FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2016
Chery Cort, Coalition for Smarter Growth
GreenPlace program launches to show transportation benefits of new transit-oriented development
WASHINGTON DC – Today, the Coalition for Smarter Growth announced the launch of a new program to help decision-makers and consumers understand the positive impacts of living in new transit-oriented housing in the DC region.
The program, called GreenPlace, has already evaluated five District of Columbia projects during its pilot phase: 90-91 Blagden Alley, 15 Dupont Circle, 680 Rhode Island Avenue NE, 327 Cedar Street NW, and 1005 North Capitol Street NE. The project team hopes to evaluate more projects as soon as this November, according to Cheryl Cort, Policy Director at the Coalition for Smarter Growth.
GreenPlace offers people better information about the potential impact of new housing – encouraging locations, designs, and traffic reduction measures to reduce increase walking, bicycling and riding transit, and reduce traffic and pollution.
Through its certification process, GreenPlace provides people with objective, systematic evaluations of residential developments that significantly outperform regional averages in terms of:
- CO2 emissions (the leading cause of climate change)
- Traffic (vehicle-miles traveled)
- Active transportation alternatives (encouraging walking, bicycling and transit use)
- Health benefits to residents.
Households living in a GreenPlace-certified home drive only 56-67% of the regional average for daily driving (45 miles/day).
“Our region is growing. The question is how to create more homes in the right place and protect our environment,” said Cort. “GreenPlace helps answer this question by objectively assessing how much new residents will drive and how much C02 will be emitted from a new housing development. We measure the environmental performance of this new housing versus the region’s average.”
Along with community members and developers, decision-makers benefit from GreenPlace’s objective assessment. Public officials such Planning and Zoning Commissioners, Board of Zoning Adjustment members, City Council and County Board members, and other public officials need better tools for objectively evaluating the traffic and pollution reduction potential of more housing in transit-accessible locations. GreenPlace’s use of a validated land use and transportation model gives these decision-makers greater confidence in the benefits of approving more housing near transit, with the right features, making our communities and region more sustainable.
“This certification program empowers decision-makers and communities with a tool to objectively evaluate new housing. It helps assess if it’s in the right place and offering the right kinds of benefits to reduce traffic and pollution, and build a more sustainable and walkable community,” concluded Cort.
A full report detailing the methodology used to develop the program, as well as consumer-friendly one-page summaries of several pilot certifications, and information certification opportunities are available on the program’s website, smartergrowth.net/greenplace.
About the Coalition for Smarter Growth
The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington DC region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Its mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies and investments needed to make those communities flourish. Learn more at smartergrowth.net.