February 14, 2018

Developer wants to build a town where no one will need to drive

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Solar array and shuttle

A brand-new town is going green from the ground up.

Kitson: “Our goal has been to create the most sustainable new town in America.”

Twelve years ago, developer Syd Kitson bought a Florida ranch about five times the size of Manhattan. He sold most of it to the state as a wildlife preserve. He’s using a portion of the rest to build Babcock Ranch, an entire town with restaurants, stores, a school, and 20,000 homes. The first residents will move in this winter.

The town includes rain gardens, an irrigation system that uses recycled water, fifty miles of trails, and a huge solar farm that will meet the town’s daytime energy needs.

And Kitson says, before long, it will be a place where people do not need to drive. The town is investing in a network of self-driving electric shuttles. In a few years, he hopes the system will expand to include self-driving cars that can pick people up on demand.

Kitson: “We’ll be able to turn parking areas into parks and really change the way that people go from point to point.”

From energy generation to transportation, Babcock Ranch will show what can be achieved when a green community is built from scratch.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image: Photos courtesy of Babcock Ranch.