The ongoing effort to rebuild and restore the city of New Orleans has prompted a number of questions about exactly how to rebuild in the city. As it has turned out, the times are ripe for rethinking how we build and organize urban spaces and a number of people – in New Orleans and around the country – have called for an approach that offers greater attention to sustainability.

Well before we built massive power plants and invented central heating and air conditioning and long before Levittown was built, people employed a form of green building, designing and constructing buildings suitable for their environment, so that structures could be useful, comfortable and livable.