With the rapid growth occurring in the urban regions of China, it is critical to address issues of sustainability through practices that engender holistic energy efficient solutions. In this paper, we present results from a collaborative design project carried out with planning officials from the city of Jinan (population 3.4 million), for the Luokou district, a 3.1 km2
) area to the north of the CBD that is expected to house 100,000–130,000 people by 2020. By integrating sustainable building design, land use, urban design, and transportation, our proposal identified opportunities for improving energy efficiency that might have been overlooked by considering buildings and transportation separately. Mixed land uses and walkable neighborhoods were proposed along with highly differentiated street designs, intended to carry different traffic loads and prioritize diverse travel modes. Street widths and building heights were adjusted to maximize the potential for passive solar heating and daylight use within buildings. The district’s environmental performance, analyzed using building energy evaluation and traffic micro simulation models, showed that the design would reduce energy loads by over 25% compared to business as usual. While the proposal complied with national and local policies, and had far better energy performance than conventional designs, the proposal ultimately was not accepted by local officials because initial costs to the developers were higher than for conventional designs.