Fayetteville, Arkansas, gets serious about green issues on a city level

While special-interest groups fight for access to national politicians and woo celebrity or wealthy contributors, there are focused environmental movements on a smaller scale that actually boast real-world accomplishments. Fayetteville, Arkansas, might be the model city other municipalities should study for some changes. The International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives says Fayetteville is a leader in the sustainability movement.

Mayor Dan Coody dedicated one-fourth of his State of the City address to environmental issues and achievements. One effort involves a pilot program for a hybrid garbage truck. The city is already a leader in recycling and use of high-efficiency traffic lights. Other efforts include converting to biofuels, designing green buildings and making it easier for citizens to walk by building a trails system.

Coody summed up some of his strategy this way: "We 'planned' our future based on a segregated-by-use, cars-only, sprawl-inducing zoning method where growth is the benchmark for success. Over the last six years we have changed our perspective to make livability our benchmark for success. We have begun to define and sculpt a much more inward, community-oriented future that blends complementary uses and compact design, which welcomes pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages."

[Source: Doug Begley / The Morning News]

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