Conservation · Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · Efficiency · Historic Towns · renewable energy · Rivers · Sustainable Communities · travel plan · water quality · waterways

Georgetown Texas

victorian architecture economic development energy and the environment

georgetown downtownGeorgetown is located 30 miles from Austin on the northeastern edge of Texas Hill Country. Portions of the town are located on either side of the Balcones Escarpment, a fault line characterized by black, fertile soils of the Black land Prairie, with the west side consisting of hilly, limestone karst formations.

The North and Middle Forks of the San Gabriel River run through the city, providing over 30 miles of hike and bike trails, parks and recreation for residents and visitors.

Blue Hole park in Georgetown Texas (view 4)History the earliest known historical occupants of the county, the Tonkawas, were a flint-working, hunting people who followed buffalo on foot and periodically set fire to the prairie to aid them in their hunts. During the 18th century, they made the transition to a horse culture and used firearms. The town was named for George Washington Glasscock who donated the land for the new community; the early American and Swedish pioneers were attracted to the area’s abundance of timber and clear water.

Victorian Architecture in 1976, a local ordinance was passed t protect the historic central business district. Georgetown has three National Register Historic Districts: Williamson County Courthouse District, Belford National District and the University Avenue/Elm Street District.

m.b. lockett building, georgetown, txSouthwestern University the Oldest University in Texas is one-half Mile from the Historic Square

Economic Development Georgetown was an agrarian community for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Shawnee Trail, a cattle trail that led from Texas to the rail centers in Kansas and Missouri, crossed through Georgetown. The establishment of Southwestern University and construction of a railroad contributed to the town’s growth and importance. Cotton was the dominant crop in the area between the 1880s and the 1920s.

san gabrial villagePopulation growth and industrial expansion continued modestly in the 20th century until about 1960, when residential, commercial, and industrial development, due to major growth and urban expansion of nearby Austin, greatly accelerated. Currently, Georgetown is served by the appropriately named Georgetown Railroad, a short line railroad that connects with the Union Pacific Railroad at Round Rock and at Granger.

Energy and the Environment in March 2015, Georgetown announced that their municipal-owned utility, Georgetown Utility Systems, would buy 100% of its power for its customers from wind and solar farms, effectively making the city 100% green-powered.

lake travisConnect for Travel to Georgetown and Texas

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Conservation · Efficiency · Geography · Performance · Resilience · Sustainable Communities · water quality · waterways

Assessing the Impact of a Development Project

points of reference for assessing the impact of a proposed development project

Water a buffer of native vegetation undisturbed within 100 feet of streams, wetlands or other aquatic resources. Rooftops, streets, parking lots and other impervious surfaces drain to bio-retention, infiltration or other highly effective storm water system. Project sewage is sent to a treatment plant and the pipes carrying the sewage do not overflow. The treatment plant has met pollution discharge limits for the last 3 years; If the project will be served by onsite sewage disposal, site soils should be rated for Septic Tank Absorption Fields in accordance with USDA Web Soil Survey.

coastal resiliencyTraffic Safety and Congestion getting through the nearest signalized intersections in one green cycle during rush hour conditions. Standing at each proposed new intersection location, verify visibility of approaching vehicles at the minimum, safe sight-distance formula: posted speed limit + 10 mph x 11 feet/mph. Example: 30 mph + 10 = 40 x 11 = 440 feet sight – distance. Trips generated by the project on neighborhood streets are below 2,000 vehicles per day.

Safe Streets and School Overcrowding for residential areas, can the additional students resulting from the project be accommodated without exceeding the capacity of affected schools. Sidewalks are adequate to allow students to safely walk or bike to school along the streets receiving traffic from the project.

Trees and Forests if the project must comply with tree canopy or forest conservation laws, are there requirements met onsite.

clustered homes maximize forest preservation

Broadway Main StreetBuffering and Screening of commercial and industrial projects from the view of adjacent residential homes. If the project obstructs natural views from existing homes, then the proposed landscaping must be sufficient to preserve views.

