Pittsburgh 2030 District Recognized with International Downtown Association Award

Touted for building a healthier, higher performing downtown, Pittsburgh on top again.

The Pittsburgh 2030 District, a strategic initiative of the Green Building Alliance, today received a prestigious award from the International Downtown Association for its work to significantly reduce energy consumption, water use and transportation emissions in Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland. The “Downtown Merit Award” recognizes the District as an exemplary project in downtown revitalization.

“Pittsburgh is a unique city with two vibrant downtown commercial centers. We are a city that is thriving,” said Anna J. Siefken, Pittsburgh 2030 District Director. “Our District is highlighting and leveraging our Partners’ forward-thinking, building efficiency best practices to make our region more economically competitive, sustainable, and a healthier place to live, work, learn and play. This award showcases to an international audience some of the innovative things we’ve done in the region, elevating the message about how 2030 Districts help improve cities and why they’re so important. We hope that this recognition helps encourage more local buildings and more downtowns – both across the country and around the globe – to participate in the 2030 challenge.”

The 2030 District is one of six qualified entries in the Economic and Business Development category, which includes organizations working to further their city centers by:

  • Delivering successful programs and strategies that have recruited new businesses or improved retention efforts in downtown
  • Recruiting new sectors of the economy to downtown
  • Creating or enhancing economic development efforts through creative financing, unique operating strategies, or public-private partnerships

Submissions were judged on the following criteria: innovation, replication, representation, sustainability, execution and outcome. Read the details of the criteria here.

The District’s submission, “What a Community of High Performing Buildings Means for Sustainability and Economic Competitiveness in Two Pittsburgh Downtowns” highlighted the region’s proven results of high-performing buildings, including business and property profitability, asset value increases, environmental improvements and improved occupant health, with buildings reporting actual, aggregated usage reductions. The Pittsburgh 2030 District is poised to meet the 2030 Challenge’s incremental goal of a 10 percent reduction overall by 2015. Committed Property Partners in Downtown Pittsburgh, who have been participating in the program for several years, achieved a 17.9 percent reduction in energy use, with an overall 6.3 percent reduction from the national energy baseline within the combined two boundaries. The District saved over 503 million kBtu, the equivalent of 5,562 homes’ annual energy use. Also, the District saved 53 million gallons of water, equivalent to 362 homes’ annual water use, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in water use in Downtown.

The Pittsburgh 2030 District, launched in 2012, is comprised of a group of building owners and managers, community partners and local resource partners in Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland that are actively working to reduce their energy consumption, water use and transportation emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030. To date, the District includes 82 property partners who own and manage 438 buildings equating to more than 66 million square feet of real estate and 68 percent of the total district’s square footage. New construction participants are working toward carbon neutrality by 2030.

Pittsburgh was the third city to create a 2030 District and has led the charge as the fastest growing District – last year, it became the first in the nation to include two distinct boundaries with its inclusion of Oakland. It is also the first District to create and pilot an indoor air quality improvement metric. There are currently 11 North American cities with 2030 Districts and 10 others considering how to adopt the model at their local level.

GBA is a member of the International Downtown Association.

About 2030 District

The Pittsburgh 2030 District, a Green Building Alliance strategic initiative, is a collaborative, nationally recognized, locally driven community of buildings in Pittsburgh’s Downtown and Oakland neighborhoods that are working toward high performance. District Partners aim to dramatically reduce energy use, water consumption and transportation emissions while improving indoor air quality and increasing business competitiveness and owners’ returns on investment. Launched in August 2012, the Pittsburgh 2030 District is convened and facilitated by Green Building Alliance, presented by The Efficiency Network and supported by Covestro.

About Green Building Alliance

Green Building Alliance (GBA) is a nonprofit organization that inspires the creation of healthy, high performing places for everyone. One of the oldest regional green building organizations, GBA was founded in 1993, was the first U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) affiliate and is now a USGBC chapter. Headquartered in Pittsburgh and serving the 26 counties of Western Pennsylvania, GBA advances its mission through four primary initiatives: Knowledge Network, Pittsburgh 2030 District, Green & Healthy Schools Academy, and policy and advocacy efforts.

About International Downtown Association

The Washington, D.C.-based International Downtown Association is a champion for vital and livable urban centers and strives to inform, influence, and inspire downtown leaders and advocates. With 500 member organizations and thousands of professionals, IDA is a guiding force in creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions.

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