Architecture 2030 leader ready for Albuquerque to become a 2030 District

Courtesy Albuquerque Business First.

By Damon Scott

November 21, 2014

Edward Mazria says that during parts of the 1970s and 1980s, New Mexico was the center of the universe for solar energy.

"We kind of lost that, and the center has moved to Seattle — the cloudiest place maybe in the world," Mazria said. "We need to recapture that here."

Mazria's internationally renownedArchitecture 2030 organization is based in Santa Fe, where he eventually planted roots after meeting and joining forces withUrban Land Institute founder and fellow Santa Fean Wayne Nichols. The two were in Albuquerque on Nov. 20 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week to discussAlbuquerque's emergence as a 2030 District, joining an impressive line-up that includes Seattle, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Denver.

Mazria is recognized internationally as an architect, planner, author and educator, whose research has reshaped the dialogue on how the building sector can reduce its carbon emissions. His 2030 District program is voluntary, engaging a city's public and private sector to adopt carbon-emission reduction goals in their respective building sectors. Property owners and managers have most of the leadership in meeting and exceeding the targets.

There are nine established districts (Dallas joined this week) and eight districts that are emerging.

"We have a problem that needs to be solved — global warming — the global average temperature rise," said Mazria. "Urban environments emit 75 percent of global emissions. We need to phase it out from the urban build environment or all hell will break loose."

Mazria said there will be more than 900 billion square feet of new and redeveloped buildings constructed in cities worldwide by 2030. "We have a huge opportunity to get it right, or we are locked into energy and emission patterns for 80 to 120 more years," he said.

Energy consumption is going down because of efficiencies, he said, and that's important to taxpayers. Mazria said his research shows a potential of $4.61 trillion in savings between now and 2030 from continued and increased building-sector energy reductions. Solar is driving the trend, as projections are that electricity prices will rise and solar prices will decrease. Albuquerque has a huge advantage in its solar potential, Mazria said.

"Why is [an Albuquerque 2030 District] so important? Because it will be a disruptive district and lead the way," he said.

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