What does Phoenix have in common with Bologna, Bristol, Houston, Izmir, Lyon, Milan, Montréal, Naples, Rome, San Francisco and São Paulo?

From C40 Cities

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All 12 of these cities are participants in the 2022 C40 Reinventing Cities Competition.

C40 is a collaborative network of about 100 mayors from cities around the world whose focus is to devise sustainability strategies and policies to halve local pollution emissions within a decade.

This latest competition is geared toward “inviting architects, urban planners, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, start-ups and neighborhood groups to work together on proposals and compete for the unique opportunity to transform underutilized sites into a model for urban projects of the future.”

Resource Innovation Campus in Phoenix; Photo from C40-Phoenix site.

Phoenix will be submitting a project centered around the Resource Innovation Campus (RIC), a 40 acre parcel of land that contains the historic Estrella Village and is adjacent to the area dedicated to the Rio  Reimagined Project, “a county wide green infrastructure project to spearhead revitalization of public land along the Rio Salado River and promote sustainable, equitable and inclusive commerce and job growth.”

According to the Phoenix C40 Competition site, the RIC project is designed to provide:

“…a hub for attracting manufacturing processes, conversion technologies to transform waste into resources, and serve as a test bed for the creation of valuable public-private partnerships and growth of circular companies. Through this competition, Phoenix is looking for development of up to 20 acres using carbon-neutral, energy efficient, heat-resilient solutions that ensure sustainable water usage and meet federal air quality standards.”

Furthermore, the land will be used for:

“Creation of a resource cluster focused on circular economy waste management strategies, including innovative waste reduction and repair initiatives. Expected programming includes space for research and development labs, designated incubation/acceleration space workforce training and development program opportunities, offices and/or workstations, shared collaborative workspaces; as well as utility, infrastructure, support spaces and designated land use for resource clustering focusing on circular economy and by-product synergies. An open gallery space for displays/education/entertainment purposes, and space for potential inclusion of a public facing café environment can also be included. The overall facility should be designed for flexibility and adaptability, target Petal Certification within the Living Building Challenge program (net zero energy being mandatory), and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Commenting on Phoenix taking part in the competition, Mayor Kate Gallego posted on social media:

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. Photo from Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

She also issued a statement that read:

“Cities are living laboratories generating the creative solutions we need to meet the challenges of climate change. The Reinventing Cities Competition will help Phoenix accelerate our work to build a circular economy, and in turn support the start-ups and small businesses that are developing the solutions that will make a zero waste future possible. C40 is powerful convener, and with this collection of designers, cities, and other creative partners, I can’t wait to see the ideas that stem from this competition.”

The deadline for the city to submit its expression of interest is September 15, 2022.

Finalists will be announced in November, 2022 and a winner will be declared in 2023.

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