“Not all cities are the same”. This is practically the slogan of Babcock Ranch, which aspires to be the first 100% solar city in the United States.
But the 340,000 solar panels with which Babcock promises to take all the energy you need during the day is not the only thing this initiative wants to differentiate itself. “Babcock’s ranch will be the most pedestrian and cycling town in America”, says Kitson & Partners, a real estate agency promoting the project in southwest Florida.
But with what endorsements does Babcock Ranch present itself to climb on the podium of the sustainable city? They are not uncommon. To begin with, the energy from which the 19,500 homes planned It will come from a solar power plant built in the region by Florida Power and Light, an ally of this project which also benefits from the support of the county and the state of Florida.
This facility, with a capacity of up to 75 megawatts, will cover all of Babcock Ranch’s needs during the day, while using natural gas at night or in cloudy weather. It will be a temporary alternative, according to the promoters, who they hope the city will become a kind of rehearsal hall, but in real life, this promotes research advances, especially in the storage of solar energy, as Tesla wants to do with its sustainable city project.
But in this city that promises to offer “A truly sustainable life for all”, to the commitment of clean energies are added others. The energy efficiency of homes is another key, because all houses will be fitted with thermal insulation panels and certified by the Florida Green Building Coalition.
More than 80 kilometers of nature trails, an urban community garden by neighborhood and houses close to the street to encourage interaction between neighbors are other elements that appear in the cover letter from Babcock Ranch.
Regarding transport, in addition to encourage the use of bicycles, electric vehicles with several charging points will be promoted. In addition, swe will bet on autonomous public transport, with driverless vehicles and also powered by electricity.
These advances in sustainability will be combined at Babcock Ranch with a downtown (city center) which meets all the needs of the inhabitants: Place du Fondateur. In addition to free Wi-Fi, cafes, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues will be installed.
However, not all are praises for this project, since they came out detractors. Specifically, the South Florida Widlands collective has spoken out against this city of the future which, he says, may affect colonies of panthers, black bears, snakes and woodpeckers which have their habitat nearby.
Although the promoters defend that the city will occupy less than 73 square kilometers and that, around, more than 295 will be preserved, the association considers that the project will have an impact on the surroundings, with new shopping centers and other facilities which, in their opinion, will make the adjacent space more vulnerable, even enclosing the panthers, a species in danger of extinction.
While the developers refute the criticisms, the city continues to move forward towards the end of the work. Until that moment, becoming a neighbor of this unique community is already within the reach of anyone and has between $ 300,000 and $ 750,000.
More information: Babcock Ranch