CCI, USGBC Embark on Global Program for 'Climate Positive' Urban Growth

CCI, USGBC Embark on Global Program for 'Climate Positive' Urban Growth

Sixteen ambitious community development projects in 10 countries have been selected as models for the new Climate Positive Development Program for urban growth that was launched by the Clinton Climate Initiative and U.S. Green Building Council.

The Climate Positive program is aimed at promoting and supporting largescale urban developments that are designed for sustainable growth and strive to reduce on-site CO2 emissions to "below zero." The program is intended to showcase examples of urban growth that defy the current construct of cities, which occupy just 2 percent of the world's landmass yet account for more than two-thirds of the world's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The new program was announced last week during the C40 Summit, a four-day gathering of the world's largest cities that was held in Seoul.

The selected projects, located on six continents, are also intended to represent best practices of Climate Positive strategies and cooperation among the local governments, property developers, the Clinton Climate Initiative and the U.S. Green Building Council.

As of 2008, half the world's population -- roughly 3.2 billion people -- lived in cities, marking the first time that the urban and rural populations were split exactly, the organizations said, citing statistics from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. By 2050, urban dwellers are expected to account for 70 percent of the population worldwide.

"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," former U.S. president Bill Clinton said in a statement. "The Climate Positive Development Program will set a new global standard for developments that will minimize environmental impacts and benefit economies as we build and rebuild homes, schools, and businesses."

"A program that aims to set a new global benchmark has to be set on solid metrics," USGBC CEO, President and Founding Chairman Rick Fedrizzi said in the statement. "We know this from our experience with LEED, and believe it's fundamental to delivering immediate and measurable results."

The new program is expected to provide support during the planning and implementation process for the developments, some of which are under way, and help establish metrics that can be used to determine whether the projects achieve climate positive outcomes.

The projects selected as models include the Dockside Green development in British Columbia. A key component of the sweeping mixed-use project to transform former industrial land along the Victoria harborfront set a record last July by attaining the highest score to date for a LEED Platinum certified building. The £1.5 billion, 70-acre Elephant & Castle community regeneration project in London also is on the list.

The 16 developments listed by project name are:

• Destiny Florida in Destiny, Florida, USA
• Dockside Green in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
• Godrej Garden City in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
• Elephant & Castle in London Borough of Southwark, UK
• Albert Basin in East London, UK
• Magok Urban Development Project in Magok-dong Gayang-dong, Seoul, South Korea
• Mahindra World City Jaipur in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
• Menlyn Maine in Pretoria, South Africa
• VicUrban @ Officer in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
• Panama Pacifico in London & Regional Panama
• Zonk'izizwe Town Center in Johannesburg, South Africa
• Victoria Harbour, Docklands, Melbourne in Victoria, Australia
• Toronto Waterfront - Lower Don Lands in Ontario, Canada
• Treasure Island Redevelopment Project, San Francisco, California, USA
• Stockholm Royal Seaport in Sweden
• Pedra Branca Sustainable Urbanism in Palhoça, Greater Florianópolis, Santa Catarina State, Brazil

Image courtesy of Dockside Green.