Lloyd Crossing, a 35-block section of Portland, Oregon, may be the first urban neighborhood in the country to get off the city grid and the planetary dole. Plans call for the office and retail district–dating from the heyday of freeway construction and passed over by the downtown boom of the last 20 years–to build up to eight million square feet of floor space, quadrupling its capacity to 21,000 residents and workers by 2050. Towers and mid-rise buildings will go up around the intersection of Portland’s MAX light rail and a scheduled streetcar extension. And during the same period net energy and water consumption will be reduced to levels nearly equivalent to a patch of native Northwest forest.
With a seven-step process in place that includes wastewater treatment and reuse, renewable energy and LEED building standards, Lloyd Crossing may become the model for sustainable urban (re)development. Is their any place cooler than Portland right now…?