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What is a 2030 District?

2030 Districts are unique private/public partnerships in designated urban areas across North America committed to reducing energy use, water use, and transportation emissions. Overseen by Architecture 2030, 2030 Districts are in the vanguard of grassroots collaborative efforts to renovate hundreds of millions of square feet of existing buildings and construct high-performance infill development and redevelopment. There are currently 23 established 2030 Districts across North America.

Why create a 2030 District in Cincinnati?

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently affirmed that by the year 2030, the international community will need to take “unprecedented” action to mitigate CO2 and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Nationally, our built environment accounts for 39% of CO2 emissions, and in the city of Cincinnati, buildings account for approximately 60% of the city’s CO2 emissions. The Cincinnati 2030 District is our community’s response to this challenge.

By partnering directly with property owners and managers, developers, and commercial tenants, the Cincinnati 2030 District accelerates the development of healthy, high-performing, and sustainable buildings by breaking down market barriers, encouraging collaboration, and deploying innovative carbon-reducing solutions.

The work of the Cincinnati 2030 District continues our city’s leadership in urban sustainability while creating a more livable, resilient community that is better able to attract a high-caliber workforce and new economic development opportunities.

What are the specific goals of the District?

The specific reduction goals of the Cincinnati 2030 District are aggregated and represent the combined reductions for all District buildings. Individual property data will not be shared or disclosed by the District without the expressed consent of the participating member.

The goals above are aggregated and represent the combined reduction for 2030 District buildings located within the defined geographic boundaries. No individual property data will be disclosed unless requested by the member for promotional purposes.

How do you collect performance data?

Members record their energy and water use in a free Energy Star Portfolio Manager account and grant the Cincinnati 2030 District read-only access to this account. The District will only make aggregated data public and will not share individual member data without the expressed consent of the participating member.

How are the building-specific energy baselines established?

In accordance with the 2030 Challenge, the energy performance baseline for 2030 Districts nationwide is determined individually for each building using national median building energy consumption values based on 2003 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data. Produced by the Energy Information Association (EIA), a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, CBECS is a national survey of a representative set of commercial buildings across the U.S. that includes their energy costs, consumption, and energy-specific characteristics. CBECS data has been analyzed to determine national and regional medians of whole building site energy use intensity (EUI), which is a building’s annual energy use divided by its gross square footage (measured in kBTU/ft2/yr). Generally, a lower EUI indicates better building energy performance, but EUIs vary widely by building use.

Districts utilize the Zero Tool to measure estimate performance medians by building type against the 2003 CBECS. Architecture 2030 developed the Zero Tool for building sector professionals, 2030 Challenge and 2030 Commitment adopters, 2030 District Network Members, and policymakers. The process of benchmarking properties in the Zero Tool occurs as members are formally onboarded to the District.


Who can participate, and how do I join?

MEMBERS of the Cincinnati 2030 District are property owners and managers, developers, and commercial tenants who commit to assisting the District to achieve its reduction goals by implementing sustainable, emissions-reducing solutions in their buildings. Membership in the Cincinnati 2030 District is free.


COMMUNITY PARTNERS are non-profits, government entities, or other organizations that commit to assisting District members to achieve their energy, water, transportation, and occupant health goals. There is no fee associated with being a community partner of the Cincinnati 2030 District.


PROFESSIONAL PARTNERS are contractors and companies that provide services to members that assist the District in achieving its energy, water, transportation, and occupant health goals.

What is the District boundary?

The current District boundary is centered in the Central Business District in downtown Cincinnati. The boundary extends west to east from Interstate 75 to Interstate 471 and north to south from Central Parkway to the riverfront. Perspective future phases will likely extend the District into Over-the-Rhine, Uptown, and Northern Kentucky. The Cincinnati 2030 District encourages prospective members and partners from throughout the Greater Cincinnati region to join the Cincinnati 2030 District.

Cincinnati District Map 12.5.21

Download a copy of the Cincinnati 2030 District FAQ document below:  


2030 Districts Network