The Greenhouse Effect

Better than Greenhouse Gas Effects

imagesBrooklyn’s first L.E.E.D. certified residential building Greenbelt, opened its doors last week for a host of public-and private if you want to live there-events. Starting on Wednesday of last week, Brooklyn’s Green Drinks held their monthly mingling session and this past weekend, eco-workshops ranging from organic cooking lessons to the state of the streets, took over the space. Next weekend the space will also play host to day long open houses and more workshops. 
The Greenbelt in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The concept of creating a community that aims to educate, offer space and services to other community members is certainly not new. Intentional communities have and still do certainly exist in New York. But I am curious as to whether the educators and practitioners who will teach at these events will be able to afford to live in such a space. The condos range in price from single bedrooms for $599,000 up to two-bedrooms for $815,000. Socio-economic diversity is not a clause in the mission of this intentional community, nor does it have to be. But I do think it is worth discussing what type of message this sends to all New Yorkers-residents, architects, developers, etc. Buildings such as Greenbelt and the Solaire-which was Manhattan’s-and the nation’s- first L.E.E.D. high rise, residential building, give the message that to live in a sustainable home is a privilege, not a right or responsibility. What does that really mean for the larger sustainability picture?

Hopefully the arts and events space will integrate parts of the community that do not reside within the walls, as everyone can certainly benefit from visible, tangible, urban sustainability demonstration projects. And who knows, maybe there are samples from the organic cooking class…

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