Albuquerque Steps Up As Urban Sustainability Leader Becoming World’s 10th 2030 District

Courtesy Construction Reporter News.

By Tami Brunk

April 27, 2015

The 2030 District model has made downtown U.S.A. ground zero for a carbon-neutral future—and its influence is rapidly going global.  2030 Districts are living laboratories for comprehensive, sustainable urban redesign.  As of last week nine cities including Denver, Dallas, and Toronto—the first outside U.S. borders—had formally established 2030 Districts.

On Monday, April 27, Albuquerque will become the 10thcity in the world to sign a charter with Albuquerque 2030, officially establishing its own 2030 District.  The signing and press event will take place downtown at 3:30 pm.

“It’s great to see Albuquerque joining this network of innovative cities, as it commits to dramatic reductions in water and energy consumption, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” says Ed Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, the Santa Fe-based firm that originated the 2030 District concept.

“The Albuquerque 2030 District brings together committed property owners and managers, professionals, and community groups to share a vision that will drive economic redevelopment throughout the downtown corridor,” adds Mazria.

To gain formal status, a large base of property owners within district boundaries must commit square footage to the District, agreeing to monitor and reduce their resource footprint at least 50 percent for existing buildings and carbon neutral for new buildings by 2030. The still-forming District boundary includes greater Downtown, UNM and CNM main campuses, and the commercial corridors that connect those centers.

The impressive—and rapidly growing—list of committed property owners currently includes UNM, Central New Mexico Community College, Presbyterian Hospital, and the seven-story, 477,394-square-foot Plaza Campana as well as many smaller owners including Hotel Parq Central.

“Albuquerque is poised for success as it has a wealth of knowledgeable professionals and community leaders with a commitment to sustainability,” says Mazria.

Holly Carey, Albuquerque 2030 District’s Program Manager, believes the information sharing platform will be an especially vital tool to develop the District.  Like Mazria, she sees New Mexico’s abundant technical expertise as a boon to help owners meet their commitments.

“We have more PhD’s and science and technology gurus here, we want to bring this knowledge base to the District and support private property owners to realize the full potential of their buildings.  To address this, we’re going to have a huge educational platform.”

Mazria and his team at Architecture 2030 have gone global over the past year, gaining unanimous implementation for their “2050 Imperative” for Zero Carbon Emissions at World Congress of Architects.  Mazria also recently visited with China to support them in adopting a voluntary, private sector-led model similar to the 2030 District.

Laurie Tarbell, the force behind the 2030 Exploratory Committee that got the District off the ground, sees Albuquerque’s leadership in the 2030 movement as a tipping point for the small city.

“I’m really interested in how this story is a local story, with the addition of Albuquerque as part of this global movement,” says Tarbell.

“We’re having a global conversation at the grassroots level,” adds Carey. “We are the 10th District—we have leveled up this concept. In the amount it has taken to get to the 10th District it will take no time at all to get to 100.”

The sluggish recovery of Albuquerque’s economy at a time when the rest of the nation seems to be rebounding presents, according to Tarbell, the perfect opportunity for the 2030 District to catalyze economic development alongside ecological redesign.

Ed Mazria recognizes Albuquerque’s significance as the first southwestern District.

“The Southwest has always been a center for solar energy, as well as energy and water efficient buildings,” he says.

“With our unique high desert climate we’re well aware of our abundant sunlight, propensity for drought, and the importance of conserving our water resources. Given these issues, Albuquerque is a welcome addition to the 2030 Districts Network where it can become a model for other cities in our region.”

The organizers of the Albuquerque 2030 District invite the community to celebrate Albuquerque’s official Charter, at a happy hour immediately following: Ibiza rooftop bar at 115 2nd Street NW, Hotel Andaluz, 5:15pm.

Learn more about the Albuquerque 2030 District initiative online: 2030districts.org/Albuquerque Contact: ABQ@2030districts.org

(Original article can be found at http://constructionreporternews.com/?p=8569)

Comments

Greetings from New York City, home town of Ed Mazria, working to reach the Emerging District plateau, and hoping to join the ranks of established 2030 Districts before too long. Congratulations Albuquerque # 10 !

Best wishes,

Haym Gross, Architect, Founding Member, NYC 2030 District exploratory committee