AUSTIN, Texas--Imagine a community--urban, suburban, or rural, your pick--that has more choices for housing.
More options to get where you need to go. Closer to jobs. Closer to stores. Closer to schools.
Insulated from the whims of oil prices in the Middle East. Clean water to drink. Crisp air to breathe.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans say they're on board with this vision. (Just 5 percent oppose.)
But call it "sustainability," "livability," or "smart growth"? Wave goodbye to your support.
A panel of experts gathered here today at the inaugural SXSW Eco conference to debate the methods of achieving concepts most Americans support without allowing them to be mired in politics.
Their conclusion? Get the messaging right from day one.
"Part of our problem is too much focus on cities at the expense of our friends in suburban and rural areas," said Robin Rather, chief executive of market research firm Collective Strength.
"We are right now facing a hellacious attack organized by [conservatives] on the notion of sustainability. Part of it is because we focus on cities, celebrate cities, and are not reaching out to suburban folks." … Read more