Model for Futuristic Sustainable Cities Going Up Near Boston

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The US has 10 cities with a population of more than 1 million. China has 116, and that number is growing fast. Many of these cities are woefully underprepared for the challenge of supporting more people as an increasing number of people move to urban settings. Policymakers around the world are now recognizing the urgent need to build sustainable cities.

LStar Ventures, along with global engineering and design firm Arup, is developing a new city that will be an experiment in how to build sustainable cities of the future. Union Point, an abandoned naval air station south of Boston, Mass., is the site of this endeavor. It is a 1,400 acre parcel of land that overlaps three nearby towns.

Energy efficiency is integrated into all new buildings planned for Union Point. All commercial structures will meet LEED Gold or Platinum standards. Internet of Things (IoT) technology will be included to monitor and control all mechanical and electrical systems for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. LED lighting will be used exclusively inside and out. The buildings themselves will be networked together to minimize the total electrical needs of the commercial part of the city.

By focusing on sustainability, Union Point hopes to become a magnet for businesses looking for a place where their employees can live and work in a healthy environment. LStar also hopes to draw high-tech companies whose leaders are attracted by its focus on sustainable living. For those who need to commute to Boston, a rail line is already in place that provides access to the city in 20 minutes.

Rooftop solar will be installed on most of Union Point’s downtown buildings and a solar farm will be constructed nearby. Grid-scale battery storage technology will be utilized as the costs decrease over time. LStar Ventures is working with National Grid to make the electricity available from the local grid cleaner.

Rooftop farms will provide local restaurants with some of their produce. Beside green public spaces within the community, Union Point will be surrounded by 1,000 acres of green habitat with 50 miles of hiking and bike trails. Although the first commercial buildings will be finished by the end of 2018, the entire project is expected to cost $5 billion and take 15 years to complete.

Amazon is considering Union Point for its new US headquarters, as is Dutch robotics manufacturer ProDrive.

Source and Image: CleanTechnica