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City's Forthcoming Sustainability Efforts Will 'Shock This Community'

The Contemporary Arts Center was the first to pledge a 50 percent reduction in energy and water usage as part of Cincinnati's 2030 District.
Contemporary Arts Center
The Contemporary Arts Center was the first to pledge a 50 percent reduction in energy and water usage as part of Cincinnati's 2030 District.

Director of the Cincinnati 2030 District Tremaine Phillips says in the next couple of months he will announce some projects that "will shock this community in terms of how far and how fast we are moving forward in the area of sustainability."

At the end of 2018, Cincinnati became the 21st city in North America to sign on with the 2030 District, a network of healthy, high-performing sustainable buildings that pledge to fight climate change by reducing water and energy usage and transportation emissions by 50 percent.

Phillips says the announcements will pertain to grid-to-vehicle storage; autonomous vehicles; and energy efficiency, which he says are really going to be world-class.

In the meantime, Phillips continues to sign up building owners. Eighteen are already on board, including the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). It was the first, according to Director Raphaela Platow.

"Obviously the environment is a hugely important issue and a lot of contemporary artists talk about it in their work," she says. "So we felt we had to be an organization who talks about the planet and the relationship with contemporary art and innovative thought."

The CAC, according to Sustainability Director Aly Laughlin, already offsets its electrical energy use with offsite wind energy. It has low water usage; composts; has LED lighting; and sets its copy machine to double-sided printing. "So we're kind of taking a look now at everything we're doing and how we can take that even further," Laughlin says. 

2030 says it's more than sustainability.

"We know that Generation Z and the Millenial Generation are looking for communities that are walkable, bikeable, that have safe streets, that have clean air and that have enjoyable places to live, work and play," says Phillips. 

Here are the companies participating:

  • 84.51
  • Cincinnati Bell Inc.
  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  • City of Cincinnati
  • Contemporary Arts Center
  • Cincinnati 580 Commercial Development, LLC
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Deskey
  • Emersion Design
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)
  • MCA Center LLC
  • Melink Corporation
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  • Neyer Properties
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Sol Design & Consulting
  • The Kroger Co.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.