We live in a world where urbanization is happening at an unprecedented pace. By 2050, 70% of the global population will be urbanites. 3 billion people will be calling cities their homes, twice the urban population now.

As more of us live, work, and raise our next generation in cities, sustainable urban development is vital to enhancing livability, and embracing challenges such as climate change and aging population.  

Urban design architect Peter Calthorpe, the founder and principal of the Berkeley based Calthorpe Associates, has devoted his career on reimagining urban design, regional planning, and sustainability worldwide since 1976. In recognition of his contributions to the field, he was the recipient of Urban Land institute’s esteemed J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development in 2006. His dedication has a counterpart in Hyundai, the top automobile maker from South Korea which strived for two decades to bring the world Nexo, the first fuel cell vehicle powered by hydrogen.

Three years ago, Calthorpe launched Calthorpe Analytics to develop and make commercially available UrbanFootprint, a cutting edge technology created for optimizing resources when designing urban environments. Calthrope Analytics developed the software as a tool that improves decision making for building sustainable cities, designed for governments, planners, designers, and advocacy groups. Taking into account factors including land consumption, water and energy use, and modes of transport, AI technology assists city shapers in identifying the suitable approaches for revitalizing commercial lands that are underutilized.

UrbanFootprint harnesses the vast amount of data available in these tech-fueled times, to zoom in on the missing pieces from the town planning process, in just a few minutes. “Through scenario planning we can calculate the larger-scale domino effect of that impact towards household costs, emission reductions and environmental well-being,” says Calthorpe. “For example, building on the underutilized land in El Camino offers the potential for people to use 13% less energy in their homes, than living in a nearby Bay area.”

In the US, Urban Footprint has created a model for California to slash carbon emissions, and is joining forces with the government to provide the innovation free of charge across the state. Urban Footprint is also making an impact on China, a country no stranger to high speed urbanization, and the carbon emissions that come with it. The technology helps to set precedents of low carbon cities in major cities from Beijing to Zhuhai, Kunming to Chongqing, for their city makers to build better for the future.

UrbanFootprint is an innovation that keeps evolving. Calthorpe and his team collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to include data on conservation and the ecosystem. They also partnered with the American Lung Association to enhance the software with data on air quality impact.

Calthorpe’s faith in beautifying innovation for brighter days is encapsulated in his brainchild. “I believe we have the vision, and technology, to demonstrate that we can make better choices when it comes to planning a more connected, sustainable future.”

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Because of You

We created NEXO, the first dedicated fuel cell electric vehicle, because we’re committed to a connected, free, and clean tomorrow. One in which vehicles co-exist with us and our environment, liberate us from constraints and make a big impression – without making a sound, or leaving a mark. It’s all driven by a simple philosophy. That from this moment everything we do is because of you. Nexo won’t change life for the next generation of motorists – it’ll change life as we know it.

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