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Regenerating Existing Development: Living City Block

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on May 18th, 2010

© Living City Block

“By the summer of 2012, Living City Block Lo Do Denver will have reduced its aggregate energy use by 50%. By the summer of 2014, LCB will become a Net Zero energy bloc, and by 2016 it will be creating more resources than it consumes. But concurrently, LCB will be working to develop a thriving urban community, one in which people of all ages and types choose to live, work and play.”

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 will still be in use in the year 2050. As America and the world work to build a new, sustainable foundation for the 21st century, we need new models of what our urban spaces and places can become. Living City Block will be just such a model.

Starting with a block and a half of Denver’s historic Lower Downtown (LoDo) district, Living City Block will create a demonstration of a regenerative urban center. LCB will draw on selected partners from around Denver, the U.S. and the world to develop and implement a working model of how one block within an existing city can be transformed into a paradigm for the new urban landscape.

This pilot project is taking the area of 15th to 16th, Wynkoop to Wazee and east across Wazee and transforming it into a sustainable community. First, Living City Block will work to significantly reduce the energy consumption and environmental impact on these blocks. By the summer of 2012, Living City Block Lo Do Denver will have reduced its aggregate energy use by 50%. By the summer of 2014, LCB will become a Net Zero energy bloc, and by 2016 it will be creating more resources than it consumes. But concurrently, LCB will be working to develop a thriving urban community, one in which people of all ages and types choose to live, work and play. Right retail will evolve, better and more sustainable jobs will be created and kept, and the block will take its place as a part of the economic engine that drives the city and the region.

The LoDo project is a model that will be replicated across the Western Hemisphere though our Sister Cites and Sister Neighborhood programs. The LCB Team is pursuing relationships with other neighborhoods within Denver, other cities within the US and the Western Hemisphere to establish their own Living City Blocks. The LCB Team will begin by creating “virtual” city blocks with these partners that will over time become their own actual Living City Blocks. The lessons learned and the methodologies created through our initial LoDo Denver LCB will become the model for developing many other LCB’s, and for doing so at scale and in the near future.

Read more on Living City Block.

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