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Toronto's lower don lands selected for newly launched climate positive development program

May 19, 2009 – (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – Waterfront Toronto’s Lower Don Lands development was announced today as one among 16 founding projects of the Climate Positive Development Program, a Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) program that will support the development of large-scale urban projects that demonstrate cities can grow in ways that are “climate positive.” Climate Positive real estate developments will strive to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero.


The Climate Positive Development Program was launched by President Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, on May 19, 2009, at the C40 Summit in Seoul, South Korea. Along with the other founding projects, Waterfront Toronto – Lower Don Lands will demonstrate Climate Positive strategies, setting a compelling environmental and economic example for cities to follow.


To reduce the net greenhouse gas emissions of their Climate Positive Development projects to below zero, property developers and local governments will agree to work in partnership on specific areas of activity. This includes implementing economically viable innovations in buildings, the generation of clean energy, waste management, water management, and transportation and outdoor lighting systems.


Last year, for the first time, half the world’s population (3.2 billion people) lived in cities, and that figure is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2050. Cities also occupy just 2 percent of the world’s landmass, yet are responsible for more than two-thirds of global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. How cities change and grow is therefore a critical component to tackling the climate crisis.


C40 Chair David Miller, Toronto Mayor and Waterfront Toronto board member, said, "We're proud to support the participation of the Lower Don Lands in the Climate Positive Development Program. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Toronto's experience in livable, sustainable and diverse neighbourhoods, and help create a network of leading edge ‘climate-positive’ communities around the world."


"Waterfront Toronto is thrilled to be part of the Clinton Climate Initiative that will advance the innovation and profile of important sustainable city building projects like the Lower Don Lands," said John Campbell, President of Waterfront Toronto. "The Lower Don Lands project proposes an approach to an urbanized river that few cities have taken before. We are working to re-locate the mouth of a river, restore the river to a condition that nature would applaud, create new parks along its edges and build the most carbon neutral new urban neighbourhoods possible.”


The Lower Don Lands is a 125-hectare (308 acres) brownfield waterfront site east of downtown Toronto. Waterfront Toronto is transforming the area through innovative and sustainable city building models. Plans include re-naturalizing the Don River mouth, re-routing it to address flood protection, and the creation of wetland and natural green space creation in an urban estuary. The river will be the centerpiece of a new mixed-use sustainable community.


The design will achieve climate-positive goals using passive design, optimizing climatic effects from sun and wind, and prioritizing transit and multi-mode transportation options. Energy planning raises the bar for building energy efficiency and in deemphasizing the reliance on the grid. The design also includes strategies for water re-use and leading edge information technology to support sustainable living and working.


The project is globally unique in size, scope, and complexity. The integrated design approach with landscape architects, urban designers and leading sustainability experts brings together infrastructure, public realm, and scientific approaches to connect the city, lake and river in a dynamic and balanced relationship.


By combining CCI's business and finance expertise with the technical knowledge of the USGBC, the Climate Positive Development program will support the planning and implementation process for each real estate development and establish the standards and metrics by which the sites can measure climate positive outcomes.


When the initial 16 projects are completed, nearly one million people will live and work in Climate Positive communities. These communities will be located in Melbourne, Australia; Palhoca, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Victoria, Canada; Ahmedabad, India; Jaipur, India; outside Panama City, Panama; Pretoria, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa; Seoul, South Korea; Stockholm, Sweden; London, UK; San Francisco, USA and Destiny Florida, USA.


For media enquiries contact:


Sheri DeCarlo, Waterfront Toronto, (416) 214-1344 x 279
Don Wanagas, Director of Communications, Office of Toronto Mayor David Miller, (416) 338-7134


About the Clinton Climate Initiative


The William J. Clinton Foundation launched the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to create and advance solutions to the core issues driving climate change. Working with governments and businesses around the world to tailor local solutions that are economically and environmentally sustainable, CCI focuses on three strategic program areas: increasing energy efficiency in cities, catalyzing the large-scale supply of clean energy, and working to measure and value the carbon absorbed by forests. In each of these programs, CCI uses a holistic approach to address the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the people, policies, and practices that impact them. CCI serves as the action arm of the C40, an association of large cities around the world that have pledged to accelerate their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about the work of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the William J. Clinton Foundation, please visit www.clintonfoundation.org.

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