If you have a couple minutes to spare, take a look at the clip above. Created for the Congress for New Urbanism, it’s a catchy short film linking suburban sprawl to global warming. It frames global warming as a result of the built environment, and encourages new urbanism (i.e. walkable development with a mix of uses that is close to transit and preserves more of the natural environment) as a way to create communities that are sustainable and built to last.
The video is quite well-done, and it got me thinking: the Washington region has a strong concentration of good examples of new urbanism (the examples of good development in the film look very familiar). Aside from the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor that has become the national example of good transit-oriented mixed-use development, we’ve got great places like Bethesda and Crystal City and Silver Spring that are continuing to attract new development. Recently, the region has seen high-quality walkable development in Shirlington and Rockville Town Square, among others. Our region definitely has more than its share of high-quality walkable, mixed-use development than any other metropolitan area I can think of (of course, the region also has a lot of crappy suburban sprawl, too). What do you think– is this type of development the answer to combating global warming?