Green Landscaping and Building Catches on in Cities

Here at Grist, our unflagging good humor is bulletproof, but we imagine less-medicated enviros need the occasional boost. The place to get one, strangely enough, might just be in the crowded urban area nearest you. Property owners large and small are starting to think green. Urban landscape architects are getting hep to “green roofs” covered in vegetation and gardens based on native plants and wild growth. Green office towers are sprouting up all over, like the Washington, D.C., office of the National Association of Realtors, which like many green buildings is certified by the Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The council has, as one consultant put it, “helped take [green building] out of the earthy, crunchy alternative image and brings it into the mainstream.” Meanwhile, private homeowners are finding that recycled building materials and eco-friendly techniques for insulation and air circulation save more money than they cost. Green, green, everywhere! And you were all gloomy.