Sunday, April 09, 2006

Environmentally Conscious Megasuburb?

It sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn't it? While I'm not completely convinced at this point that the phrase "sustainable development" is appropriate for the Daybreak project in Utah, the first development of many planned by land owner Kennecott Utah Copper Corp., the company is certainly going into its first real estate development project with set of criteria that look quite different from traditional suburb projects. From ENN:
"Sustainable" development is a term McMahon and other Kennecott executives often use to describe their venture. Daybreak, for example, will contain all of its own runoff, using it for irrigation for native grasses and 40 species of trees, said Greg L. Rasmussen, an engineer and Kennecott's director of land development.

At Daybreak, every house will be within a five minute's walk of a park on 37 miles of interconnecting trails, some lined with channel streams. It will be just as easy to walk or bicycle to grocery and other shops and restaurants in the village core.

Kennecott banned the use of aluminum siding and fake cobblestone facades in favor of natural materials and insisted on rambling front porches for most houses.
Beyond these features, Kennecott is approaching the whole West Bench development (which they envision as a "string of communities along the base of a mountain range") in terms of the growth of the entire Salt Lake City region, and emphasizing the connection with the larger metropolitan area. My gut tells me this is still spawl with green features, but perhaps it's a start... Kennecot does promote its commitment to sustainable development on its homepage -- any experiences here?

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