Coming to a neighborhood near you, Google is looking to build a new, town-like campus near its headquarters in Silicon Valley, called Downtown West. The new project was announced on Sept. 1, though it may take a couple of years for the project to come to fruition.
On Sept.1, the company unveiled its proposal for their new town in the city of Mountain View. The proposition would renovate Middlefield Park, a 40-acre site, into a “mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented neighborhood.” According to Business Insider, the new town would include a park’s network, retail space, office space, and even a public pool and sports field.
Google also plans to add residential housing, adding as many as 5,000 residential units. The company aims to make at least 25% of the units affordable housing. This follows Google’s $1 billion pledge made last year to develop at least 20,000 new homes over the next decade in the Bay Area.
Google will maintain most of the ownership but plan to set aside half the site for residential and public use, such as multiple parks, a recreational center, and an aquatic center. At least 15 acres of the proposed plan are dedicated to parks, plazas, and green space.
“It’s certainly one of the ideas in the Precise Plan to create a mixed-use neighborhood where a lot of the needs and services are within walking distance from where you live and work,” Google’s real estate director Michael Tymoff told Mountain View Voice.
Google also plans to incorporate deep environmental sustainability into the town’s framework, aiming to improve the health of people and the planet. They are committed to green building certification through LEED, Leadership in Energy, and Environmental Design.
Many of the buildings will include biophilic designs, meaning to connect building designs more closely to nature. The buildings will also utilize technology and materials that minimize environmental impact and reduce heating and cooling inside the buildings.
Downtown West would also try to reduce carbon emissions and aim to not result in any additional net emission of greenhouse gases. Google plans to do this by increasing energy efficiency through solar panels and renewable energy sources.
The new town will be designed to promote transit ridership through multi-use trails, public transportation, and creating a micro-mobility environment to encourage walking and biking.
Google had submitted its initial plans for the project last October, but the plans are still in the early stages and still have to go through city approval, which could take until summer 2021.