This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 27, 2009

"Climate Positive" Urban Projects Slated for California and Florida

The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) launched a new Climate Positive Development Program on May 18, with the aim of developing large-scale urban projects that are "climate positive," that is, their on-site greenhouse gas emissions are actually less than zero. For instance, an energy-efficient building with significant on-site renewable energy generation could be a net producer of renewable energy, bringing the building's net greenhouse gas emissions below zero. Such buildings would tend to lower the total greenhouse gas emissions of the community where they are located, and if entire communities are built that way, they can serve as a model for a future "low-carbon" economy. The CCI program will initially tackle 16 climate positive projects in 10 countries on six continents. See the CCI press release.

Photo of part of a hilly island in the foreground connected by a road to a large, flat, essentially square island.

Treasure Island is an artificial island in San Francisco Bay, connected by a small isthmus to Yerba Buena Island. Yerba Buena Island connects the east and west spans of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Enlarge this image.
Credit: Treasure Island Development Authority

The new program's initial 16 projects include two in the United States: one on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco, California, and one in Destiny, Florida. The Treasure Island Redevelopment Project will start with 450 acres of land from a former naval station on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island in the San Francisco Bay and convert it into a new mixed-use, sustainable community. The islands are currently home to more than 3,000 residents and are accessible by car and bus; the redevelopment project will add an intermodal ferry terminal to Treasure Island, and it will also expand and upgrade an existing marina. In contrast, Destiny is a planned sustainable city to be located in central Florida. The city's founders bought 41,300 acres of undeveloped land for the project, and as they develop it, they plan to achieve a 50% reduction in energy demand relative to similar developments, with on-site renewable energy sources meeting at least 50% of the city's energy demands. See the press release from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, the Web site for the Treasure Island Development Authority, and the Destiny press release.