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Sustainable Community Concept Takes Hold in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee

Oakland, Calif. -- The drive to create communities that balance environmental, economic and social responsibilities through planned development is growing as shown by projects in Texas, Georgia and Tennessee.

In Dallas, the Urban Re:Vision project and others convened a design charrette earlier this month as part of a campaign to create what organizers say will be the first fully sustainable, urban square block in the U.S.

The site targeted for redevelopment is a two-square-block area that Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert has called a "forgotten landscape" - an unused parking lot across the street from City Hall.

The charrette laid the groundwork for an international design competition, called Building Blocks Dallas, which launches next month. The goal: Devote one square block to green space and design the other square block as an eco-friendly, economically viable area serving the needs of the urban community around it.

In Georgia, the 1,000-acre community of Serenbe just celebrated its third holiday season. Located just outside Atlanta about 30 minutes from the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Serenbe is the first of three communities in Chattahoochee Hills, a 40,000-acre city with a preservation plan requiring that at least 70 percent of the acreage be kept as green space.

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