The annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference is wrapping up today in Washington, DC. Coordinated by the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, the multi-day conference shares ideas and strategies for building a green economy that creates good jobs and preserves America’s economic and environmental security. It brought together a diverse group of agencies and organizations to tackle questions about revitalizing our economy, replacing jobs lost in the “great recession” and building the infrastructure needed to keep America competitive in the 21st century.
Smart growth strategies are a key part of all these goals, and yesterday’s morning plenary at the conference was dedicated to just that. U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-MN), Amalgamated Transit Union International President Lawrence Hanley, Kaiser Permanente Vice President of Workplace Safety and Environmental Stewardship Kathy Gerwig and American Institute of Architects President Clark Manus spoke on a panel about Sustainable Communities, moderated by Kojo Nnamdi, host of WAMU’s “The Kojo Nnamdi Show.”
Congressman Keith Ellison discussed how sustainable communities have the ability to increase independence, maximize efficiency and encourage innovation. Clark Manus, President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), detailed how AIA is “working with communities on more than just buildings,” and emphasized the possible depth of what “more sustainable, more responsible communities” can offer their residents – from increased access to transportation options to a stronger economy.