If there were a competition for the least sustainable city, Las Vegas would be a tough one to beat. Putting a mecca of lights, fountains and hotels in the middle of a desert is patently unsustainable. Luckily, Vegas has recently been taking some ideas from greener pastures. From tree-planting efforts to greening the Mirage, things are looking up.
In the heart of Vegas, the Springs Preserve occupies 180 acres of historic land. Architecture firm Lucchesi Galati has been working with the valley water district to redesign “Big Springs” with community and conservation in mind.
The Desert Living Center, pictured above, is the center for education on sustainable living in the Mojave Desert. The center’s gardens demonstrate water and energy-conserving design solutions specific to desert living, and include a constructed wetlands for gray and black water treatment to be reused on site. The building is pursuing a platinum LEED certification, the highest rating available. The designers hope that the center will inspire community members to identify more closely with their surroundings, regarding themselves as “of the desert” rather than “in the desert.”