One of the more sustainably minded cities in the state, Tucson is forging ahead with plans to make the city more energy and water efficient by working towards becoming an Established 2030 District. This designation is reserved for cities that are committed to reducing their building's energy use, water use, and transportation emissions by 50 percent by year 2030. Notable western cities that have achieved 2030 District recognition include Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles and Albuquerque.
There are three phases to becoming a 2030 district – Prospective, Emerging and Established. Tucson is currently in the second phase, Emerging, which means there is a stated intent to establish a 2030 District, an exploratory committee formed with active participation from three different property owners and stated intent to meet or surpass the energy, water and vehicle emissions reduction targets called for by Architecture 2030 in the 2030 Challenge for Planning. The boundaries for the Tucson district encompass the Bonita, Downtown, West University and University districts of the city.
The effort is a private-public partnership, comprising of stakeholders that are committed to making Tucson’s future sustainable including property owners/managers, industry professionals and community groups. This is an excellent example of groups collaborating to build a strong, resilient city where residents have healthy buildings to live and work in, economic development with an increase in green jobs, strong infrastructure and a future that is more prepared to deal with the effects of climate change.
Plans for 2017 include information sessions, workshops and working directly with building owners to assess their energy and water use. Pima Community College is also holding an innovative new course where students will learn the needed sustainability skills and tools to improve building performance and how to significantly save money and reduce carbon emissions in any building. This course is open to anyone in the community, and starts on January 30th. Registration closes on January 24th, and you can find details here.
Find upcoming events and more information on the Tucson 2030 District Facebook page. Building owners and property managers interested in becoming members can email Peter Dobrovolny at [email protected].