Land use and transportation are co-dependent, and have a major influence on fossil fuel consumption, public infrastructure cost, and private transportation costs and options. A number of efforts are underway to help ensure that our built environment is sustainable in the long run.
On August 26, 2010, the City hosted a regional conference entitled “Green Infrastructure in the Southwest: Challenges and Opportunities.” The 200 attendees included local professionals in planning, engineering, and design as well as City Councilors, State Legislators, and Congressman Harry Teague. Participants learned about techniques and tools for managing stormwater in ways that more closely align with the natural hydrology and ecology, and in the process often improve water quality. Green Infrastructure can also have many ancillary benefits, including habitat provision, heat-island reduction, and more livable communities. A conference summary report is available for download (click here for standard resolution PDF, or here for high resolution PDF). Presentations may be viewed by using the links below.
The City is committed to green building in our new construction projects. The new City Hall and Convention Center are certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings. When the old Bank of the Rio Grande Building is refurbished and converted to the Museum of Nature and Science, it will be a LEED building as well. We would like to promote green building in the community as well, and are examining ways to expedite the review process for buildings or developments that utilize LEED, Build Green New Mexico, Energy Star, or other green certification programs.
There are a number of planning processes that are underway or in the implementation stage that strive to create sustainable built environments by encouraging greener transportation options, greener buildings, or less auto-dependent land use mixes. Use the links below to learn more about each: