North America’s first One Planet Community is Sonoma Mountain Village (SOMO) – a $1billion redevelopment of an 81 hectare, ex-industrial site, forty miles north of San Francisco.
With some 70,000 m2 of existing buildings currently under retrofit construction by Codding Enterprises, it will house 5,000 people in 1,892 homes, while providing 4,400 jobs in some 77,000 m2 of office, retail and commercial space. Recently approved by Rohnert Park City Council, construction of the commercial units is well underway with the residential phase following.
The development aims to generate 100% of its energy requirements from renewable onsite sources and to date has installed the second largest privately-owned solar array in Northern California – a $7.5 million, 1.14 megawatt, 7,710 m2 array that will power 1,000 homes. A second 1.18 megawatt solar array will also be installed.
Further demanding sustainability targets have been set including an 82% reduction in transport emissions, 65% local food consumption goal, and 65% reduction in use of municipal water.
Key strategies for achieving these targets include bringing commuter rail to the neighborhood via the SMART train initiative, a masterplan which draws on new urbanismand ensures that no resident need to walk more than five-minutes to local shops and amenities, a year-round farmers market in the Town Square to encourage consumption of local, seasonal food, and irrigation and toilet flushes using only non-potable water.
Sonoma Mountain Village is currently the city’s largest source of new jobs with over 1,100 workers already employed in over two dozen businesses in the main business centre and at the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, a non-profit business incubator for over 25 sustainability-oriented and socially relevant technology start-up companies.