Florida Community Aims To Be The Most Sustainable In The Country

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Kitson & Partners has visions of its Florida development, Babcock Ranch, becoming the standard for ensuing ultra-sustainable communities across the United States

April 25, 2016

Photo Credit: United States Air Force

Kitson & Partners, a private real estate development company in Florida, is building an entirely new community on a piece of land five times the size of Manhattan that is set to become the most sustainable new town in the United States. The company purchased the land with the intent of preserving as much as possible (90 percent has already been sold to the state of Florida for preservation, including 75 acres set aside for panther habitat) and using the rest to build their super-sustainable town on. After 10 years of planning, that town is finally under construction, Fast Co. Exist reports.

The local utility, Florida Solar & Light, is building a 350,000 panel solar farm that will power the proposed community of 50,000 during the day. At night, the grid will take over and natural gas will be used, an energy combination that will be the greenest in the country.

The town itself will be laid out so residents can choose to walk or ride their bikes for errands or commuting to local jobs and the streets will be just as suitable for people traffic as for vehicle traffic. Eventually, the plan is to have a public transportation system of electric driverless cars that residents will be able to hail using an Uber-like app for getting to more distant jobs. Kitson & Partners is currently working with an outside company to create that system, which is made easier by the fact that Florida is already one of the most autonomous-friendly states in the country.

The buildings (which are not yet currently under construction) and infrastructure are planned to be built to withstand storms, meaning residents will not necessarily need to leave during a hurricane, especially because the development will be over 20 feet above sea level, unusual for most Florida Coast cities.

The solar plant and city infrastructure are currently under construction and homes and the downtown area are set to begin construction this summer.

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