Property Values commercial or industrial structures be at least 300 feet from residential homes. If the project is commercial-industrial, can trucks reach the site without travelling on residential streets.

Air Quality if the project is a gas station, it must be at least 500 feet from homes, hospitals, schools, senior centers and day care facilities. The homes must be 500 feet from a highway with traffic volumes of 50,000 or more vehicles per day.

Fire and Emergency Medical Services the project must be within a four to eight-minute response time for fire and emergency medical services. In suburban-urban areas, water pressure must be sufficient to meet fire suppression needs.

Richmond Historic Canal WalkRecreation Areas for residential projects, a minimum of 10 acres of park or other recreation areas for every 1,000 residents is recommended. For suburban-urban residential projects, there should be a neighborhood park within a ¼ mile walking distance of the site.

Water Supply for projects served by wells, verify the likelihood that area wells fail or become contaminated. If the site is served by piped-public water, the project must not exceed the safe or sustainable yield.

Flooding all proposed structures must be outside the 100-year flood plain, with runoff managed to prevent an increase in floodwater elevations downstream of the site.

Historical-Archaeological Resources if a designated historic-archaeological resource is present on or near the site, the local historic society must ascertain that it is adequately protected. For buildings 50 years or older slated for demolition, the local historic society should be consulted about the need for protection.

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canals · Conservation · Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · Historic Towns · Maritime · Maritime Heritage · museums · Rivers · travel plan · waterways

Havre de Grace Maryland

rivers canals an historic district museums local artisans an underground railroad

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHavre de Grace is at the mouth of the Susquehanna River and the head of Chesapeake Bay. It is named after the French port city of Le Havre – the Harbor of Grace. During the Revolutionary War, the small hamlet known as Harmer’s Town was visited by General Lafayette who commented that the area reminded him of the French seaport.

George Washington stayed overnight in the town in 1789 on the journey to New York City for his first inauguration. During the First Congress in 1789, Havre de Grace missed by only one vote being named the capital of the fledgling United States.

Early Industry in Havre de Grace included oyster and crab harvesting as well as fruit orchards. Products were shipped to markets along the East Coast and upriver.  Havre de Grace became known for duck hunting, and was a seasonal destination for hunters who hired local guides to escort them hunting on the river and along the bay.

Havre de GraceLocal Artisans Made High Quality Decoys on Display in the City’s Decoy Museum

The Southern Terminus of the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal bypassed difficult navigational areas of the lower Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, where it connected to the Pennsylvania Canal. It was built between 1836–1840. The Lock Keeper’s house and remnants of the canal exist today as a museum.

The Underground Railroad Havre de Grace was a primary town on the Eastern Route as slaves crossed the Susquehanna to havens in Pennsylvania, on the way to Philadelphia and New York. By the 1860s, a large population of free African Americans had settled in the town, supporting independent artisans, as well as jobs associated with shipping on the river, canal and the railroads.

The Seneca Cannery, currently an antique shop, is a very good example of a late 19th century brick industrial building with its classical facade and massive stone buttresses on the rear. Many patents followed the opening of the S. J. Seneca Cannery: 1901, The Baling-press; 1905, The Cooker and the Tomato Scalder; 1917, Improved Tomato Scalder and the Can-opener; 1918, Tomato Peeling Machine.

HdG maritime museumThe Central Business District was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Havre de Grace Historic District, which recognizes its architecture and historic fabric. A variety of museums help explain and interpret the city’s rich maritime past and present: the Decoy Museum, the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, Concord Point Lighthouse, the Lockhouse Museum, the Black wetland restorationEyed Susan paddle steamer. Havre de Grace also claims a renovated seaplane port.

