Oberlin: A Green City

Hotel Oberlin opened in 2016 as one of the first hotels in the US to incorporate solar and geothermal power as well as use radiant heating and cooling

In Oberlin, we saw evidence of climate positive actions, movement toward sustainability and use of renewable energy. It seems that Ithaca has a rival in that regard. Oberlin is one of just three C40 “Climate Positive” cities in the U.S. recognized by the Clinton Foundation Climate Initiative and theĀ U.S. Green Building Council; the other two are Portland, OR. and San Francisco, CA. The Oberlin Project, a joint project of Oberlin college and the city , has the following goals:

  • Creating one of the first climate positive cities in America by shifting the City and College to renewable energy sources, radically improving efficiency, sharply reducing our carbon emissions, and improving our economy in the process.
  • Creating new and supporting existing business ventures in energy efficiency and solar deployment, food and agriculture, and the sustainable use of local resources.
  • Conserving 20,000 acres of green space and developing a robust local foods economy to meet 70% of our consumption.
  • Creating an educational alliance between the College, the Oberlin schools, the Joint Vocational School, and Lorain County Community College focused on integrating sustainability into education at all levels.
  • Developing a 13-acre Green Arts District at the US Green Building Council Platinum level.
  • Serving as a model that can be replicated in other communities.

We stayed at the Oberlin Hotel right on campus across from Tappan Square in the heart of the city and campus. In addition to being a solar/geothermal building, it is unique in sharing a building with the Admissions Office, which undoubtably is a great convenience for families looking at the college.

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