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Green Community

October 23, 2008 - November 29, 2009

Media Resources

Green Community: Focus On

Green Community: Design Choices

Green Community: Press Materials

Green Community: Find Out More

Also of Interest

Related Media

  Intelligent Cities
May 1, 2012

  Sustainable Landscapes
April 9, 2012

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Sustainable Communities 

Green Community E-Cards 

The typical Prairie Crossing house combines a traditional appearance with exceptionally efficient green construction, using almost half the energy of a similar house in the Chicago area.
Courtesy of Prairie Holdings Corporation, Photo by Victoria Post Ranney

The health of our communities, our planet, and ourselves depend on how we plan, design, and construct the world between our buildings. Green Community explores the origins of our precarious ecological situation and introduces communities large and small where citizens, political leaders, planning and design professionals, developers, and government agencies are working together for a more sustainable future.  

What makes a community green? A green community conserves its land, offers multiple options for transportation, provides open space for recreation and cultivation, and uses its natural and cultural resources wisely. (Check out our article on this subject>>)

Green communities aren't a new idea. In fact, for most of human history, "green" wasn't something special--it was simply how people lived. We arranged our days around the rising and setting of the sun and our years around the seasons. Healthy land resulted in healthy crops, which resulted in healthy people. Living in cooperation with nature wasn't a matter of choice; it was a matter of survival. 

Previous generations may not have used terms like "sustainable development" or "smart growth" but they knew that healthy places had clean air, fresh water, fertile soil, and viable ways to move goods and people around.

As people invented new technologies, we changed how we live. Without the old constraints of nature, we can travel the world easily, use electricity to light up our nights and extend our days, and keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These conveniences, however, have had consequences for our personal health--and for the health of our civic spaces and our planet. It turns out that living in cooperation with nature is still a matter of survival. Humans, however, are still inventive and many communities are now investing in new technologies--as well as relooking at some old ideas--to create greener approaches to modern life. 

The National Building Museum is proud to announce that Green Community has won a 2009 MUSE Award for Interpretive Interactive Installations!

Green Community Book



Expand your knowledge of content from Green Community by purchasing a copy of this publication. Edited by National Building Museum curator, Susan-Piedmont Palladino and Timothy Mennel, APA Planners Press senior editor, this book features essays by planning, development, agricultural policy, and public health experts from around the world.
Buy now.


Plus, hear from the contributors to the Green Community book in the Green Community podcast series produced by the American Planning Association. 

Take a tour of the Green Community exhibition.

Exhibition curator Susan Piedmont-Palladino gives you an introductory tour of the Green Community exhibition in this online video. Watch the video.


   Home Depot logo

Sponsor Spotlight
The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to building affordable homes for working families that are healthy to live in and affordable to own.


Current Sponsors

(as of October 6, 2008):

Presenting Sponsor


American Planning Association


Lead Sponsor


American Public Transportation Association 

Major Sponsor



 The Nathan Cummings Foundation  Discovery Communications and Planet Green  Department of Energy







Davis Construction  RTKL  The Tower Companies  U.S. Green Building Council  Centers for Disease Control






American Society of Landscape Architects

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP

Donald A. Capoccia

CBC America

Flooring Solutions

Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

National Endowment for the Arts


Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP

Turner Construction Company,
  In Recognition of the Service of Turner's Green Building Advisory Board

  Christine Ervin, christine ervin/company

  Jerry Lea, Hines

  Vivian Loftnes, Carnegie Mellon University

  Paul von Paumgartten, Jonson Controls

  Rafael Pelli, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects






The Durst Organization



Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC

Nixon Peabody LLP



STUDIOS Architecture




BP Solar

Envision Design PLLC



Terrapin Bright Green


Sustainable Communities Lecture Series Sponsor


United Technologies


Official Media Partner


 McGraw-Hill Construction

Sustainability Partner

Home Depot logo