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The Ecoblock project, supported by the Rexel Foundation won a “Le Monde Smart Cities Urban Innovation Award”

The Ecoblock project, supported by the Rexel Foundation, won the second prize in the urban innovation category of “Le Monde Smart Cities Awards”. This initiative promotes the best urban transformation projects deserving greater attention so that they could become a source of inspiration for others.


The EcoBlock experiment in Oakland (California) is an applied research program centered on city retrofitting which aims to test the hypothesis that retrofitting on the block-scale is more efficient than the individual house-scale because it combines the flows and efficiencies across multiple units.

A pilot system will be blueprinted and built in Oakland’s northwestern Golden Gate neighborhood to demonstrate a highly-efficient, affordable neighborhood block-scale energy, water, and wastewater treatment-and-reuse platform and retrofitting-process that can be replicated anywhere else. The EcoBlock experiment relies on a cross-disciplinary, whole-systems design approach to retrofitting the block from a high energy and water dependency to the lowest energy and water footprint possible – transforming an obsolete, resource-wasteful model into an integrated design that guarantees long-term sustainability.

The program, led by a team of urban designers, engineers, social scientists and policy experts from the University of Berkeley, California, will help design new regulations to accelerate sustainable neighborhood retrofitting, and engage financial institutions to create financing solutions that stimulate the scaling of sustainable neighborhood block-repurposing at affordable cost.

Learn more about the project: here