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Responsible development is vital to ensure our children and grandchildren have access to the same resources we do. With urban sustainability, the best of America’s great hometown traditions are brought together with all the conveniences of today and tomorrow.

Sustainability at the outset may seem like an impossible feat that involves a lot of hard work and dedication. But that’s not the case. Sustainability can be both affordable, and effortless. Sustainable practices allow families to benefit from the most advanced technologies, then walk out their doors to reconnect with nature and neighbors.

How can we make a future out of sustainable living? We have compiled a list of characteristics you can look for in a sustainable city. Many of the sustainable practices require next to no effort on your part, other than a commitment to live in a city committed to these practices!

overhead view of Founder's Square and Woodlea Hall

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Redesigned Urban Planning

sunset by a small dock

Most towns aren’t created, they just happen. However, the planning of your city should be purposeful. When you look around, you should see sustainability from the streets you walk to the businesses you frequent, all the way into the home you live in.

You won’t see an urban planner who has a passion for sustainability rushing to drain swamps, move sand halfway across the country to put in a nearby beach, or convert forests into strip malls. Sustainable cities are built in areas they are already well suited for. For example, previously impact pastures or farm or rock-mined land won’t require much flattening or tree removal.

Urban areas should have sustainable and technology-focused travel routes. Roads should be made to handle changing technology, accommodating eco-friendly and driverless cars. Roads ought to be designed to minimize the impact on wildlife, especially at night.

Pathways should be lined with native landscaping, proving micro-climates with tree-lined streets and shaded structures. Biking lanes should be readily available on any road. Sidewalks should be wide and lead to winding trails and paths to various destinations, both in and out of the city.

A priority for developers and urban planners should be reserving land for green spaces, such as parks and trails. Space should also be reserved for alternative energy, like solar and wind farms.

At night, the city’s only gleaming lights should be from the stars. Steps to reduce light pollution and control where the light goes, such as street lamp shields and low-intensity lighting, can make your city feel like you are out on a remote camping trip!

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Sustainable Homes

The homes within your urban city should also be sustainable. Home developers should be as committed to sustainability as you are and ensure homes are constructed with local material and free of harmful chemicals. Energy efficiency and water conservation should be at the forefront of your builder’s mind. In the yard, landscapers should focus on planting native trees and shrubs instead of turf.

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Incorporating Green Space

Sustainability encourages connection to the environment and a great way to connect to the environment is through usable green space! A sustainable city should devote chunks of land to green space and restoration.

Hiking and biking trail systems can help residents feel connected to the outdoors as well as their neighborhood shopping, schools, and services.

Giving residents access to gardening and embracing the farm-to-table movement in city restaurants is a great way to support sustainable living! Community gardens are a great way to feed your soul with positive social interactions and feed your belly with organic and healthy food!

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Embracing Renewable Energy

A big step in sustainable living is working to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Poor air quality contributes to many diseases and illnesses and greenhouse gas emissions warm our climate. However, renewable energy can help us become carbon neutral. One way we can implement these sustainable practices and better our environmental impact is through solar energy:

  • Solar trees combine technology, functionality, and art (and can even serve as charging stations for your cell phone!)
  • Solar panels can be installed on the roofs of commercial and residential buildings
  • Solar fields can provide power to entire towns
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Recycling

Green cities reuse and recycle. Your neighborhood should have the following recycling options:

  • Newspaper
  • Junk Mail
  • Magazines
  • Telephone directories
  • Cardboard (no pizza boxes)
  • Plastic containers codes 1 through 7 only (caps removed)
  • Milk/Juice cartons (no liquids)
  • Steel cans
  • Clear, brown, and green glass
  • Aluminum cans

Another thing you may be able to recycle is rainwater! Your irrigation can be reclaimed water from storms and rain showers.

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Reinventing Transportation

a woman in black running gear runs on a trail alongside the red babcock ranch welcome bridge

Another way to reduce our carbon footprint and carbon emissions is through more sustainable transportation! Electric vehicles are starting to become more commonplace for private use and also public transportation.

An advanced public and private transportation system should be a focal point of any sustainable city. Shared, driverless, electric vehicles can become the backbone for moving people and goods and the need for a second vehicle should become obsolete.

Sustainable cities can help make this a reality by creating enticing walking and biking paths, limiting parking space to incentivize other modes of transportation, and encouraging the use of electric vehicles when driving is a necessary tool.

Most towns and cities are not yet focused on sustainability and building a new town from the ground up is no small feat. It takes collaboration, creativity, and an intense focus on details. But that’s what Babcock Ranch is committed to. To learn more about our commitment to sustainability and for information on the homes we currently have for sale in our sustainable town, call (941) 200-1494.