Kaid Benfield

Kaid Benfield is the Director of Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth, at the Natural Resources Defense Council. He is the co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and the Smart Growth America coalition; and author of Once There Were Greenfields (NRDC 1999), Solving Sprawl (Island Press 2001), Smart Growth In a Changing World (APA Planners Press 2007), Green Community (APA Planners Press 2009). He was voted one of the "top urban thinkers" in 2009 poll on Planetizen.com and named one of "the most influential people in sustainable planning and development" in 2010 by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Cities safer than ever, and the more diverse the better

New data shows that, contrary to popular belief, crime is falling faster in urban areas, and diverse and immigrant populations are a key factor.

A closer look at Siemens' green cities rankings

Attempts to measure, score, or rank things for greenness aren't perfect or foolproof, but they do get us talking about what's important.

Car costs may make it harder to save

Keeping money in the bank isn't easy when you're sinking dollars into your four wheels.

Five provocative ways to think about cities and neighborhoods

Want to be more mindful of your city? Here are some great suggestions on how to make that happen.

Which part of Detroit really needs to be ‘right-sized’?

Photo: Trey CampbellCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. At the bottom of this post are two short videos about Detroit, both featuring architect and planner Mark Nickita, principal of the city’s Archive Design Studio and a lifelong Detroit resident. In …

A Seattle development that is greener than green

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Leave it to a city famous for coffee and rain to produce possibly the best example of transit-oriented urbanism, natural public space, and green stormwater infrastructure I have ever seen. This Seattle redevelopment …

How smart growth reduces emissions

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Rob Steuteville has posted a terrific analysis on the New Urban Network rebutting the claim by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) that “the existing body of research demonstrates no clear link between …

Suburban corporate campuses are going out of fashion

Is the corporate suburban stampede finally reversing? Photo: KevinCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. In the late 1990s, when Don Chen, Matt Raimi, and I were researching our book, Once There Were Greenfields, we lamented the flight of business …

The man who thinks Manhattan isn’t dense enough

New York City may not be the best example of a place that hasn’t lived up to its potential for greater density.Photo: Randy von LiskiCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. New York County, which comprises all of Manhattan, is …