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Virginia is Top Seed in Green Building

green building in Virginia

With March Madness kicking off, I thought it would be fitting to recognize one of the top seeds in green building. Virginia was first in the nation for green building in 2012.[read more]

Top 10 States for LEED Green Buildings

Today, USGBC released its top 10 list of states with the most LEED-certified building square footage per capita. The District of Columbia leads the nation, with more than 31 square feet of LEED-certified space per person in 2011, and Colorado is the leading state, with 2.74 square feet per person in 2011.[read more]

Animating Streets With Music

October 10, 2011 by Kaid Benfield
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  This past Friday evening, I had a delightful encounter, the kind that is likely to occur only in a great urban neighborhood:  I came across some extraordinary street music, in which I even participated briefly. We had been having dinner, our table by the sidewalk in one of our area’s (and the country’s) best historic...[read more]

How might rail shape Charlottesville?

May 22, 2010 by Daniel Nairn

When Amtrak introduced new rail service between Washington DC and Lynchburg last fall, they hoped to meet an annual ridership projection of 51,000. Virginia DRPT was ready to start investing in intercity passenger rail, and this was the initial pilot project. Supporters were hopeful, but the less than ideal schedule for the daily train...[read more]

NYT big idea: Ban cul-de-sacs

December 14, 2009 by John Michlig

Sunday's New York Times Magazine ran its ninth annual "Year in Ideas" feature. One of the "idea" entries closely echos my blog entry of December 9th. To the French linguists out there: Note that the Paper of Record uses the vernacular "cul-de-sacs" rather than the correct - but clumsy - "culs-de-sac": The Cul-de-Sac Ban Nothing...[read more]

Taming the big box: Lynchburg takes a step

October 1, 2009 by Kaid Benfield

Lynchburg, Virginia last week became the latest jurisdiction to impose standards on big-box retailers. While the new standards do not preclude new Walmarts, Costcos and such from locating in the city, they do require that the stores be more pedestrian-, transit- and environment-friendly. This is a significant step in the right direction...[read more]

Great Place for a Bike Box

September 1, 2009 by Daniel Nairn
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Probably the most important bottleneck in Charlottesville for cyclists is the intersection between McIntire Rd. and West Main St. This point is the gateway to downtown from the west and a critical transportation link between the University of Virginia and the downtown mall. 45% of cycling accidents happen at intersections, and high-...[read more]

LEED from the Top

August 25, 2009 by Rich Cartlidge

In the world of politics it is very rare to see a politician who not only understands environmental issues but then also follows through and leads by example. Governor Timothy Kaine of Virginia is one of those rare individuals who is not just full of hot air but rather follows through on his pledges, leads by example and then seeks to...[read more]

Stormwater Management should work with, not against, Smart Growth

July 7, 2009 by Daniel Nairn

Raining downtown, and that's just fine. flickr:bobtravisVirginia is in the process of updating statewide Stormwater Regulations. A draft has been written, and it's open for public comment until August 21, 2009. Some people are concerned that the stricter caps on nutrient loads, as they are currently written, will promote low-density...[read more]

Following the transportation dollars

June 29, 2009 by Daniel Nairn

If you lend your friend five dollars, it may not be worth your effort keeping tabs on it. But if you dole out $26.6 Billion for transportation infrastructure and job stimulus, it's probably a good idea to make sure it's actually doing what it's supposed to do. This is especially true after the media cycle has moved on. If you're an...[read more]

Crowdsourcing an urban creative center

June 25, 2009 by Neil Takemoto

We often ask creatives, ‘what’s missing in your city or town that you would crowdsource?‘ Well, I think a lot more of them would be inspired by the following… The folks in Arlington County, Virginia are not only looking to sponsor a $10 million, 55,000 s.f. urban creative center in one of their key downtown areas (Rosslyn), they’re...[read more]

Building Speculatively

June 9, 2009 by Ryan Avent

So, I knocked two Virginia legislators yesterday for working to push ahead construction of extensions to Metro spokes while ignoring the need for greater core capacity. That should not be interpreted as a blanket opposition to suburban transit construction. Rather, it’s important to try and plan transit construction taking into account:...[read more]