- Denver and DHA join new program.
- Sun Valley expected to benefit.
- Healthy, sustainability goal.
The City of Denver and the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver will be participating in Target Cities, a program launched this month by the Clinton Global Initiative.
The goal is to transform one of Denver’s poorest and most downtrodden neighborhoods, Sun Valley. Sun Valley, a neighborhood that includes Sports Authority Field at Mile High, is roughly bordered by West 20th and West 6th avenues, Federal Boulevard and Interstate 25.
Target Cities is a two-year partnership of nine development projects across seven North American cities designed to amplify and accelerate district-scale community regeneration and create replicable models for next-generation urban revitalization. EcoDistricts, based in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit behind TargetCities.
EcoDistricts believes the most efficient and effective method of transforming cities it through district-sale projects.
The vision for Denver is to have a holistic, transformative, and sustainable solution for the entire 100 acre Sun Valley neighborhood adjacent to the Central Business District and Auraria Education Campus.
The district-wide goals for Sun Valley include:
- District-scale energy infrastructure (photovoltaic, geothermal, steam, etc.) providing renewable and sustainable energy;
- Wastewater, water quality and water detention solutions;
- And recycling and any other implementable solutions that conserve resources and enhance the lives of its residents.
Additional solutions for Sun Valley include multi-modal transportation options and healthy locally grown food are also sought.
The goal is to reduce energy consumption by more than 60 percent beyond local code standards.
DHA and its local partners also hope to create a district entity that will oversee and carry on the operation of the created district for years to come.
“Sustainability is a value that is embedded in everything we do as an administration because the decisions we make today will affect generations we will never meet,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
“Creating healthy, sustainable cities begins at the neighborhood level,” Hancock continued.
“Through this Target Cities Initiative, Sun Valley will be a model neighborhood for creating healthy, equitable communities that are good for the economy and good for the environment,” Hancock said
As a Target Cities project, the Sun Valley Transformation Initiative will incorporate the central principles behind the EcoDistricts Protocol, which guides the projects through district organization and governance, assessment, implementation, and monitoring.
Each step of the EcoDistricts approach is built around an interrelated set of environmental, economic, and social performance areas:
- Equitable development.
- Health and well being.
- Community identity.
- Habitat and ecosystem functionality.
- Optimized materials management.
“Denver is proud to join with other Target Cities around the country to develop sustainable and equitable communities, through district-scale strategies and solutions that will positively impact the quality of life of residents and the local ecosystems.” said DHA Executive Director Ismael Guerrero.
In addition to Denver’s Sun Valley Transformation Initiative, other EcoDistrict include projects in Atlanta, Boston, Cambridge, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Ontario and three in Washington, D.C.
EcoDistricts will act as a strategic partner to each of the project teams, helping to build robust governance models that will spur deep political and technical change, perform integrated assessment and goal setting tasks and accelerate the deployment of strategies to deepen their impact.
As part of their participation in Target Cities, each of the projects will help test and refine the emerging EcoDistricts Protocol.
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