The Environment the town is located on a freshwater wetland, tidal cove, and small forested area teeming with species of flora and fauna; the backdrop for generations of inhabitants, from the earliest Native tribes to the first European colonists in the 1600s, to today’s thriving 21st century community.

The Maritime Museum is a 10,000 square foot, three-story modern building adjacent to Concord Point Heritage Corridor, Havre de Grace’s historic district spanning five waterfront acres and a designated attraction on the National Park Service’s John Smith and Star Spangled Banner Trails.

Your Havre de Grace Travel Plan

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Business · Conservation · Cultural Heritage · destination management · Efficiency · entrepreneurs · Geography · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Logistics · microtransit · Mobility · museums · Rivers · Sustainable Communities · water quality · waterways

Geography Community and Climate Change

Thesis Increased urbanization and mass migrations over the last century are key to understanding human factors in climate change; these are best understood by a careful reading of history and geography in your community. Regions of the Earth that are successfully addressing environmental problems should assist other communities, regardless of their location, set an example and provide knowledge and expertise.

Geography as defined by Halford Mackinder, bridges the gap between arts and science; it connects history and culture with the environment. Mankind and not nature initiates activities but nature in large measure controls –Fernand Braudel. Those working in harmony with environmental influences will triumph over those who strive against them – WH Parker. Human nature is motivated by fear, self-interest and honor – Thucydides.

wilkes-barre ViewSustainable Communities are created by addressing resource protection climate change air and water quality human health and well-being

My Community the Washington DC, Potomac River and Middle Atlantic Region of the United States is characterized by a highly educated and knowledgeable citizenry that is very sensitive to environmental issues and is engaged locally and regionally.

Key Issues Affecting Climate Change

Chesapeake watershedurbanization, traffic gridlock, population increases, community migrations

agricultural runoffs from rivers and tributaries into

farming in the outlying Chesapeake region and urban area water quality issues have led to bacteria in the waters, resulting in swimming bans in the bay, rivers and the ocean

budget limitations have led to reduced inspection of watersheds, hence less maintenance and increases in storm water failures allowing tens of thousands of pounds of nutrients to enter the waterways

education there is still a disconnect between the scientific community and the public at large; climate issues are still not part of mainstream thinking and daily life even in socially and economically sophisticated communities.  

Local Solutions to Climate Change

Richmond Historic Canal WalkGovernments at all levels are engineering political solutions:

o   an agreement between EPA and Agricultural Organizations to implement pollution reduction programs aimed at restoring the Bay to health by 2025, and

o   local food production and consumption, a plastic bag tax, green roofs, bike and car sharing programs, light rail and other forms of public transport

Real success in mitigating climate change will be achieved when environmentally sound practices are adopted by local populations; in democratic societies, this can be achieved when small businesses and entrepreneurs join government, nonprofit and volunteer groups in this effort.

Issues are taken more seriously when your lively-hood depends on it. Hence, information, education and training lead to sustainable wealth creation.

Global Solutions to Climate Change

self reliant communities images by EffektAt the dawn of the 20th Century only 14 percent of the world’s population lived in cities; by 2025, 75 percent will be in urban settings. There are already 468 cities with over a million in population; 40 of these cities have more than 10 million residents.

These circumstances lead to continued economic, social, security, environment and climate problems. Increasingly there is a devolution from supranational and national to regional and local institutions to tackle these issues.

The more fortunate communities have an obligation to share their know-how, expertise and experience in climate change; it is in their interest to do so.

Tell us about Your Community and Projects

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canals · Conservation · Cultural Heritage · destination management · Efficiency · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Maritime Heritage · Mobility · museums · Rivers · travel plan

Travel Destinations and Learning Experiences

Personalized Travel Programs for families, schools and theme groups with environmental training, visits to state-of-the-art transit facilities and museums featuring the history of rail and water transport.

Communities and Local Public Transport Initiatives

Fegeol busesAmericans are second to none in their love of the automobile but in recent years efficient and affordable public transit – in the form of bus rapid transit, subways, elevated and other rail services and trolley cars – for urban, suburban and intercity service – have been debated, studied and in some instances implemented.

