About Living City Block
By the year 2050, eighty-percent of the world’s population will live in cities, while seventy-five-percent of our existing building stock will still be in use. In order to create more resilient, energy efficient and desirable urban environments that can meet an ever-increasing demand for energy and other resources, we must develop a new paradigm for retrofitting our existing city neighborhoods.
Launching summer 2010 in Lower Downtown Denver, Living City Block is a multi-phased redevelopment project that will prove the case for making our cities radically more resource efficient, one block at a time. We will demonstrate a business model and economic development opportunity while fostering a thriving local community. Living City Block will serve as a proof of concept replicable throughout the city, the United States and in large urban centers around the world.
- Proving the business case is essential to the success of this project. Showing that deep energy retrofits are good for the bottom line–and that there are clear pathways to financing that work–will be a key feature for engaging the local business community and building ownership.
- Economic Development will focus on job creation and building a stronger tax base through corporate recruitment and attainment.
- We want to make our cities more desirable and livable environments. We will foster communities where people choose to work and live, raise families and age in place.
A Unique Endeavor
Many current sustainable cities initiatives focus on new development, but this project will transform two square blocks of existing, historical buildings into a resilient, regenerative urban center. This approach is fundamental to creating the sustainable city of the future.
Living City Block consists of a core team of experts from internationally recognized energy efficiency consultancy, Rocky Mountain Institute. The team will work collaboratively with building owners, city leaders, and industry experts from across the Institute’s worldwide network of partners.
Over 80% of the building owners have already committed to Living City Block. They will be investing the hard capital required to improve their buildings. The City of Denver will contribute funds for street and other city-controlled improvement measures. And we will be exploring, with our building owners and tenants, buyer consortia and other joint governance structures for making block wide improvements that will benefit all constituents of the block.