2008) The Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority and area politicians ushered in the first environmentally friendly ferry in its fleet.
      Source: Oakland Tribune
    • Cleaning the Air Helps Cool Planet
      (December 12, 2008) Local and state regulators have new ammunition in the fight to justify expensive air pollution rules: Cutting smog and soot has an immediate impact on climate change.
      Source: Daily Climate
    • Chicago's Plans to Go Green
      (November 28, 2008) Mayor Richard Daley has unveiled an aggressive plan to transform the old, gritty city. If he can pull it off, other cities might follow.
      Source: Scientific American
    • U.S. Sugar Approves Sale of 181,000 Acres to Florida
      (December 9, 2008) The board of directors of U.S. Sugar voted Monday to approve a $1.3-billion deal to sell 181,000 acres to the state for Everglades restoration.
      Source: St. Petersburg Times
    • Clean-Coal Proponents Dispute Television Ad
      (December 2008) The TV spot opens with a man saying he’s in a “state of the art” facility. He dons a hard hat, opens a door and shows the audience a barren landscape of sand and rocks.
      Source: Springdale State Journal-Register (Illinois)
    • Twelve Things to Improve the Planet in 2009
      (December 24, 2008) The "Twelve Days of Christmas'' start on Christmas and continue through Jan. 6. The following are 12 gifts to help make our planet more whole.
      Source: Gatehouse News Service

    Editor's Note: SLDI News Service may feature press releases submitted directly by organizations in SLDI's network. This content is not specifically endorsed or supported by SLDI and is not subject to SLDI's editorial process.

     

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