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How do you think we can increase the environmental efficiency of Americas fastest growing community type?

In America, suburban sprawl is occuring at a rapid pace. While high density urban living and low density rural living are intrinsically more ecologically friendly, suburban life poses a whole new set of issues to deal with. What ideas do you have to "green up" the suburbs?

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  1. wait until the baby boomers are dead then we will be left wilth the largest housing surplus in history and none of us will be able to afford to live anyhoo
  2. this is difficult, because the suburbs by design are far away from where people work and shop. while the green expanses of lawn do prevent water runoff that a parking lot wouldn't, grass is still a monoculture that does little to benefit wildlife and much to pollute when it needs a shave. still there are ways... there are always ways... i like your term 'environmental efficiency'. to me that means how to allow ecosystems to coexist with people in suburbs. by replanting native trees cleared when the suburb was created (why must they always do that? never mind, i know the answer) homeowners can recreate a portion of the local ecosystem. if there were marshes before, create basins to simulate them. replicate nature. plant and manage small garden plots and fruit bearing trees, instead of large expanses of grass. not only will the wildlife be less affected by abrupt changes in the landscape, but the land values will be affected positively by these changes. design suburbs with adequate shopping and job opportunities, so residents won't have to spend 90 minutes in their cars every day. shade trees and parkways vs six lane 'boulevards'? mass transit opportunities? all bonuses when planning and constructing 'new' communities... and 'existing' rights of way and structures need not be affected, because there are few or none. suburbs offer opportunities for sound planning that are hard to implement in existing cities. if we look at them as chances to make fresh starts, they don't seem quite as scary environmentally.
  3. Good luck the majority of Americans don`t give a damn about Nature or the planet Judging by the majority of answers here its a common symptom in all Christian countries because (sixth answer down) http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AiZPY9VOLXfimawlComV1mfsy6IX?qid=20070627081822AAniEYV