American Society of Civil Engineers

Creating Self-Sustaining Communities-Reducing the Burdens of Infrastructure, Congestion, and Carbon Emissions

by Timothy Haahs, P.E., F.ASCE, (Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc., 550 Township Line Road, Suite 100, Blue Bell, PA 19422. E-mail:
Section: Urban Sustainability, pp. 620-626, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: ICSDC 2011: Integrating Sustainability Practices in the Construction Industry
Abstract: As a global community, we face significant challenges related to reducing our environmental impact, taking a hard look at our development practices and identifying opportunities to reduce pollution, while revitalizing our communities to create safe, attractive and vibrant "people places". Moving forward we must critically consider how we plan, develop and construct not only our buildings, but also our neighborhoods and cities. Sustainability at the building level the first step, but it is merely one piece of the puzzle. Sustainability must start in planning at the community level, requiring a major paradigm shift, and an extension of our commitment to sustainable planning and design. This paper will provide an in-depth look at the model of "cellular" development, incorporating the principles of New Urbanism and sustainable design to create self-sustaining communities. This paper will also identify opportunities related to transit, parking and development to create more walkable, convenient and self-sustaining communities.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Sustainable development