During a National Building Museum symposium on the state of planning in the U.S., Professor David Godschalk, Professor, City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, discussed the need to initiate “positive development” strategies in cities in the near future. Godschalk argued that the U.S. must initiate a “visionary positive development strategy” through which cities contribute energy back to the grid. Instead of sustainably consuming energy, cities must become net producers of energy.
Godschalk said in order to move “from mitigation to production” new concepts will be needed. “We need new ++ development standards,” to quantify how much new clean air, energy, and biodiversity is generated by productive green buildings, and urban farms. Cities would need to provide 125 percent of its citizens’ energy needs and capture 125 percent of CO2 emissions. Mandatory water recycling, designated growth plans, the re-integration of planning, social and environmental sciences, and city “greenprints” will help ensure positive development.
In the same vein, the Climate Climate Initiative along with USGBC announced the launch of the “Climate Positive Development Program.” According to CCI, “the program will support the development of large-scale urban projects that demonstrate cities can grow in ways that are ‘climate positive.’ Climate positive real estate developments will strive to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero. Sixteen founding projects on six continents, supported by local governments and property developers, will demonstrate Climate Positive strategies, setting a compelling environmental and economic example for cities to follow.” The City of Toronto’s Lower Dons Waterfront project was selected as one of the founding projects.
Image credit: Waterfront Toronto