Building a Better Future

Where we live and work can have a big effect on the environment. It influences how we use resources such as land, water, and energy; whether we walk, carpool, or ride mass transit to work; and even how we interact with each other.

Today, half of the world's population lives in cities. But in the U.S., sprawling suburbs dominate much of the landscape. Experts are encouraging a move toward "smart growth" communities that are designed to ease our environmental impact. Around the world, many builders and community planners are already adopting new strategies to create energy-efficient environments.