Washington D.C., June 6 – "Where we build is almost as important as what we build," John McIlwain, senior resident fellow for the Housing Urban Land Institute told industry officials during the National Housing Conference's Policy Symposium Friday.

McIlwain was part of a panel that addressed the state of the nation’s green housing policies. The nonprofit National Housing Conference (NHC) is an affordable housing advocacy organization.

McIlwain said that the need for densely packed urban settings that feature sustainable housing and surroundings would have a greater positive impact on the environment than just building green houses. The eco-urban lifestyle provides residents with everything that they need within a 20-minute walk, including close proximity to public transportation.

David Crowe, director of housing policy with the NAHB echoed McIlwain's sentiments, but pointed out one negative factor – resistance.

"Building densely makes a lot of sense," Crowe said. "The biggest difficulty, besides cost, is that the current residents don’t want it. It can be overcome, but it is just another building hurdle."