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February 11, 2014 > Fremont forges sustainability vision

Fremont forges sustainability vision

Submitted By Cheryl Golden

Fremont has kicked off the New Year with sustainability at the forefront. Leading up to this, in November 2013, the City of Fremont embarked on its first-ever trade mission to India, establishing important connections in the cities of Bangalore, Chennai and Jaipur. The trade mission reflects the Fremont City CouncilÕs leadership in the areas of global connectivity and sustainability.

The trade mission was an overall success, but the delegation may have accomplished its most significant goal in Jaipur, FremontÕs sister city of more than 20 years. There, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory facilitated the CityÕs signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to become part of the LabÕs Sustainable Cities Partnership program, which aims to create greener, environmentally friendly cities.

Drawing inspiration from its trade mission to India, and in support of the CityÕs Climate Action Plan, which the Council adopted in late 2012 to provide a roadmap for the CityÕs sustainability efforts, Fremont is closely tracking the following four sustainability trends in the year ahead, all of which tie into development priorities and growing business sectors:

1. Kicking Up the Urban Vibe: More people, including young professionals, families, and empty nesters will choose to live in walkable urban neighborhoods with access to transit, interesting public spaces, and stores/restaurants.

2. Greener Transportation: As traffic congestion increases and fossil fuel costs trend upward, the State of California and local governments are looking for ways to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The result is increased market-based alternatives to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, as well as continued public investment in transit, including electric vehicles, car sharing and mass transit investment (BART, High Speed Rail, CalTrain).

3. Solar All the Way: As prices for solar decline, it is becoming a more viable energy source. Widespread availability of financing is also making it possible for businesses and consumers to purchase solar at no out-of-pocket cost and to finance their systems through utility savings. Solar adoption will continue to increase, along with other alternative energy sources, such as fuel cell and wind.

4. LED Technology Will Take the Lead: LED technology has reached a tipping point Ð quality has improved and prices have dropped so that LEDs now clearly provide a cost-effective, energy-savings alternative to traditional streetlights and are becoming more cost-competitive for indoor lighting as well.

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