Synopses & Reviews
In 2000, Seattle, Washington, became the first U.S. city to officially adopt the U.S. Green Building Councils LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) “Silver” standards for its own major construction projects. In the midst of a municipal building boom, it set new targets for building and remodeling to LEED guidelines. Its first LEED certified project, the Seattle Justice Center, was completed in 2002. The city is now home to one of the highest concentrations of LEED buildings in the world.
Building an Emerald City is the story of how Seattle transformed itself into a leader in sustainable “green” building, written by one of the principal figures in that transformation. It is both a personal account—filled with the experiences and insights of an insider—and a guide for anyone who wants to bring about similar changes in any city. It includes “best practice” models from municipalities across the nation, supplemented by the contributions of “guest authors” who offer stories and tips from their own experiences in other cities.
Intended as a “roadmap” for policy makers, public officials and representatives, large-scale builders and land developers, and green advocates of every stripe, Building an Emerald City is that rare book—one that is both inspirational and practical.
"Shifting your city's complexion from gray to green can be fraught with pitfalls. Luckily Lucia Athens is here to provide thoughtful operating instructions, based on real American experiences in building sustainable cities."
Pliny Fisk III and Gail Vittori - co-directors of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems
"Building an Emerald City is a perfect storm; Lucia is the right person at precisely the right time to provide this guide to creating green building policies and programs. Her experiences working with leading green cities are richly detailed and thoughtfully shared. This is mandatory reading for anyone who cares about our future!"
"Cities are in unique positions to address climate change through land use and transportation patterns, and to build sustainable structures. As a local and national founder of the Green Building movement, Lucia Athens's guidance on Green Building is especially useful to all of us involved in City Building."
"We hope others who read this have the opportunity to expand their worldview by stretching and challenging assumptions and conventions as Lucia has."
John Rahaim - planning director, City and County of San Francisco and former planning director
Building an Emerald City
is both the story of how Seattle, Washington transformed itself into a leader in sustainable reen” building, written by one of the principal figures in that transformation, and a practical guide for anyone who wants to bring about similar changes in their city. Lucia Athens blends case studies from cities throughout the U.S. with her own experiences and insights into the processes that led Seattle to become home to one of the highest concentration of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings in the world. The result is a far-reaching book with broad applicability to the transformation of city building policies that encourage and reinforce “green” development.
About the Author
The former manager of the City of Seattle Green Building Program, Lucia Athens is now a senior associate and sustainable futures strategist for CollinsWoerman, a Seattle-based planning, architecture, and interior design firm specializing in innovative and sustainable solutions. She is the 2008 winner of the Puget Sound “Better Bricks Award” in the category of “advocate.” She previously taught landscape architecture at the University of Georgia.