Re-Energizing America: Green New Futures for Coal Power Plants

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Project Team

Author: Lauren Butts

Organization: Cornell University MLA, 2017

Project Description

One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century will be the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Renewable sources of energy will require different spatial demands in the landscape, leaving behind large vacant industrial sites in both rural and urban settings. Rather than let these sites sit abandoned, these sites can be reclaimed and repurposed to support Green New Deal initiatives, and become an asset to the communities that they’ve been a burden to for decades. This case study explores opportunities for decommissioned coal power plants through a proposed design of the decommissioned Arapahoe Generating Plant in Denver, Colorado. Like many similar sites, at the time of its construction decades ago the plant was on the edge of the city, but today now finds itself within an urban context. This design envisions how the site could become a post-industrial park, incorporating its industrial artifacts into the design to serve as reminders of the past while new programs on the site work to support efforts of a greener future and role in its community. A key part in the site transformation is with the proposed Green Innovation Campus. Comprising both repurposed site buildings and new buildings, the Green Innovation Campus will house programs and job training in fields including clean energy production, carbon emission reduction, environmental restoration, and clean water initiatives. The site provides unique opportunities for research, allowing for work of the Green Innovation Campus programs to be incorporated into passive areas of the park.


Additional Links

Project on JSTOR