Our US itineraries include cities with established commuter and regional service as well as communities that are implementing new transit programs. An opportunity to meet with local planners and managers as well as travel efficiently, safely and affordably as you visit the United States.

colorado springs streetcarColorado Springs is renowned for its walkable historic areas, its commitment to sustainability and its natural attractions and ample recreational opportunities in the nearby Rocky Mountains. Activities range from family itineraries to educational, cultural and a wide range of outdoor programs. Experience scenic and historic train ride s aboard the Broadmoor’s Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. Colorado Springs’ first streetcar service was powered by horses; at its peak, a total of 10 horse-drawn trolley cars operated in the city. In 1890, the Colorado Springs Rapid Transit Railway began replacing the horse car lines with electric power, a system that numbered 44 electric cars by 1900; at its peak, the system covered 41 miles. In 1931, buses began replacing streetcars. Streetcar service ended shortly thereafter.

MAX Light RailMetropolitan Portland’s commuters and visitors have many options to get around in America’s best pedestrian and transit-friendly city. Public transit is comprised of TriMet’s regional bus network and the Metropolitan Area Express – MAX – light rail system, which connects the city and suburbs while the WES Commuter Rail reaches Portland’s western suburbs. Portland Streetcar connects shopping areas and dense residential districts north and northwest of downtown as well as the east side of the Willamette River. The Portland Transit Mall on Fifth and Sixth avenues limits automobile access in favor or bus and light rail service. And Portland’s mainline steam locomotives can be seen pulling excursion trains operated by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.

motorbus industryHershey, PA from Roads to Rails, travel back in time as O-gauge trains chug through the idyllic Pennsylvania countryside and multiple scenes reminiscent of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. The Museum of Bus Transportation has partnered with the Antique Auto Club of America Museum to provide museum quality displays of the bus industry – intercity, transit, and school – for the public.  It also serves to showcase the industry’s growth and development in the United States and celebrate the role that the bus industry continues to play in mobility and progress of the American public.

The Motor Bus Industry Occupies a Vital Place in America’s Everyday Life

 

In rural areas and in the thousands of towns and cities across the nation, buses provide personal transport, carrying more persons daily than all other public modes of transportation put together. The evolution of this industry provides a fascinating story of invention, entrepreneurship and the effort of thousands of people risking their time and capital in the hope of creating a profitable business.

Grapevine Vintage Railroad 10-13-07The Grapevine Vintage Railroad follows a scenic route to the Fort Worth Stockyards along the Cotton Belt Railroad right-of-way. The service is a tourist attraction due to its slow speeds. The Grapevine Rail also hosts one of the community’s seven winery tasting rooms. A new train station downtown and north of the airport are included in the proposed commuter route that follows existing rail lines from downtown Fort Worth, northeast to downtown Grapevine and then into the north entrance of Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The route connects with other transportation services, including the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail service, AMTRAK, and downtown bus transfer center at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center as well as a connection to the Dallas Dart Rail.

Forth worth trolleysFort Worth It is easy to get around Fort Worth or travel to nearby Dallas and Grapevine.Bus the T – Fort Worth Transport Authority – provides extensive service throughout the city and its cultural attractions. Rail the TRE – Trinity Rail Express – connects Fort Worth and Dallas with transfer access to DFW International Airport.Air DFW is only 17.5 miles from downtown Fort Worth via bus, rail or taxi service. From here, you can reach any major city in the U.S. in less than four hours. Walking is a wonderful way to experience the city’ entertainment districts and the Trinity Trails. Bike Sharing: Bike sharing is an inexpensive, healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around Fort Worth. Pick up a bike at any of the 40 docking stations.

