What Is Green Economic Development?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Green economic development is a term used to describe the effort to go about the process of developing the economic model for a city or town in a manner that takes into account the environmental needs of that community. In essence, this means creating a development strategy that allows the jurisdiction to prosper financially while also being mindful of environmental issues that affect the ecological balance in that area. The call for more attention to green economic development is found in many communities in which there is concern for minimizing contaminants in the air and the earth that could have dire circumstances for future generations, while also seeking to provide enough of an economic infrastructure to allow the community to enjoy jobs, comfortable housing, and reliable transportation options.

The exact form that green economic development will take varies from one community to the next. One of the more common approaches involves taking steps to reduce pollution. Here, both residents and companies operating within the area will employ different strategies to reduce emissions and protect the environment from harm. For example, residents may choose to purchase automobiles that are more energy efficient while companies will install equipment that helps to eliminate waste of raw materials and the release of contaminants into the air.


When the idea is to create a new community, green economic development often begins in the basic layout of that community. The arrangement of commercial and residential spaces may be planned with precision, allowing commuting between the two to be accomplished using a transit system rather than relying solely on individually owned vehicles. Bicycle lanes may be included along main thoroughfares and other side streets in the area, encouraging the use of bikes as a means of transportation. Communities may be planned in a manner that takes into account the natural flow of the terrain and also allows for the inclusion of parks and other areas in which natural settings are preserved.

With green economic development, the goal is to create a community that offers every amenity while still following an environmentally responsible model for business operations and residential use. Even long-established communities can utilize the concept of this sort of economic development to make changes over time that benefit those living and working in the area, while still reducing the footprint on the local ecology. Over time, these efforts pay off in the form of a sustainable community that is both ecologically and economically sound for not only the current generation but also for the generations to come.


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