The historic village of Blythewood lies 20 miles north of Columbia, South Carolina, in the path of development that follows I-77. The town is known for its rural character and horse farms, both of which were threatened by the lack of a proactive plan for future growth. TSW was retained in 2008 to work with local stakeholders to develop a master plan to guide growth for the next generation.
Key to the town’s vision for its future was that growth occur sustainably. To respond to this need, TSW developed a series of Sustainability Guidelines or Best Practices to serve as a guide for decision makers when reviewing proposed public or private development to ensure it meets the goals of the town. The guidelines focus on sustainable buildings, sustainable landscapes, and sustainable planning.
Sustainable building guidelines recognize the significant impact that new buildings can have on the environment. They encourage buildings that are durable, use local materials, and use features such as natural light, solar orientation, and energy efficient equipment to minimize the use of resources.
Sustainable landscape guidelines focus on pavement types, plant species, stormwater management, and greenspace design. They encourage the use of low-tech and high-tech tools to protect air and water, while providing enjoyable public spaces.
Planning guidelines focus on land conservation and non-motorized transportation to help reduce the town’s ecological footprint. The focus is on low-tech and grass roots strategies like compost bins, walking, and tree plantings.