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Mixed-use developments have become popular across the country, catering to a wide range of residents that value convenient living. “New Urbanism” has recently emerged as a trend among mixed-use developments that are taking specific sustainable approaches to make their properties more appealing to residents. Find out more about how sustainability has led to success for these types of developments.

New Urbanism focuses on providing residents the convenience of an “urban” lifestyle in any location. According to Newurbansim.org, a range in price between available units, walkability, connectivity, and sustainable building design all contribute to the success of this type of mixed-use development.

Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, Florida and One Loudin Place, located just outside of Washington D.C., are two mixed use developments that have been successful in focusing on new urbanism. Lakewood Ranch is already a thriving community to 15,000, but to further increase connectivity to other communities, officials are working to extend city public transportation routes to include the ranch. One Loudin Place is a proposed community that aims to integrate the local landscape and energy management strategies into the design. Both properties are being developed in close proximity to shopping centers, doctor’s offices, and school districts to increase walkability.

Mixed-use properties in Manahawkin, New Jersey and Bethesda, Maryland have also focused on new urbanism by integrating sustainability into their design.  Both properties include LEED certified buildings and many of the rooftops in Bethesda property will also be covered in grass. As residents continue to recognize that buildings built to a higher sustainability standard can actually result in utility cost savings, these types of mixed-use developments will likely become even more widespread.

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President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge is a program aimed at decreasing energy usage and costs for commercial buildings across the country. Along with many high profile companies, three major cities have recently made commitments to energy efficiency through this challenge. Will the energy initiatives taken by these cities affect your properties?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, some of the companies taking part in the initial Better Buildings Challenge include Best Buy, Transwestern, Green Sports Alliance, and USAA Real Estate Company. The cities of Los Angeles, Seattle, and Atlanta will also be launching energy audit and efficiency programs as a part of the challenge. The participating cities will provide data on their energy savings, share their efficiency strategies, and serve as models for other cities to save energy and reduce costs.

The Better Buildings Challenge is a part of President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative that was launched this February. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20 percent in the next ten years, while decreasing energy bills for these companies by about $40 billion a year. The initiative applies to commercial and municipal buildings, including offices, educational institutions, stores, and hospitals. The President is promoting participation through various tax incentives and financing offers.

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