In his recent book, Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World, HRH The Prince of Wales presents an eloquent and impassioned call for a Sustainability Revolution. As president of the Foundation for the Built Environment, the Prince emphasizes the importance of a holistic vision for designing and planning sustainable, livable cities that foster community capital. The book shows how all the areas the Prince has addressed in the past – architecture and planning, agriculture, education, the arts, healthcare, society and economy – have suffered as a result of our disconnect from Nature. Through outstanding examples and best practices, he shows how each field is beginning to heal through the exemplary work of individuals and groups around the globe. Prince Charles urges us all to work collaboratively, creatively and with urgency that we might “tread more lightly upon this Earth, the miracle of creation that it is our privilege to call ‘home.’

The principles of True Urbanism are a key piece of planning for livable communities. While these characteristics are ideal for all ages, they are essential for the health and well-being of aging populations. On his blog, Phil’s Adventures in Elderburbia, Phil Stafford discusses the way that policy, planning, and design can impact aging generations. As the director of the Center on Aging and Community, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University, Stafford has a unique perspective on what makes communities livable for all ages.

The principles of livable communities and True Urbanism include an emphasis on mixed use, walkability, accessibility, and community open space. They are benefits and quality-of-life conveniences for all ages but they are essential to the health and well-being of elderly populations. In his blog "Phil's Adventures in Elderburbia," Phil Stafford explores the challenges and solutions to addressing the needs of an aging population.

Despite the (likely underestimated) price tag, concerns over budget shortfalls, and the emphasis on public transit, high-speed rail is receiving bipartisan support in Congress and at the state level. At a time when gas prices are set to reach $5 per gallon, you’d hope that common sense and the desire for energy independence would make support for high-speed rail a sure thing—a nonpartisan issue...

The average American meal travels roughly 1,500 miles from farm to table. That may be changing for many urban areas where local food initiatives and community garden programs are gaining support at even the municipal level. However, thousands of mostly low-income communities across the country remain “food deserts,” or neighborhoods and communities where there is little or no access to fresh, healthy foods—including grocery stores.

In recent years, bike lanes have become an essential part of sustainable transit systems. They’ve made it safer and easier for cars, cyclists, and pedestrians to share the road. Well, a new development in the Netherlands will take the advantages a step further by installing solar panels on the bike lanes themselves. Is this a practical idea, an interesting yet not feasible design, or a complete waste of time?

Or two steps back? Since Henry Ford rolled out his first Model T more than a century ago, cars have not only influenced the economic and social fabric of America but have influenced the way we build our neighborhoods and cities. In recent years, however, concerns about climate change, energy independence, and peak oil have given us pause. We’ve begun to amend urban transportation systems with public transit and alternative transit infrastructure (including hybrid car priority parking, designated bike lanes, and pedestrian corridors) and it looks like those trends will continue. But in most cities throughout the nation, the car still reigns supreme.

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