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Will Greensburg Bloom Again as a 'Green' Town?

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Will Greensburg Bloom Again as a 'Green' Town?

Environment

Will Greensburg Bloom Again as a 'Green' Town?

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JACKI LYDEN, host:

As Greensburg, Kansas, begins to rebuild from the tornado, some people are suggesting it ought to be green, as in environmentally friendly green, energy efficient.

Chris Kliewer, the head of the American Institute of Architects - Wichita Chapter, had a vision for a green Greensburg and he looked to the governor of Kansas to tell her his idea and offer to help.

Mr. CHRIS KLIEWER (President, American Institute of Architects, Wichita): My wife and I were sitting around the other night and we were watching some of the news coverage and we thought there's got to be something we can do. This seems like such a hopeless situation. You know, half of the residents are talking about the fact that they might not even rebuild, they may just move away. And green design has been a real hot topic in the architectural community in general. And we thought green-designing Greensburg. I mean, it's - the name is prefect and what a way to be able to create some excitement and a sense of hope for those people.

LYDEN: Turns out, Governor Kathleen Sebelius was having the same thought - even before, she got Chris Kliewer's letter. She's been calling for Greensburg to be the greenest town in rural American - (unintelligible) the lieutenant governor and State Representative Dennis McKinney, whose house was destroyed by the tornado. Architect Chris Kliewer says the tragedy is also an opportunity.

Mr. KLIEVER: You've got a clean slate, essentially, to work with, where you can look at issues with infrastructure, all the way down to how each house is individually designed. So obviously, in Kansas, we have a lot of wind that we could take advantage of, a lot of sign that we could take advantage of for creating electricity. And you know, rural Kansas is - and rural American in general - is probably a little more accustomed to taking advantage of the things that our environment offers us, recycling things, reusing things. So the people that I've talked to that are either originally from Greensburg or have family that - are very receptive to the idea.

LYDEN: Kliewer says people are coming out of the woodwork with offers of help for the town of Greenburg, and he expects that green manufacturers and material suppliers will jump at the chance to donate and get a little publicity. As Governor Sebelius has said, why rebuild to 1950 standards when you can built for the 21st century?

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