Sustainability Guru Neil Chambers and smart Embark on Nationwide Tour to Encourage College Students to Re-Think What it Means to be Green

Sep 12, 2011, 18:05 ET from smart

MONTVALE, N.J., Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- smart, the car company that asks consumers to re-think the way they drive, is sponsoring author and award-winning urban designer Neil Chambers as he embarks on a college tour to support his new book Urban Green: Architecture for the Future and ask the next generation of leaders to re-think their cities in a smart way. Chambers and smart will visit 24 college campuses to debunk popular sustainability myths and reinvigorate the discussion about how to realistically build greener urban environments.  

In Urban Green, Chambers encourages people to break away from the sustainability status quo and give some thought to differentiating between truly sustainable practices and those that merely have a "green" patina. Chambers and smart share the philosophy that imagination about new ways to integrate nature and urban living is the key to sustaining cities and enriching ecosystems. They also agree that college students are paramount; these future leaders are bombarded with green messaging and advertising, yet it is the decisions they make about how to create cities that take environmental concerns into account that will determine the future of the planet. Chambers believes that a smart car is a key part of a sustainable, right-sized lifestyle due to the recycled materials used during manufacturing; its streamlined, congestion-reducing body; and its impressive fuel efficiency.

"smart flies in the face of convention," says Tracey Matura, general manager of smart. "Neil Chambers gets that this car is about right-sizing your life and is meant to be different. Because he is similarly unconventional as the maverick bad boy of green who believes consumers can make smart, sustainable choices without denying themselves a sense of fun and excitement in their purchases, it makes perfect sense for us to sponsor his tour."

Neil adds that "As we work toward a future of zero-emission vehicles, smart has designed a car that can be part of the solution right now. It's the perfect car for a conscious city dweller. It's not only a fun, easy way to get around an urban environment, it's designed to be 85% recyclable."

The distinctive smart product line consists of five models in the U.S., with pricing starting at $12,490: the gasoline-powered smart fortwo in coupe (in "pure" or "passion" configuration) and cabriolet body styles as well as an all-electric version of both the smart fortwo coupe and cabriolet. Everything that goes into a smart is about perpetuating the importance of sustainability -- from the recycled materials used during manufacturing to its congestion-reducing design and its ability to zip to 41 MPG on the highway.  smart cars, which come equipped with 8 airbags and a patented tridion safety cell design, provide a high level of occupant protection and have benefited from the innovative safety technology developed over the years by Mercedes-Benz. Over 48,000 smarts have been sold in the U.S. to date.

About smart

smart, a Daimler AG brand, has its U.S. headquarters in Montvale, New Jersey. The smart model-line consists of five fortwo models:  the pure coupe, passion coupe, passion cabriolet and all electric drive versions of the coupe and cabriolet.  The unique models which are classified as ultra-low emissions vehicles by the State of California Air Resources Board are just under nine feet long, 5 feet tall and 5  feet wide.  Despite their microcar exterior dimensions, smart vehicles are surprisingly roomy inside and have a full array of technological features including the patented  tridion safety cell which is designed to protect occupants in the event of a collision.  All smart vehicles, designed to be 85% recyclable and over 95% reclaimable, are produced in the environmentally oriented  "smartville" factory in Hambach, France. Additional information on smart can be found at  For further details regarding the Urban Green Book Tour please visit:

About the Urban Green: Architecture for the Future

We have green alternatives to most household items -- from waterless toilets to disposable cups mode of corn, yet we continue to construct buildings and design cities that pose hazards to our health.  Even products that we think of as ecologically friendly, such as fluorescent bulbs, post their own risk to our health and our homes.  Part manifesto, part practical guide, Urban Green: Architecture of the Future calls for environmentally conscious citizens everywhere to rethink the goals of the sustainability movement from the ground up.  Chambers explores how many of the problems facing us today can be solved by looking to nature for solutions -- from oysters that filter water to beavers that enrich our ecosystems to the millions of trees that clean our air.  He shows how ecologists and environmentalists around the world are joining forces with architects and city planners to make the natural world an integral part of cities.  Chambers also shows how anyone can do their part to restore the natural world by doing something as simple as letting their yards run wild, restoring valuable habitat for dozens of species.  This grand vision of an environmental utopia will show a new way from ward for the conservation and design movements.  

SOURCE smart