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To get to net zero, cities need to think wider than buildings

By District Energy posted 11-15-2019 15:12


Tom Sieniewicz, NBBJ Design
Source: Smart Cities Dive


The City of Boston recently made headlines for an ambitious plan to mandate all new city-owned buildings to be carbon neutral, part of a wider plan for the city to achieve net zero status by 2050.

The attention on this announcement and the framing of net zero makes sense. Finally, there is a sustainability goal for the city that people could fully grasp and get behind, a readily understandable and appealing arithmetic proposition that the city's buildings will eventually produce as much energy as they use.

The challenge, of course, isn’t in getting people excited about the prospect of going net zero — fervor around the term has grown with the number of buildings that meet the standard. The challenge is preparing cities for what it's going to take to actually make net zero a realistic possibility. 

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