Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Livability Project
Bethesda, MD

Livability Project is a consulting firm with a mission to “build livable communities based on the understanding that the environment, economy and community are all interconnected.”  Many sustainability initiatives are not comprehensive which results in short-lived outcomes that fail to translate urgency and transform the community. To address this fragmented approach, Dave Feldman and Kelley Rajala combined their expertise – Dave in economic development and Kelley in innovative green programs – and launched Livability Project.

What makes Livability Project green is that we empower communities by giving them tools to accelerate their sustainability initiatives. We identify community assets that often operate in silos and bring key stakeholders and leaders together to create an integrated and comprehensive strategy (and often a separate organization) to fulfill sustainable development goals. This approach brings cohesiveness to the green movement, strengthens and establishes clear relationships between local economy and environment, brings awareness to the broader community, and leverages existing networks for a ‘multiplier’ effect.

Our method is the tipping point to creating a permanent change. This is evident in two successful initiatives, Bethesda Green, in Montgomery County Maryland, and ShareExchange in Santa Rosa, California. These organizations accelerate the adoption of sustainable living practices in their respective communities by incubating green entrepreneurs, establishing partnerships with local businesses, and organizing programs that educate the community.  They each also have a physical space that serves as a resource center and community ‘hub’ to address local issues.  Using our holistic approach, these models can be replicated worldwide.

For Livability Project creating sustainable communities means addressing issues ‘locally’.  We understand each community is unique and has its own sets of challenges, which led us to develop Livability Project Framework™. Our framework is designed to help local businesses, government and community leaders leverage their unique attributes and invest in delivering tangible sustainability goals.  By engaging diverse stakeholders, communities transform into more livable places.

Livability Projects premier project, Bethesda Green was built on this framework. In January 2008, this 501 (c) (3) was launched with the support of businesses, government officials and enthusiastic community members who coalesced around an effort to make Bethesda a greener place to work and live. Since inception, Bethesda Green created an incubator program to support green entrepreneurs, added recycling bins and bike racks to public spaces, and established programs to advance local food and agriculture, energy efficiency, green planning and design, renewable energy, and much more.

In addition, Bethesda Green is popular for the 4,000 sq. ft. center that provides co-working and collaborating space for the local business and community.  Bethesda Green strengthens the voice of our community dedicated to protecting our environment and motivates others to become more environmentally conscious. This dynamic hub embodies how the power of active community collaboration and diverse stakeholder investment can make a difference.


Since the inception of Bethesda Green, it has inspired other leaders to transform their own community. Other current projects Livability supports are Annapolis Green, Green Wheaton, Poolesville Green and the City of Cloverdale.

To learn more about Livability Project, visit them online at:

To contact Livability Project directly, email them at

Bethesda Green Business Incubation Expansion

Made Local Marketplace: Helping the local economy through retail support for local artists

Share Exchange Testimonials
Sonoma County's ShareExchange Bethesda Green's launch in 2009
Speaking Whiteboard
Livability Project Co-Founder, Dave Feldman Livability Project Co-Founder, Kelley Rajala