Water Resources Management and the Environment

Visit and study the efforts of communities that are in the forefront of water resources management and other environmentally sustainable practices in coastal and river waterfront development in small towns and large cities as well as agricultural communities. Local officials and nonprofit stewards of the environment, among others, will explain their policies, programs and best management practices in wastewater and watershed management, land conservancy issues, LEED certifications, recycling, rainwater collection and energy efficient systems.

eco buildingIn Montgomery County, Maryland Experience Rain Garden Training, a hands-on rain garden building class at a pre-dug site.  After reviewing the criteria for siting and sizing rain gardens, participants determine and finish the grading, install the soil media, build the berm, plant and mulch the garden.

You can also learn the complex procedures that govern the building, watershed and renewable energy permitting process.

Some communities have been in the forefront of land conservation, historic preservation and the arts movements that celebrates land and landscapes and water resources management initiatives:

Weighing Cargoes on the Lehigh CanalIn the Lehigh Valley, the local culture draws from the Moravian settlements experience in which all men were equal; a broad cultural environment in which music, art, education and religious tolerance flourished, as evidenced by the communal dwellings, churches and industrial structures still present.

The Brandywine Valley has focused on Development & Conservancy Issues, including floodplain areas that threaten to devastate water supplies in parts of the Delaware River Valley. Local resident-initiated conservation easements that now protect five and one-half miles along the Brandywine River.

Philadelphia SkylineIn the city of Philadelphia, the waterfront is now a 6-mile walking and biking destination. Trail features include streetscape improvements along the entire waterfront trail, a bi-directional bikeway, pedestrian walkway and rain gardens that collect the first inch of storm water, relieving the city sewer system during major weather events, as well as benches, bike racks, decorative street pavers and innovative solar trail lighting. Center City offers a thriving culture and entertainment scene as well as a contemporary arts museum with training programs and study tours for students, aspiring artists and families.

klyde warren park dallasDallas is the first ISO 14001 certified city in the US – the international environmental standard which sets environmental goals for organizations and communities – and among the first to adopt a green building program that now boasts 5 LEED Gold, 1 LEED-EB Silver and 2 certified buildings. New projects in the city include pedestrian-friendly parks such as Main Street Garden, Belo Garden and the Klyde Warren Park. Dallas also is home to the Trinity River Audubon Center, a LEED certified building with many sustainable features: a vegetated roof, rainwater collection system, energy efficient systems and recycled materials.

Travel Destinations and Learning Experiences

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America · Business · Conservation · Cultural Heritage · Efficiency · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Maritime Heritage · museums · Travel · travel plan

Preserve and Divulge Cultural Heritage

Destinations and Itineraries

Cultural Heritage and Local Museums give meaning and purpose to the objects on display in museums and art galleries as they disclose the historical and archaeological heritage of a community, leverage conservation and the rediscovery of cultural heritage through the arts, history, archaeology, literature and architecture, preserve biodiversity and rediscover cultures associated with agricultural, coastal and river communities

For Friends & Family Theme Groups and Business Travelers

River Market KCLocal Food Wineries and Breweries there are several fascinating examples throughout America of a resurgence in farming that cater to an ever-increasing demand for local, quality and sustainable food, wine and ale consumption in urban, rural and suburban communities, fueled in part by downtown development and neighborhood construction. This, in turn, has spawned a demand for nightlife and weekend amenities for local citizens and out of town visitors.

Experience Uniquely Local Atmospheres Where Historical and Sustainable Attractions are also Present

Milwaukee Intermodal StationLocal Public Transport Initiatives in recent years, efficient and affordable public transit – in the form of bus rapid transit, subways, elevated and other rail services and trolley cars – for urban, suburban and intercity services have been debated, studied and in some instances implemented. Our itineraries include major US cities with established commuter and regional service as well as communities that are implementing new transit programs. An opportunity to meet with local planners and managers and travel efficiently, safely and affordably as you visit the United States.

