Arup was appointed to create a sustainability framework that would provide the basis for integrating sustainability strategies into the Vista Canyon Ranch development in Valencia, California.
The goal of the strategies was to allow the developers to improve the environmental stewardship and social benefits of the development, as well as its economic viability.
Arup first carried out a preliminary study to develop a set of potential strategies. These initial strategies were based upon information collected as part of an examination into local environment conditions, masterplans and programmes, local resource opportunities and constraints, policies and community and development needs. This was achieved through site visits, meetings with local water agencies and city planners and a review of climate and environmental data.
The preliminary study was followed by a sustainability charrette that brought together the development’s stakeholders to evaluate the initial strategies and identify additional ones for the site. The outcomes were used to determine the final list of feasible sustainability strategies which related to transport, land use, landscape and biodiversity, water resources, energy, waste and materials. Arup prioritised the strategies based on ease of implementation, strategic importance, cost and environmental benefit. Simple water and energy budgets and models were also developed to guide the sustainability planning effort.
By basing the initial strategies on local information specific to the site and involving the development’s stakeholders in strategy development, Arup ensured that the sustainability framework was specific to Vista Canyon Ranch and its requirements. Consequently, the framework can be successfully implemented and the client’s strategic goals will be met.
The work Arup carried out to develop the sustainability framework has now been included within the Vista Canyon specific plan, which has been submitted to the City of Santa Clarita. The specific plan serves as the masterplan for the project area and a guide to implement the goals, policies and objectives of the City’s General Plan.