If white flight and suburban sprawl combine to form the menacing cloud that hangs over Kansas City, then architect and author Jason F. McLennan and his Elements team make up the silver lining. And if McLennan's 2004 work on environmentally friendly, or "green," design, The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, had come out a hundred years ago and its principles had been written into national policies, or if the Elements team had advised builders across the country the way they do now, then the world would be a better, cleaner, more efficient place. Bucking the classic Western-capitalist mindset of short-term building, McLennan's book lays down the foundations for eliminating the negative environmental and economical effects of cheap, fast and dirty construction and maximizing the creation of Earth- and human-friendly spaces. In just a year, McLennan's primer has become a textbook in the architecture departments at 25 universities and counting, and the publishing house McLennan built, Ecotone, continues to expand. If you want to know more, read the book; meanwhile, pay a visit to the Missouri Department of Conservation's Kansas City Urban Discovery Center (4750 Troost) and see the mind-blowing innovations in action.