It is estimated that by the year 2050, eighty percent of the world’s population will live in cities. In addition, the Urban Land Institute predicts that eighty percent of current building stock in the US will still be in use in the year 2050. A series of impressive efforts are underway to mobilize the financing and technologies to retrofit large buildings, but nearly half of the building stock in America is small-medium sized.
Living City Block is an initiative to help cities redesign and retrofit inefficient and/or aging buildings at the block scale and is is committed to work with communities to create resource hyper-efficient, economically sustainable and healthier and more livable neighborhoods. Aggregation of square footage at the block scale enables economies of scale for small-medium sized buildings and lends the ability to work with local governments to implement not just transformative energy solutions, but also to rework water, waste, healthier streets and other block-scale issues.
Living City Block was born at the Rocky Mountain Institute and was launched earlier this year by Llewellyn Wells. The initial pilot project is underway in lower downtown Denver that will produce a framework that can be exported and adapted in sister cities. Already we are in conversations with key potential partners in Boston, Washington DC, and Santa Marta (Colombia).