Envision Charlotte partnership builds urban sustainability

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Friday, Apr 17, 2015 - 12:00 am

The City of Charlotte's Envision Charlotte program is a unique public-private collaboration that aims to build the most sustainable urban core in the nation. Envision Charlotte has connected all the office buildings in Charlotte’s center city to the electrical grid in order to measure energy as a single community with a single statistic, driving usage down with raised awareness and voluntary behavior change.

The results have translated into reduced operating costs in the urban core, significant emissions reductions and an enhanced brand for recruiting and retaining businesses and talent. This approach is being emulated in other major cities and has drawn inquiries from around the world, moving the concept of a smart city from vision to reality.

Former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, currently a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke, moderated a panel discussion of the program on April 6. The panelists were Robert Phocas, the city's energy and sustainability manager; Tom Shircliff, co-founder of Intelligent Buildings LLC; Kevin Franklin, Duke Energy's director of customer-facing operations; Bank of American senior vice president Robert Vail; and Curt Radkin, corporate properties sustainability strategist with Wells Fargo. Watch a slideshow and audio recording of this event.