Jorge Chapa

San Francisco's New Sustainable Civic Center

by , 09/29/08

san francisco civic center, green civic center, redevelopment of the civic center, redeveloping san francisco, new san francisco, san francisco goes green, clinton global initiative, gavin newsom

For the past several years, the city of San Francisco has made strident efforts push forward and transform itself into the greenest city in the United States. Taking this goal one step further, Mayor Gavin Newsom recently announced an incredible plan to transform the city’s Civic Center into a sustainable resource district”. San Francisco’s renewed green heart will feature solar panels, wind turbines, and living roofs, reducing the city’s carbon footprint by 2,225 tons – the equivalent of 1,286 San Francisco households!

It has been said that the green economy is the next big thing, and San Francisco’s new Civic Center will meet the need for greener developments by employing a host of sustainable strategies. Wind turbines and solar panels will reduce the district’s energy consumption by 33%, and water efficient fixtures, and a water reclamation program will reduce potable water usage by 80% and wastewater discharge by 45%.

Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the project at the Clinton Climate Initiative, stating that:

“San Francisco’s Civic Center sits at the core of one of the most visited cities in the world. What better way to educate the world on sustainability than by transforming that core to showcase how we can use water more efficiently, promote food security, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. San Francisco has always been a leader – willing to think differently and act boldly. And now, our Civic Center will stand as a global model for how we achieve a more sustainable future.”

The plan will begin to be implemented at the end of October, starting with a large planning exercise that will include experts and community groups. Once the planning process has been completed, expect the first of the initiatives to be deployed by the end of next year.

+ SFGov.org

+ Clinton Climate Initiative

Via Huffington Post

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3 Comments

  1. jeanX September 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I recall, on aug 31, 2008, this very same Civic Center hosted Slow Food Nation ’08.
    Slow Food Nation ran soaker hoses all over the Civic Center on EVERY plant.
    The point was to show everyone in sf just what a plant looks like?
    This is the dry season in sf, which has a Greek-like climate:dry Summers, wet Winters.
    I approve of solar, but that will not heat our homes in Winter in North and continental
    climates.It makes electricity.
    You don’t need a furnace at the Civic Center.
    What an an awful waste of water….

  2. Amanda Weinstein September 30, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you so much for writing about San Francisco\’s brand new civic center plans. I think it is very important in today\’s day and age to keep up to par with the planning of large scale and even small scale, architectural design that strive to go green. The green movement has been hot like fire the last couple of years and it is truly rewarding to see people following the trend not just for themselves, but for others and especially for mother nature. Your writing is very eloquent and allow me to become further engaged with the blog. It is very important in terms of green architecture to give up to date facts of how this is specifically going to effect out cities when pitching a proposal. Your blog adds just the right amount of specifics without seeming potentially boring or pretentious. The description of the building that will include, \”solar panels, wind turbines, and living roofs, reducing the cities carbon footprint by 2,225 tons- the equivalent of 1,286 San Francisco households\”, is a great analogy to put into perspective just how efficient green energy and conservation really is. Also, your support with the quote from the Mayor of San Francisco, \”Civic Center sits at the core of one of the most cisited cities in the world. What better way to educate the world on sustainability then by transforming the to showcase how we can use water more efficiently, promote food security, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels\”, really makes the idea of green design the only intelligent way to go about the future of planning and development with the best world in its best interest. Do you believe that in the next ten years all buildings will have converted to energy efficient buildings to strengthen our economy and our environment? I loved your blog and its relation to matter that come up in everyday life!

  3. Steve N. Lee September 30, 2008 at 2:35 am

    Those are impressive figures – reduction in water usage of 80%?! Great.

    I was in San Francisco in July. I don’t recall seeing any wind trubines on any buildings, nor that many green areas in the city centre, but I did see more hybrid cars (Prius) than I’ve ever seen in my life! Now, I know some will have been rentals for tourists eager to escape the hellish gas prices, but many will have been owned by Californians.

    Outside San Francisco, on many of the Californian hillsides are vast colonies of wind turbines. Again, I’ve never seen anything like them. Wind farms of seemingly hundreds of turbines. An incredible sight.

    It would appear that Californians are committed environmental causes. If they say San Francisco is going to become so much greener, then I believe it. I hope this stands as an example to towns and cities around the globe and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

    Steve N. Lee
    author of eco-blog http://www.lionsledbysheep.com
    and suspense thriller ‘What if…?’

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