Build a Better Burb began as a design competition held by the Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, in 2010. Since then, it has grown into a comprehensive platform for understanding and implementing cutting-edge suburban design and sprawl retrofit strategies.
The goal of the program was to empower its users to help create change in their own community. The site presents a wide array of ideas, photographs, images and designs—an inspiring palette of possibilities that could work in many suburban communities. Long Islanders can see what is being done elsewhere, and how those efforts might work here.
Studying the issues facing the Long Island region has informed the Index’s understanding of how our built environment can be adapted to address these problems. Exploring other models provides a wealth of ideas and possibilities for Long Island to boldly redefine itself.
The Rauch Foundation conceived of Build a Better Burb with the hope that its stewardship would one day be assumed by a larger organization that could incorporate it into a broader set of complementary initiatives. In 2015, The Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) officially took over the website. At CNU, Build a Better Burb will join a network of existing programs and member-led efforts that strongly complement its work and mission. The program’s offerings of content and resources will expand to cover cutting-edge suburban retrofit strategies and offer a range of implementation tools for municipalities, professionals, and citizen advocates.