Greening an Entire Block Instead of Just One Building – Jobs & Economy – The Atlantic Cities

17 Apr

Living City Block’s basic concept is simple. Small buildings rarely have the resources to do a serious retrofit. For most of them, the idea is cost-prohibitive. But what if you combined a small building with 10 more like it? If all of those building owners got together to order high-efficiency water heaters in bulk, or to collectively replace one-thousand windows, could they achieve the kind of economies of scale that the Empire State Building gets?

This sounds feasible, and Riley is sure the idea will work. But he’s talking about creating a kind of building owners’ association that has never been modeled before, one in which neighbors who otherwise have very little in common might make common decisions about pooling their trash pick-up, paying their utility bills, and renovating their properties.

If you’ve ever thrown in your lot with a condo association, you can begin to imagine the logistical and legal challenges of scaling up something like this to the neighborhood level and then convincing banks to finance the joint projects of all of these random people.

“The legal framework, the governance structures and the financing are the biggest three [challenges],” Riley says. “Everything else is just stuff.”

via Greening an Entire Block Instead of Just One Building – Jobs & Economy – The Atlantic Cities.

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