Going Green in Levittown

In mid November 2007, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi announced a plan to turn Levittown into America's first green suburb.

The following coverage of this plan appeared in December 3rd Newsday.

The Levittown plan calls for various financial incentives to promote the use of attic insulation, energy-efficient windows and compact fluorescent light bulbs. It's an excellent first step. But is that what it means to be a green suburb? Is it just a few purchases at Home Depot?

Greening the suburbs is about recalibrating philosophy, technology and public policy so we champion interdependence rather than individualism. The suburbs were born out of an ideology of separation from the city, but the 21st century requires new regional and global partnerships.

Green suburbs will need a new generation of regional plans that are far more visionary than current offerings. The challenge is to reduce total energy consumption dramatically, yet create more enjoyable and healthier communities that reconnect us to nature. Green suburbs will be high-density, mixed use, walkable communities built close to public transportation. In a greener future, cars will be used sparingly - maybe even shared among neighbors instead of being privately owned. Food and energy will be produced locally. The green suburb won't be an assemblage of individual homesteaders; it will be a mixed-income, ecologically integrated community that promotes natural and cultural diversity.

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