• Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, and Francesca Desmarais, director of the 2030 Challenge for Products, are Vision 2020 co-chairs for Energy and Carbon.

    Credit: Eli Meir Kaplan

    Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, and Francesca Desmarais, director of the 2030 Challenge for Products, are Vision 2020 co-chairs for Energy and Carbon.


Along these lines Architecture 2030 is working with colleagues to identify, aggregate, organize, and integrate best practices into a shared vision, a design and planning set of guiding principles, strategies, and specific system applications for regions, cities, towns, districts, and buildings worldwide that:

• create vibrant and sustainable built environments;

• exist within their ecological capital;

• dramatically decarbonize energy consumption;

• reduce their environmental exposure;

• ensure an accessible, reliable, and renewable energy and water supply;

• promote the preservation and restoration of natural habitats and ecosystems; and

• address the progressing vagaries of climate.

The resulting framework entitled the 2030 Palette, due to be launched in 2013, is structured as a free, noncommercial, interactive Web platform. It is a highly visual program containing a complete range of planning, infrastructure, and building design strategies and principles, including design-driven renewable energy applications, for various climates and cultures that meet or exceed the targets of the 2030 Challenge.

The 2030 Palette is organized to make highly complex and multidimensional information readily accessible. Since design and planning are primarily visual activities, the Palette is structured as a visual network of interrelated elements. Each element in the network contains a written rule or recommendation, images and graphics representing the physical application of the rule, as well as more detailed information for implementing the rule. Users will be able to explore region-specific environmental/cultural conditions and optimize design efforts with proven strategies, systems, and actions.

As a dynamic and interactive platform with unrestricted access, the 2030 Palette will be continually adjusted and expanded over time. It will form a uniquely patterned, cohesive, living framework for making better design and planning decisions. 2030 followers will be able to virtually congregate at a Palette blog, a “seeding” ground for enthusiasts to submit content, new tools, and applications, and promote, educate, and support localization efforts around the world. It is a place where new sustainable design practices can emerge and gain momentum.

As with the 2030 Challenge, 2030 education programs, and 2030 Districts, the 2030 Palette is not just a set of targets, actions, or applications; it is in fact a mind-set leading to a global paradigm shift about the intimate connection between the built and natural worlds.

We know the number, it is 350 ppm CO2, and we realize the risk as dangerous climate change.

We understand the problem of energy demand and have accepted the challenge, the 2030 Challenge. And, we are in fact making progress: The demand for energy in the U.S. building sector is leveling out, and CO2 emissions are dropping. We need to step it up to create the next built environment, today.

Edward Mazria is founder and CEO of Architecture 2030. Francesca Desmarais is director of the 2030 Challenge for Products. They are Vision 2020 co-chairs for Energy and Carbon.