Do American-Style Sustainable Communities Work Abroad?

Architecture and urban planning experts discuss whether the United States can successfully export greener living



American culture pervades the world—music, movies, cars, consumption. Not all of it is good.  But surely sustainability is good, yes? While many cultures are ahead of us on the sustainability curve, not all are.

So: Do American ideas of sustainable communities, smart growth, and urbanism work elsewhere? Here are a couple of leading architectural thinkers discussing the challenges. First, my friend Dhiru Thadani is interviewed by another friend, Steve Mouzon, at the annual meeting of the Congress for the New Urbanism earlier this year. Dhiru is an Indian American with a highly experienced perspective on Indian cities and culture:

Next, new urbanist Stefanos Polyzoides discusses some of the traps that await attempts to export U.S.-style progressive planning theory to other cultures:

This post also appears on NRDC's Switchboard.
Images: Vincent Desjardins/flickr; Google Earth