By the year 2050, more than 8.5 billion people will call Earth home with over two-thirds living in cities. With this growth comes greater resource demands from our buildings, cars and way of life. Cities account for up to 70% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and the projections are that over the next four decades, we will double the number of buildings worldwide. With or without a global pandemic, the pace of change and the challenges ahead are daunting to say the least. But, since 2009, an organization with a unique model for sustainability at a local level has been working to keep up with this pace. It’s known as the 2030 Districts Network, and one Midwest city recently joined its ranks. 

“Modern Metropolis” tells the story of how Cincinnati formed its own district, designed to encourage collaboration at all levels in order to collectively reduce participating buildings’ energy-, water- and transportation-related emissions by 50% by the year 2030. Over the course of 2 years, Newsy’s Brand Studio followed a diverse group of government, academic business and nonprofit organizations as they worked to find common ground toward making healthier buildings and a healthier community. 

From the city’s mayor to a soap company and into your home, this story documents one community’s efforts to prepare their city for the future.

Part 1: The Science of Cities

Part 2: The 2030 Districts

Part 3: Strength in Unity