At VERGE 2014 in San Francisco, Aimee Christensen sat down with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Autodesk's CEO, Carl Bass. The two leaders told Aimee and the VERGE attendees about how sustainability at the city level is more than simply looking at single buildings.
Bass said that just because a building may be green itself, with solar panels and the like, doesn't mean that its net impact is positive. A "green" building, he noted, to where all the employees have to drive means that the emissions from commuters nix the greenness of the building itself. A sustainable approach, therefore, begins at site selection for buildings.
Reed talked about how cities can achieve sustainability goals by engaging the public, and enlisting the help of talent that actually can solve the problem. But it doesn't end there: Cities, he said, need to be flexible and open so that the talent doesn't flee from the shadow of unwieldy, immutable government.