Green building is becoming a reality

Guide to healthy, sustainable urban development: A view from Harlem

A community's sense of place is interwoven with its rich history and culture, its transportation patterns, and its facilities for health and recreation.

How well buildings respond to their human context is tremendously important to health and ecology at many scales. It is also increasingly important to the bottom line.

Steps taken to “green” a site can yield valuable benefits for developers, from early and strong community support, to substantial savings on energy, water and waste disposal costs.

Our New York projects show energy efficiency is achievable

Projects in and around New York City demonstrate affordable, green solutions. For instance, buildings have:

  • reduced energy use on average by 40 to 50 percent through efficiency improvements and cost-effective clean energy sources;
  • reduced water consumption up to 50 percent, and improved indoor air quality for occupants through high efficiency air filter systems that remove 85 percent of particulate matter.

Some developments have achieved these environmental milestones while also generating millions of dollars per year in energy-related cost savings, and, in the case of Harlem's first “green” condo at 1400 on Fifth, achieving quality housing that is on par with other affordable housing projects in the city.

This document, Green Renaissance — Guide to Healthy, Sustainable urban Development: A View from Harlem [PDF], shows how urban investment can spark environmental improvement, in large part by responding thoughtfully and creatively to local, regional and even global environmental conditions. Rooted in Harlem's experience, it uses that community as a context for illustrating how development can be part of the solution for health and environmental stewardship.

Download the report

PDF Green Renaissance Adobe Reader [PDF] (2.8 MB)