|The private-sector led 2030 Districts have been established in cities across North America as grassroots efforts to provide a business model for urban sustainability through collaboration, leveraged financing, and shared resources. The 2030 Districts work toward a common goal of meeting the energy, water, and vehicle emissions reduction targets for existing buildings and new construction called for by Architecture 2030 in its 2030 Challenge for Planning.
After five years of support and oversight from Architecture 2030, the fifteen 2030 Districts have established a nonprofit, the 2030 Districts Network, to supported their efforts from January 2017.
“We understood the power of creating a district model to address resource conservation in cities,” said Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030 and member of the new 2030 Districts Network Board. “It has been gratifying to see the market signal that this is the right way to create change in the industry.”
The 2030 Districts Network includes more than 290 million sq. ft. of member-owned real estate, over 1,000 buildings, and over 600 member organizations.
While the districts are managed by their local boards, the 2030 Districts Network was established to support peer exchange across districts, store and share data, use the aggregate purchasing power of the district membership to secure reduced costs, create national partnership relationships, and influence national policy on transportation infrastructure and building water and energy efficiency.
Previously, Architecture 2030 had run the Network, making sure all 2030 Districts benefit from partnerships, support, and services, including technical support, fundraising guidance, access to national partners, summits, webinars and capacity building workshops.
But with the 2030 Districts’ successful growth – in addition to the 15 Established Districts, five more cities have reached the Emerging District stage of development – the logical step was for the Network to become its own nonprofit organization.
As part of this move, the 2030 Districts have selected 13 members to its initial Board of Governors:
Under this new leadership, the Network will look to build upon the success and expand its reach to more cities in North America and beyond.
“As a national real estate owner and developer, Forest City sees the 2030 Network as a great asset in helping us achieve our sustainability goals, aligning those objectives with municipal plans, and effectively communicating our efforts to stakeholders,” said Jill Ziegler, Forest City Realty Trust’s director of sustainability and corporate responsibility, and a new 2030 Network board member. “We look forward to working with like-minded organizations within the 2030 Network to share best practices and further sustainability efforts on a broader scale at all levels.”
The majority of 2030 Districts are located in downtown commercial cores and city centers, which typically have the highest and most concentrated energy and environmental impact. There, the reduction of energy and water consumption, transportation emissions, and improved indoor air quality provides the additional benefit of increased competitiveness in the business environment and owner’s returns on investment. Several of the Districts that are vulnerable to environmental threats such as flooding also focus on community and economic resilience.
The Districts have an impact on raising awareness of climate change and mobilizing community action. Several Districts have published annual reports documenting their successes and have been able to create meaningful and quantifiable strides to meeting their goals. Pittsburgh realized a 6.3% drop in energy consumption in its District through the end of 2014. The Seattle District has seen a 10% reduction in energy consumption through 2015 and the Stamford District saw a 6.2% reduction in energy consumption through 2015.
“Architecture 2030 is delighted to be handing over supervision of the 2030 Districts to their own free-standing organization. The Districts have been a great success, and we look forward to their continued growth and development, supported by the 2030 Districts Network,” said Edward Mazria.