Decarbonize Our Cities

Image from AS+GG Decarbonization Plan for Chicago

A new plan was recently unvieled for the “decarbonization” of Chicago.  The brain-child of architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill (AS+GG), the study hinges upon eight key strategies for meeting the city’s carbon reduction goals of 25% by 2020.  These numbers were set out by the renown Chicago Climate Action Plan and included the especially ambitious standard for all new and renovated buildings to adhere to a 100% reduction by 2030.  As part of the ‘Buildings’ strategy, the decarbonization plan places heavy emphasis on retrofitting old building stock to improve efficiency and implementing new technology to transfer excess energy loads back to the grid.  AS+GG describe some of the other strategies in these terms:

The other strategies include “Smart Infrastructure,” a look at how energy can be generated, stored, distributed and shared; “Mobility,” an assessment of transit and connectivity; “Water,” which examines how this critical resource is used and conserved; “Waste,” an assessment of citywide processes and systems for reducing, recycling and disposal; “Community Engagement,” which proposes various programs to engage citizens in the green agenda; and “Energy,” an examination of existing and new energy sources.

Inhabitat reports that they also suggest publishing a standardized textbook for all city schools that would teach urban design and decarbonization for public school students.  New York has a few initiatives of its own, but that are as ambitious or sweeping.  Maybe we could take a few pages out of Chicago’s playbook?


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