Vision & Core Initiatives
Babcock Ranch Vision and Core Initiatives
In 2005 Syd Kitson, Chairman & CEO Kitson & Partners set out to prove that smart growth and preservation could work hand in hand.
Just one year later, he made good on the preservation side of the equation. The 73,000 acres sold to the state for creation of the Babcock Ranch Preserve remains the largest preservation land purchase in Florida history. The new town approved for the 18,000 acres retained by Kitson was envisioned to be the perfect neighbor for the preserve: an innovative community with sustainability woven right into the infrastructure.
Building a new town from the ground up is no small feat. It takes collaboration, creativity and an intense focus on details. These eight core initiatives— environment, health, education, energy, technology, transportation, storm safety and fun—guide every planning decision as the vision for Babcock Ranch becomes reality.
Respect For The Land
Responsible development starts with the land. With 50% of the town’s footprint set aside for green spaces, nestled adjacent to the 73,000 acre Babcock Ranch Preserve, those living, working in, and visiting Babcock Ranch will have an unparalleled amenity right outside their front door.
Through stewardship, sustainability, preservation and restoration, Babcock Ranch provides extraordinary connections to the natural environment. Key design and development strategies that support this initiative include: solar energy, water efficiency, native plants and materials, sustainable local materials, tree preservation and relocation, and Florida Green Building standards.
The Right Path to Healthy Florida Living
Babcock Ranch supports seven essential initiatives for a healthy lifestyle– land, social, education, spiritual, nutritional, fitness, and economic. Using these strategies, Babcock Ranch creates an environmental and purposeful infrastructure that’s one of a kind– not only in Florida, but the world.
Through a partnership with Lee Health, Babcock Ranch has it’s own Healthy Life Center, a health and wellness—and lifestyle—facility located in Founder’s Square for residents of Babcock Ranch and surrounding communities. The center offers a vast array of modern, convenient health services and programs that align with the Babcock Ranch vision with a focus on wellness and sustainable living.
Lifelong Learning K-8 Grade
From early childhood and beyond, Babcock Ranch is focused on delivering best-in-class education. Our first school for grades K-6 opened in August 2017 and a new school building opened Fall 2018, welcomed grades K-7, expanding to K-8 the following year. Babcock Neighborhood School features a “STEAM” place-based, student-centered education built on active learning, collaboration, and community. The 2020-2021 school year will welcome the first high school students in grade 9.
Powered by the Sun
Production of solar energy at a utility scale is a key part of Babcock Ranch’s commitment to sustainability. In partnership with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), Babcock Ranch donated 870 acres of land for a 149 mw solar facility to ensure the net production of clean, renewable energy exceeds the total amount the town will consume. This facility is owned and operated by FPL.
Babcock Ranch’s clean energy efforts were taken to the next level when FPL created the largest solar-plus-storage system operating in the U.S. today. Each of the ten large gray steel battery storage units at the FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center can store 1 megawatt of power and discharge for 4 hours. The new battery storage system ensures a steady output of power even on partly cloudy days.
Residents are billed for the energy they use, at the same rates as any other FPL customer. The Babcock Ranch energy-efficient homes don’t require as much power to operate, so there’s typically cost-savings for home owners.
Fiber in Every Home
With extraordinary speeds, mobile apps, and community-wide access to free WiFi, Babcock Ranch is truly a city built on technology. We have made a conscious decision to use information technology to transform life at Babcock Ranch and become the first master-planned, greenfield “smart city” with global network access points.
Additionally, through our CenturyLink partnership, gigabit internet is standard to every home, allowing our residents to connect faster than ever before. Our internet speeds allow you to stream multiple HD movies at once, download pictures in seconds, or play the latest video games – all at once.
Transportation Alternatives and Innovation
Walkability, bikeability, transportation alternatives- including plans for an integrated system of bike and car share programs, electric and autonomous vehicle on demand services, and goods delivery- and independence through thoughtful trail, sidewalk, and roadway designs are a few of the strategies we have in place to support our transportation initiative.
Our storm safety initiative includes our physical location above the storm surge area, buildings that meet ‘shelter in place’ requirements and neighborhood components anchored in place such as park benches, trash and recycling containers.
From building construction and orientation to street design, Babcock Ranch is designed to better withstand the ever-changing weather patterns Florida brings. Homes and businesses are required to include both aesthetic and operable storm shutters or impact glass.
Focused on Making Life Fun
Vibrant, engaging, and interactive community places, gathering spaces, nature trails, roadways, and waterways create experiences that will make you want to stay longer and spend more time—a place you will never want to leave.
Founder’s Square is the hub of activities and events. With Table & Tap, Curry Creek Outfitters, Slater’s Goods & Provisions and Square Scoops Coffee & Creamery open and more on the way, we’re offering a broad variety of entertaining activities that people of all ages will enjoy.