Monday, October 26, 2009

Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition

When most people think about "green building", an image of a building or a house probably comes to mind first. But true green building also encompasses aspects of the surrounding environment, such as soil compaction of the site, how water is treated on-site or flows away from the site, and connection to the streets. Even considering the reflectivity of the sidewalks and how many trees provide shade can have an impact, and choosing a site within walking distance of amenities is also important. Many green building standards address this in some way, and the USGBC has even created a standard (LEED - Neighborhood Development) specific to addressing these issues beyond just the structures themselves.

The Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition is a statewide effort that is attempting to apply good design principles to streets in Minnesota, which ties directly into green building and sustainable community development. They are looking for more coalition members and supporters, and are having a comment period until November 9th on the draft report guidelines.

The goals of the Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition are:

1. Pass a strong statewide Complete Streets policy in 2010 that includes a concrete implementation process and accountability.

2. Work to ensure ongoing statewide implementation of Complete Streets designs across all jurisdictions.

If successful, the coalition could create streets and roadways in Minnesota that are "designed and operated to be safe and accessible for pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclist, and drivers - all users, regardless of age or ability" - which all contribute to the overall sustainability of our communities.

To find more information, go to or contact Ethan Fawley at 651-294-7141 and

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