More than 500 leaders from the City and County of Denver’s business, nonprofit and civic communities attended the second annual Sustainable Denver Summit Nov. 14, to announce commitments for new and expanded initiatives designed to help Denver achieve its ambitious 2020 Sustainability Goals.

Members of the Ensight Energy Consulting team attended the Summit and shared these quick-hit notes:

– Keynote speaker Gil Penalosa asked the question, “How do we want to live?” He is the founder and chairman of the board of the internationally recognized, Canada-based nonprofit organization 8 80 Cities. The group’s work is focused on a simple and powerful philosophy: If you create a great city for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old, you will create a successful city for all people.
Mr. Penalosa encouraged Summit attendees to be bold in their commitments to sustainability, to think outside of the box, to focus on the benefits of sustainability, to learn from others, to realize community is the expert — and to move from talking to doing. He proffered relatively simple ideas, such as greater commitment to transforming public spaces into genuine hubs of community interaction that foster greater social integration and give people a sense of belonging. The goals of sustainable cities should include the creation of parks within one-fourth of a mile of walking distance from most households and businesses. To help meet this goal, school playgrounds could be opened for more community use outside of school hours.

– The Summit included breakout discussions focused in the areas of:

  • Energy Solutions
  • Affordable Housing
  • Density & Mobility
  • Water Systems
  • Materials & Waste Management
  • Food & Health Systems

Ensight Energy attended programs related to Energy Solutions, including a discussion surrounding “Distributed Solar and Wind.” Summit attendees focused in this arena reviewed several ideas and proposals and collectively voted before announcing the following commitments to action to help Denver continue reaching for its 2020 Sustainability Goals.

The Love This Place Awards were presented to several people and organizations for their work to help Denver achieve greater sustainability.