Susan Piedmont-Palladino, professor, Washington Alexandria Architecture Center, and curator at the National Building Museum, Washington D.C., is narrator for an online video tour of the museum's current Green Community exhibition showing what makes a community green.

A green community conserves its land, offers multiple transportation options, provides open spaces, and uses natural and cultural resources wisely.

“While previous generations wouldn’t have used words like 'sustainable development' or 'green design', they knew that living in cooperation with nature was really a matter of survival, and it still is,” said Piedmont-Palladino.

View the video online.

On display through Oct. 25 2009, Green Community is the first major exhibition in the United States to explore the complex process of creating and sustaining healthy communities. It is divided into two sections. The first answers the question, "What kind of community is green?" and explores sustainable planning strategies such as cleaning up and redeveloping brownfields and grayfields, transit-oriented planning, smart use of natural resources, land conservation, and minimizing waste. Each area is illustrated by example communities in the United States and around the world.

One case in point is Greensburg, Kan. "Once devastated by destructive tornado winds, this community is rebuilding itself by harnessing the productive power of wind -- the very same element that destroyed it,” said Piedmont-Palladino.

Other communities featured in the exhibit are: Highlands' Garden Village, Denver, Colo.; Mendoza, Argentina; Hali'imaile Maui, Hawaii; and Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In all these communities, both large and small, citizens, political leaders, planning and design professionals, developers, and government agencies are working together for a more sustainable future.

The second part of the Green Community exhibition answers, "How can we make communities green?" and uses the natural elements of air, water, earth, and fire to illustrate the types of sustainable technologies used to improve the environment and the health of communities by harnessing wind for renewable energy, reclaiming poisoned land, controlling urban heat islands, and responsibly managing the world's water resources. These and other innovations are explored through multimedia interactive activities and unique objects designed to teach museum visitors of all ages.

The presenting sponsor for the Green Community is the American Planning Association. The lead sponsor is American Public Transportation Association and the official media partner is McGraw-Hill Construction. The National Building Museum's partner in sustainability is The Home Depot Foundation.

The museum is open to the public seven days a week. Find more museum info online. Admission is free.

IMAGE INFORMATION: © Anne McDonough, courtesy of the National Building Museum

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