Clip File: Wrecked town points the way to economic recovery

With all eyes on US efforts to combat climate change at next week's UN summit in Copenhagen, one Kansas town is going green in a big way -- and setting an example for American communities.

The U.S. dominated the world economy in the 1950s and 1960s partly because its infrastructure was unparalleled. Without going in to other reasons for our long, slow decline since the early 1970s, any discussion of the process by which this nation can be restored to greatness must begin with how we will rebuild our physical plant. One small Kansas town is providing lessons in the ways disaster can be greeted as opportunity. Lets hope it won't require that conditions become as dire in the rest of the country as they have in Greensburg before we are motivated to act.
On the evening of May 4, 2007, a category-five tornado swept through the rural midwestern town of Greensburg, killing nine people and obliterating 95 percent of Greenburg KS after tornado of May, 2007 (FEMA)the urban landscape, including the school, the hospital and more than 900 houses.

But this community of 1,400 is rebuilding stronger than ever, in a remarkable comeback billed by Greensburg GreenTown -- a grassroots organization involving town residents, local officials and business owners -- as a "model for sustainable building and green living."

In the wake of disaster, local leaders vowed to rebuild their town as the first in the United States to have all municipal projects constructed to the highest environmental and efficiency design standards.

The rest of the story: Destroyed US town a model of eco-living as it rebuilds (Agence France Presse/AlterNet)

See, also:
After tornado, town rebuilds by going green (CNN.com 2009-04-29)
Greensburg, Kansas: Rebuilding After the May 4, 2007, Tornado (Earth Gauge 2009-03)
Rebuilding Greensburg, Kansas (EPA)
Better, Stronger, Greener! — City of Greensburg, Kansas (local government site)
Greensburg GreenTown (nonprofit)

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