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With Nature at Hidden Creek Eco-Village

Crabapple

This is Hidden Creek Eco-Village.  It's a little bit different kind of suburban development that attempts to reconcile the demands of single-family home buyers with the problems of sprawling housing developments.  First, Hidden Creek is full of communal features, such as neighborhood trails, car parks, front porches, central mailboxes, and shared streetscapes.  Plus the homes are densely sited to maintain open, natural spaces.  Second, Hidden Creek is surrounded by the natural environment: there's a nature preserve on the north, a creek on the south, and natural grasses and trees everywhere else.  To maintain the integrity of the site, homes were placed around existing trees and landscaping.  Third, all the homes have been custom-designed for each site to allow views of the surrounding landscape and nature. 

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Chicago Plans Gargantuan 1140 Acre LEED Neighborhood Development

Chicago LEED-ND Site - Click to Enlarge

Looks like Chicago city planners have big ideas for a 1140 acre swathe of land in South Chicago.  The spot is former U.S. Steel land, and planners have been mulling development options for the spot since about 2000.  Now, they'd like to submit a proposal for a green development with sustainable neighborhoods, green buildings, street cars, and bicycle paths, etc.  Officially referred to as the "South Chicago LEED Neighborhood Development Initiative," the plan would be rated by the USGBC's LEED-ND pilot program and would unravel over roughly 20-30 years. 

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Tonbo Meadow Community to Offer Modern, Green Living

Tonboaerial

Although Tonbo Meadow is situated on just 3 acres in Wilmington, North Carolina, this community has some big ideas.  With only 10 house lots, Tonbo has a lot to offer, including a one-acre preserved meadow, community recycling, composting, community gardens, drought tolerant landscaping, rainwater reclamation, rain gardens, a stormwater wetland, and tree protection / relocation plans. 

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Update: Revision Dallas Green Details

When we first published news that Dallas was planning the nation’s first sustainable city block, the exact location hadn’t been named.  In anticipation of the location, I guessed south downtown, and it turns out, hit the proverbial nail smack dab on the head.  The sustainable city block is right by the convention center and Dallas City Hall (designed by I.M. Pei and featured shortly in Terminator I believe).  It’s also in the general vicinity of another green project we featured previously called Buzz Lofts.  So the location is spot on and prime for some serious green innovation. 

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Inventor Creates Net-Zero Energy Island

North Dumpling Island

Dean Kamen is a well-known entrepreneur and inventor of various technologies, including the Segway, Project Slingshot, and a hybrid electrical car with a Stirling engine.  He’s also trying to establish an independent, net-zero energy island off the coast of Connecticut.  The three-acre private island is called North Dumpling, and if granted his wishes, it would have its own constitution, flag, and national anthem.  Kamen’s attempts at secession haven’t been successful yet, but that’s no surprise given the South wasn’t able to do it either.  He has found success installing LEDs and saving energy, though. 

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Dallas Planning Nation's First Fully Sustainable City Block

Re:Vision Dallas Design Charrette

What would it take to create a fully sustainable city block in downtown Dallas?  That’s the question and discussion that will begin this Friday, December 5, 2008, at Dallas City Hall.  The City of Dallas, in collaboration with Urban Re:Vision and Building Community Workshop, is hosting a Design Charrette to examine the framework and community impact of a sustainable, urban square block.  And by sustainable, the vision is to create a place that is healthy in social, economic, and environmental terms. 

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