The first visioning session closed on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. You are still welcome to add more comments. Edits to the vision are underway and will be followed by another visioning period.

  1. Use the "like/dislike" buttons to express approval or disapproval of each vision element.
  2. Read other peoples' comments (Click "Discuss.") Give thumbs up to comments you agree with.
  3. Click "Discuss" and use the comment feature to make specific suggestions for improvements to the vision. Please be as specific as you can. Please be respectful of others.

Why do we care about buildings & energy?

This section combines buildings with electricity (or "energy") production. After transportation, buildings - at 22% - represent our next-largest source of "activity-based" emissions.

Getting to net-zero or carbon-neutral buildings requires a three-step process:

  • Energy efficiency measures (insulation, LED light bulbs, etc)
  • Fuel-switching from fossil fuels to electricity
  • Supplying 100% clean and renewable electricity (on-site or grid-supplied)

Across building types, the majority of building energy use goes for water heating, space heating and air conditioning. These uses, therefore, result in the majority of heat-trapping emissions from buildings. This understanding suggests a good place to start.

As costs for solar photovoltaic and wind energy systems declines steadily, 100% clean and renewable electricity is becoming normal.

A just and equitable transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030, ensuring that the benefits of the transition are shared equitably by all.


Zero carbon buildings -- all our buildings, both new and existing. The basic strategy is simple: first make buildings super energy-efficient, then go all-electric, and finally, provide the needed electricity from 100% clean, renewable sources.


Building materials produced and sourced locally, selected for low-embodied carbon, and designed for longevity, durability, and ease of maintenance.


Buildings that invite nature inside, highlight nature, and use principles of nature.


Green roofs and green walls that help cool cities, beautify the skyline, and capture carbon.


Low-tech solutions, such as clotheslines for solar-drying laundry.


Abundant locally-produced energy of all sorts: solar photovoltaic on roofs, over parking lots, etc, and wind, small-scale hydro, and tidal/wave generators in appropriate locations.


Microgrids that supply decentralized, locally-produced electricity and provide emergency backup power.


Exciting, inspiring, and comforting built spaces that bring joy to our lives.


What are we missing?   What is YOUR vision?

You can suggest new vision items by submitting a comment using the form below. Other people will be able to vote for your idea and/or comment with suggested edits or questions. You are also welcome to email us your vision in whatever form you prefer (writing, drawing, poem, video, story, etc.)

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Comments (4)

Posted by Angela Conte(Santa Rosa)

We need to entirely rethink the living environments now.

1) Taller buildings with elevators and hallways that accommodate tiny electric vehicles. It will be important to have buildings that allowed for tiny cars to travel conveniently to the outside and back to the residence for electrical charging since we will be eliminating private garages.

2) Interior open space construction for plugging in resident owned self-cleaning mobile kitchen and bathroom pods.

3) Health, wellness and internal safety systems built into the buildings that include owner occupant identification and their temperature and heart rate etc...

4) In home delivery systems that automatically delivers groceries and other orders directly into each unit.

There are so many things that we need to start planning for right now so we as a community can build the communities and their infrastructures of the future.

Posted by Angela Conte(Santa Rosa)

Vertical rise buildings in central areas that define village centers with lower rise buildings extending out from them to green belts. (Villages as defined as having multiple neighborhoods or residential and live/work communities in one. We can have single city and county governments to manage many multiple villages). We must condense our foot print to reduce our energy needs and the distance all our utilities must travel to feed our individual use. It is more sustainable to enclose mixed-use residential and commercial spaces together into single large buildings to save on energy, and rising them up is much more beneficial to energy saving over the single family homesteads that must be spread out over long distances on large plots of land. These vertical rise building on smaller footprints allows for more green-scaping on and around them as well.

Posted by Anthony Johnson(Cotati)

I really agree with the fact that we should be using more low tech solutions. Technology is all about expanding nowadays, but we still need to find other creative ways to save more energy.

Posted by Sunny Galbraith(Sebastopol)

Cities adopt policies that require replacing gas-powered appliances (e.g. hot water heaters) with electric ones when the old ones need to be replaced.

Have you reviewed all 6 vision pages below?