South Village will become Claremont’s first forward-looking, LEED-certified neighborhood using renewable power and moving toward becoming fossil-fuel independent
The overarching environmental sustainability goals are to develop a neighborhood that mitigates environmental degradation and promotes environmental health. Our top priority is to work towards eliminating all fossil fuel use. This can be achieved by reducing neighborhood-wide carbon emissions, reducing building energy consumption, relying on clean renewable electricity, and moving towards decarbonization of all energy including vehicle fuels.
The South Village will be the first project in Claremont to fully implement the goals set in the City’s Sustainable City Plan of Transit-Oriented Development, Smart Growth, and LEED-ND. The public space throughout the South Village will feature sustainable landscape interventions including native planting demonstrations, bioswales, roof rainwater catchment, permeable pavement, and increased tree canopy.
South Village is planned as a walkable neighborhood that is centered around low-carbon transportation choices and reduces the need to drive. In order to meet our state’s emissions targets for 2030, the California Air Resource Board has determined we must reduce driving by 25%. The most efficient and effective way to reduce driving and associated emissions is to build walkable neighborhoods. This is backed up by the data: research shows that a household moving from a drivable suburban house to a walkable urban place can drop its greenhouse gas emissions by between approximately 74%. Walkability and location make a difference with household energy consumption as well, with studies showing that drivable suburban house to a walkable urban place reduces household energy consumption by 55-60%
In addition to walkability, South Village is envisioned as a transit-oriented development (TOD), informed by the principles of Smart Growth and New Urbanism. This means a complete community with ample amenities and green space, that is connected for diverse modes of transportation. South Village residents will be within a five-minute walk to restaurants, shops, public space, a park, and a public market of South Village and many of the amenities of the West Village. Within in a 10-minute walk is the Historic Claremont Village, the Metrolink and Future Gold Line Station, and the Claremont Colleges. The South Village is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build the type of neighborhood in Claremont that has the potential to reduce car ownership by at least 30%, reduce vehicle miles traveled by 50-60%, reduce household transportation costs, and increase transit ridership by 50% (all as evidenced in similar TOD projects).
Transit Oriented Development
South Village will become Claremont’s first LEED Neighborhood, an ambitious sustainability rating system that looks beyond the building scale to consider the entire community’s environmental impact. The LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). First conceived in 2002, the rating system integrates the principles of smart growth, New Urbanism, and green building into the first national standard for green neighborhood development.
The three major categories that LEED-ND addresses in its points system are:
Smart Location and Linkage
This category addresses where to build, and encourages communities to consider location, transportation alternatives, and preservation of sensitive lands while also discouraging sprawl. Points are awarded for Smart Location, Design with Nature, Connected Neighborhoods and Public Transit.
Neighborhood Pattern and Design
This category addresses what to build and emphasizes vibrant, equitable communities that are healthy, walkable and mixed-use. Points are awarded for Neighborhoods that Use Land Efficiently, Diverse and Convenient Neighborhoods, Walkable Streets, Reduced Parking and Transportation Demand, Bicycle-Friendly Design and Mixed Uses and Community Spaces.
Green Infrastructure and Buildings
This category promotes the design and construction of buildings and infrastructure that reduce energy and water use, while promoting more sustainable use of materials, reuse of existing and historic structures, and other sustainable best practices. Points are awarded for Green Buildings, Reusing Older Buildings, Reducing Pollution, Keeping Things Cool, Neighborhood-Wide Energy, and Recycling and Reuse.