To the editor:
Members of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions Alexandria Group are excited about the plan for redevelopment of the Landmark Mall site with a new Alexandria hospital. This presents many benefits to Alexandrians in terms of services, housing and community amenities, and it offers many sustainable features: infill development, co-location with major transit services, and provision of stormwater management and tree cover on a 52-acre site that does not meet current standards.
As city residents who belong to various faith traditions, we recognize the importance of addressing the climate crisis for our youth, future generations and existing frontline communities. With the size of the Landmark project, long-build out and longevity, we recognize that the redeveloped site will play a role in Alexandria’s climate actions and goals for decades.
While the City of Alexandria has many good development policies in place, there are gaps between what is currently on the books and what will be needed to achieve the city’s adopted climate targets. FACS Alexandria Group respectfully asks that the city and the developers incorporate sustainability features above the minimum current requirements, such as:
• Striving for carbon neutrality by 2030, similar to the North Potomac Yard development;
• Higher level of green building certification than the minimum, such as LEED Platinum or Gold;
• Resilient energy solutions, such as microgrids, that can adapt to the climate stresses and extreme weather that are anticipated even if we achieve our climate targets;
• Ways to “green” the large parking structure, such as green roof, solar and public amenity space;
• Accommodation of a landing for a future pedestrian/bike bridge across I-395 as identified in the small area plan;
• Careful and robust stormwater management, use of green infrastructure, and ample tree cover that can adapt to higher temperatures and rainfall anticipated with climate change; and
• Operational policies that reduce materials and energy use in supply chains such as food services, single-use medical equipment and general procurement.
FACS Alexandria is a group of residents who are people of faith working toward local solutions to the climate crisis (www.faithforclimate.org).
-Dr. Jerome A. Paulson, D.C.; Bill Pugh, Alexandria, FACS-Alexandria