UN environmental center to be located in San Francisco

artist's conception

artist's conception

San Francisco’s Hunters Point Shipyard – so toxic it’s listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Superfund site – will be the future home of a U.N.-sponsored think tank to study solutions to global warming and other environmental crises plaguing the planet.

Due to open in 2012, the facility is envisioned by Mayor Gavin Newsom’s administration as the centerpiece of a new green technology campus, akin to Mission Bay serving as a biotech hub.

The 80,000-square-foot United Nations Global Compact Center will include office space for academics and scientists, an incubator to foster green tech start-ups, and a conference center.

The center is expected to cost $20 million. Lennar Corp., the developer partnering with the city to rebuild large swaths of the shipyard and Candlestick Point, will donate the land and infrastructure. The city hopes the remainder of the funds will come from corporate sponsorship, state and federal grants and foundation money.

“Locating the U.N. Global Compact Center in San Francisco will reinforce our city’s commitment to global justice and sustainability,” Newsom said in a statement.

Michael Cohen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, said San Francisco is the perfect site for a green tech campus because the Bay Area is university-rich, heavily tech-driven and has a wealth of venture capitalists willing to invest in startups.

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