Benefits of Sustainable Development
Sustainable development addresses environmental stewardship issues, while also providing opportunities for economic growth and social responsibility. Incorporating sustainable development principles into ER3 projects allows for environmental, economic, and social benefits beyond what are usually achieved.
To receive consideration for Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) resources and incentives, an ER3 proposal can utilize the following sustainable development principles:
Buildings are an important part of our daily lives. Despite their importance, our built environment has negatively impacted the natural environment in many ways. In order to reduce these impacts, a concept known as green building is emerging.
Green buildings provide these benefits:
|Environmental||Reduce the impacts of our built environment in areas such as energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and use of environmentally-friendly materials.|
|Economic||Studies show that installing green building technologies can be cost-efficient in the long run|
|Social||Improving indoor environmental quality creates a healthier environment for the occupants of a building, which may help increase their productivity.|
|Visit EPA's Green Building website for additional information.|
Ecological enhancements are strategies designed to improve wildlife habitat for plants and animals. Ecological enhancements restore a site to a more natural, ecologically healthy state, which increases the value of the affected ecosystem as well as the neighboring built environment.
The benefits of ecological enhancements are:
|Environmental||Ecological controls can benefit the environment in numerous ways, such as serving as a filtration system in stormwater runoff or biodegrading environmental contaminants.|
|Economic||Remediation projects with ecological enhancements are resulting in significant cost-savings.|
|Social||Sustainable development using ecological enhancement serves communities by preserving green space and creating opportunities for environmental education.|
|Additional information on Ecological Enhancements is available from the Wildlife Habitat Council's website.|
ER3 recognizes that Smart Growth principles are essential for environmentally responsible growth and development. Smart Growth addresses, on a broad scale, how and where development should occur.
Smart Growth helps revitalize older suburbs and existing cities, thus preserving green space and offers these benefits:
|Environmental||Smart Growth strategies can improve air and water quality, facilitate redevelopment of contaminated properties, and preserve open space.|
|Economic||Smart Growth strategies can create jobs and expand the local tax base to create economically competitive communities.|
|Social||Smart Growth development creates healthy communities by creating a cleaner environment and builds stronger neighborhoods that create a greater sense of community.|
|More Smart Growth information is available from the Agency's Smart Growth website.|