Canal boat DelphiWater Resources and the Environment visit and study the efforts of communities that are in the forefront of water resources management and other environmentally sustainable practices in coastal and river waterfront development in small towns and large cities as well as agricultural communities. Local officials and nonprofit stewards of the environment, among others, will explain their policies, programs and best management practices in wastewater and watershed management, land conservancy issues, LEED certifications, recycling, rainwater collection and energy efficient systems.

Industry and Commerce Itineraries from Agriculture and Industry to Services and Sustainability

Lockport downtownMany American Communities are transitioning from traditional industrial and commercial activities to technologically innovative ones; in some instances, they are also able to re-establish their traditional economic activities with a successful application of the so-called knowledge economy and, in the process, becoming once again competitive in the world marketplace.

Communications Training Small Business and Entrepreneurship

C&O Canal - GeorgetownCommunities with traditional economies can succeed in a post-industrial environment by utilizing modern communications technologies, updating existing industrial infrastructure, local workforce training as well as supporting small businesses and new entrepreneurial opportunities.

Destinations and Itineraries for Friends Family and Business Travelers

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Business · Conservation · destination management · Efficiency · Historic Towns · Logistics

District Energy Networks

community economic development safe and reliable energy livable towns and cities

District Energy provides and distributes locally generated thermal energy for heating and cooling homes, commercial and institutional buildings, and industrial processes. The system comprises two elements: a central energy plant containing equipment that produces thermal energy in the form of steam or hot water for heating, or chilled water for cooling as well as combined heat and power – CHP – units which produce electricity; a network of insulated pipes to distribute the thermal energy from the central plant to buildings that receive reliable, efficient, affordable, and clean thermal energy from locally controlled and highly efficient central plants.

biogas systemdistrict networks achieve economies of scale by meeting the energy demands of many buildings

High Efficiency and low cost are achieved by producing and distributing thermal energy at a local level. Higher efficiency leads to lower costs over the long term, especially with the utilization of local fuels.

Flexibility and resiliency the ability of district energy networks to take heat from multiple sources, fuels, and technologies makes it very flexible, giving communities more secure energy supplies.

Optimum Supplies new and emerging technologies like heat pumps, fuel cells, or biofuels are easily and rapidly retrofitted, without the need to install equipment in end user facilities.

Local Control ensures that investment decisions are made in the community.

Thermal Energy Services can be delivered through a variety of vehicles, including local municipalities, private sector entities and community-owned, nonprofit special purpose vehicles – SPVs – ensuring that surpluses are re-invested to extend the networks, insulate customer buildings or updating control systems.

Carbon Emissions efficiency is achieved with the utilization of fossil fuels and renewable fuels.

bioman plantdistrict energy offers a complementary infrastructure to gas and electricity networks

Fuel Sources include both fossils and renewables, such as natural gas, oil, coal, biomass, geothermal, solar thermal, and waste to energy that are able to capture and distribute surplus heat from industrial processes and power generation that would otherwise be wasted.  Heat networks aggregate the thermal demand of multiple buildings to a scale that enables the use of technologies with higher efficiencies, or ones that may not be economical to deploy at the individual building level, such as biomass, waste to energy, or combined heat and power cogeneration.

A CHP Plant offers significant benefits. Electrical and thermal energy achieve efficiencies of 75% as well as the flexibility of using different fuel types. Thermal storage during periods of peak demand for electricity can be stored and used later during peak thermal demand periods. Also, electric boilers can be utilized to balance periods of over and underproduction of electricity and provide secure thermal energy and power services to the local area reducing stress caused by grid congestion, transmission and distribution losses while improving overall efficiency and energy security.

Local lower cost, less polluting and secure energy are the premises for diverse communities that provide residential, civic, retail, cultural, and entertainment facilities, within walking distance and with efficient public transit; these are the economic multipliers that create new business opportunities and jobs.

self reliant communities images by EffektLearn More about District Energy Networks for Your Community

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