Sustainable Cities Design Academy Launched

March 9, 2009

HARTFORD, CT /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – Major building projects in four Northeast cities may be among the most energy efficient developments in the nation because of expert guidance provided by a new national "Sustainable Cities Design Academy." The joint effort of the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) and United Technologies Corp. underwrites the cost of participation and gives technical assistance and sustainability leadership skills to local governments, businesses and community leaders to assist in creating state-of-the-art green design strategies.

Studies show buildings are responsible for 40 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. By exploring existing technologies and energy-efficient strategies, communities can mitigate buildings' environmental effects. The new Academy's four selected teams—from Boston and New Bedford, MA, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.—will join a 12-member team of experts to analyze designs, discuss issues, and identify best practices to strengthen local development projects.

"Sustainable Cities Design Academy provides civic leaders with the tools and resources they need to help shape more sustainable, responsible and livable communities," explains Ronald Bogle, AAF president and CEO.

"UTC believes everything we do today can be done better tomorrow. We're delighted to partner with the AAF on the new Academy and help leaders apply similar thinking to their local projects. We hope that with the Academy's expertise these projects will stand as long-term examples for future sustainable cities," notes Sandy Diehl, UTC vice president, Integrated Building Systems.

Participants in the first Academy session are:

  • A New Bedford team redeveloping a 20-acre waterside industrial site as cornerstone for sustainable development along the historically industrial waterfront
  • Boston's Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), with plans for new residential and community-planned program spaces on leased land reclaimed from Boston's "Big Dig" Central Artery/Tunnel project
  • A Philadelphia team with a project in the Philadelphia Navy Yard to incorporate transit and mixed-use development and apply for LEED-ND* status
  • A team from the District of Columbia and Blue Skye Construction that is working on a mixed-use transit-oriented development around the historically underserved Minnesota Avenue Metro Station
*LEED-ND: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development. (U.S. Green Building Council certification standard)

"Given that buildings are a large portion of our energy consumption and the corresponding pollution, we must be sure our communities are full speed ahead toward adoption of architecture, design and engineering methods that deliver dramatic and irrefutable cost-efficient improvements," says Richard Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. "We are incredibly fortunate that AAF and UTC teamed up to create this remarkable education program. Their long-standing commitment to knowledge sharing and the advancement of best practices at the city scale are exactly the kind of leadership we need."

Since its creation in 1943, the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) has consistently sought to educate the public about the power of architecture in their lives. By helping local leaders tackle critical design challenges, AAF serves as a conduit between the world of design and the practical decisions leaders make that shape their communities. In recent years, AAF has emerged as a leading national resource in providing leadership development programs in design through the highly regarded Mayors' Institute on City Design and Great Schools by Design. Through these programs, AAF helps leaders use the power of architecture to improve lives and transform communities. For more information, visit

United Technologies Corp. (UTC), based in Hartford, CT, is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries. UTC's products include Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, Sikorsky helicopters, Carrier heating, refrigeration and air conditioning, Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace systems and industrial products, Otis elevators and escalators, UTC Fire & Security systems, and UTC Power fuel cells. Since 2005, UTC has been on the list of Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The company has also been on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes every year since the indexes began in 1999. Go to to learn more.

Source: United Technologies Corp. (

For additional information, contact Kate Robins of UTC, (860) 728-7980; or Liz Blazevich of AAF, (202) 626-7318.

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