| September 15, 2010 -
Knox County Public Library and the City of Knoxville continue their popular lunch and learn series, Brown Bag Green Book, as Madeline Rogero, Knoxville's Director of Community Development, speaks on Wednesday, September 29 at 12 p.m. in the East Tennessee History Center Auditorium, 601 S. Gay St. Rogero will discuss Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability by David Owen. The public is invited to join the conversation, but reading the book is optional.
In Green Metropolis, Owen argues that the greenest community in the United States is not Portland, OR; or Snowmass, CO; but New York, NY. Rogero says she is looking forward to a lively discussion. "Can Knoxville be as 'green' as New York City?" she asks. "This is an intriguing book that challenges current beliefs about how to be truly green and argues that compact urban centers are less damaging to the environment."
Most Americans think of crowded cities as ecological nightmares, yet Owen shows in Green Metropolis that residents of compact urban centers individually consume less oil, electricity, and water than other Americans. He points out that they live in smaller spaces, discard less trash, and, most important of all, spend far less time in automobiles.
Residents of Manhattan—the most densely populated place in North America—rank first in public-transit use and last in per capita greenhouse-gas production, and they consume gasoline at a rate that the country as a whole hasn't matched since the mid-1920s. They are also among the only people in the United States for whom walking is still an important means of daily transportation. Owen contends that the environmental problem we face is not how to make cities more like the countryside. The problem is how to make other settled places more like Manhattan, whose residents presently come closer than any other Americans to meeting environmental goals that all of us will have to come to terms with.
Rogero has a Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from The University of Tennessee and a B.A. in Political Science from Furman University in Greenville, SC. Her current position as Director of the Community Development Department for the City of Knoxville, gives her insight into how Knoxville compares. Rogero heads a department of 25 staff that focuses on revitalizing residential and commercial neighborhoods with a special commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable development. In addition, she is co-chair of the Knoxville Mayor's Energy and Sustainability Task Force and is a member of the Knoxville Mayor's Economic Development Committee.
The series will continue on Wednesday, October 20 with Martha Buchanan, Director of Knox County Health Department, leading a discussion of Dodging the Toxic Bullet How to Protect Yourself from Everyday Environmental Health Hazards by David R. Boyd.
For more information, please call Emily Ellis at 215-8723.