Climate Positive Development Program, Below Zero Sustainable City

Living Below Zero-Creation of the Most Sustainable Cities

Unveiled in May at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group summit in Seoul, South Korea, the Climate Positive Development Program will help real estate developers and local governments craft 16 of the most sustainable urban communities found anywhere on Earth.

“As the Earth’s population increases and our cities grow, we need to ensure we have the models in place to sustain our way of life in an increasingly urbanized world,” said President Clinton in a statement announcing the program. He also stated that it would set “a new global standard for developments that will minimize environmental impacts and benefit economics” as new buildings are constructed and older ones are updated.

As the program’s creators, the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and the USGBC are providing guidance in energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, green building construction, water conservation and other areas as the communities take shape on 6 continents.

The ultimate goal for each city is to reduce its emissions to “below zero” by not only offsetting its own emissions, but generation excess renewable power on-site that can be returned to the grid and used to offset emissions elsewhere.

Two of the planned cities are in the United States: San Francisco’s 6,000 new homes and 250,000 SF of commercial space constructed in a former U.S. Navy base in the San Francisco Bay; and Florida’s Destiny development covering more than 60 sq. miles south of Orlando, which includes a 500-acre clean tech manufacturing plant and 10,000 residential units.

CCI, which is also involved in New York’s massive Empire State Building energy efficiency retrofit, will assist project developers on the business and financial side, while USGBC provides technical guidance and helps gauge the success of the projects.

Source: Green Lede, CoStar’s green building news column. Written by Andrew Burr; May 2009.

Zero Emission City Fast Facts

  • Close to 1 million people will live and work in the completed cities
  • Half of the world’s population – 3.2 billion people – now live in cites, which consumes more than 2/3 of global energy
  • This population only occupies about 2% of the world’s land mass
  • More than 6 billion people are projected to live in cities by 2050

Source: United Nations