The Rest of the Sustainability Story by Rypkema

Donovan Rypkema, principal of PlaceEconomics, offers his perspective on sustainability in the May/June 2010 issue of Planning magazine.  His is a valuable perspective that emphasizes the importance of broadening typical sustainability initiatives to include a critical component that is often overlooked: historic preservation. 

But consider what happens when we diligently recycle our soft drink cans while acquiescing in the destruction of older, still usable structures.  Razing a two-story mansion building wipes out the environmental benefit of recycling almost 1.5 million aluminum cans.  And that equation doesn't even consider the loss of embodied energy in the building and its components.