Sustainability Spotlight: Green Buildings Renew Austin's Core

A pioneer of the green building movement, Austin reinvents its aging industrial sites on prime real estate into hip urban enclaves.


This year marks the 25th anniversary of Austin’s green building program. The program, called Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB), began in 1990 and is now one of the country’s oldest and most successful green building programs.

AE GB’s mission: To lead the transformation of the building industry to a sustainable future.

By developing its own Austin-specific rating system for single-family, multifamily and commercial buildings, AEGB works to meet the City’s aggressive climate action goals. The ratings assess things such as energy performance, water usage, and indoor environmental air quality (among other things) to make their buildings more environmentally and socially responsible. Additionally, the ratings are used to influence local building codes and educate residents.

To learn more, check out Urban Expeditions’ most recent article, which explores entire Austin neighborhoods that have been converted from industrial to green. 

About Urban Expeditions

onal Geographic has devoted substantial coverage to the impact of population growth. 

As economic engines, cities naturally are fueling this growth: Today more than half the world’s population lives in an urban area. By 2050 that figure is expected to rise to 66 percent. Megacities—those with more than 10 million inhabitants—are also surging. There are 29 such cities; by 2030 there will be 41.

The challenge: Cities must transform and re-engineer the urban landscape to accommodate more people while conserving finite natural resources. And yet as repositories of human ingenuity, cities offer innovative case studies. Urban Expeditions explores those smart and sustainable solutions—with a special emphasis on transportation, food, and building.

Urban Expeditions is an initiative made possible by a grant from United Technologies Corporation to the National Geographic Society. 

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