Mayor says Greenworks plan is making progress
Two years ago, Philadelphia Mayor Nutter released an ambitious plan, Greenworks, which he said was aimed at making the city the greenest in the nation. At the time, I thought he was speaking figuratively. What about Seattle? What about Chicago? So I asked. He said, no, he meant it literally. Today, the mayor released the second annual progress report, which says that 89 percent of the 151 initiatives have either been started or completed.
Two years ago, Philadelphia Mayor Nutter released an ambitious plan, Greenworks, which he said was aimed at making the city the greenest in the nation.
At the time, I thought he was speaking figuratively. What about Seattle? What about Chicago? So I asked. He said, no, he meant it literally.
Today, the mayor released the second annual progress report, which says that 89 percent of the 151 initiatives have either been started or completed.
"Our commitment to sustainability is making Philadelphia a green city, attracting clean tech companies and increasing quality of life in our neighborhoods," said Mayor Nutter, according to a press release from the city. "Our great progress toward Greenworks goals not only benefits us today, but also sets the stage for Philadelphia to thrive in the future."
Among the accomplishments listed for the second year of the plan:
• Launch of EnergyWorks, a comprehensive energy efficiency solutions program offering energy audits and funded by ARRA dollars through the new, regional Metropolitan Caucus, low-interest financing, and certified contractors for home and business owners in the Greater Philadelphia region.
• Installation of 55,000 and replacement of 30,000 LED traffic signals, saving over $1 million a year in electricity costs.
• Acceptance of Philadelphia Water Department's Green City, Clean Waters, a groundbreaking stormwater management plan, by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
• Release of Green2015: An Action Plan for the First 500 Acres, a study establishing green space expansion strategies, by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and PennPraxis.
• Philadelphia Department of Public Health's launch of Get Healthy Philly program to reduce obesity by increasing access to healthy, affordable food and opportunities for physical activity.
• Installation of the first City-owned solar project, a 250 kW array at the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant.
• Weatherization of over 2,300 homes, saving low-income homeowners money on their energy bills.
• City Council legislation permitting the use of sustainable materials such as pervious pavement for sidewalk paving, and the Streets Department installing the City's first porous pavement street, which reduces the number of pollutants that enter our waterways and creates safer driving conditions in hazardous weather.
• Reconstruction of the South Street Bridge with dedicated bike lanes and wider sidewalks, showcasing City's dedication to complete streets.
More from the press release:
The City of Philadelphia is attracting significant attention for its sustainability efforts. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy chose to locate one of three national innovation clusters in Philadelphia. The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC), located at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, is uniting a broad coalition of partners from across sectors to research and implement improvements in building energy efficiency. In the process, GPIC is transforming the Philadelphia area by showcasing new tools and technologies in local buildings and attracting the brightest minds in clean technology to the city.
"Greenworks is an ambitious plan, and the progress accomplished during the first two years of implementation proves that when Philadelphians work together, we can make great strides," said Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability. "Many thanks are due to City agencies for finding innovative ways to incorporate sustainability into their work, to our external partners their continuing efforts and new collaborations with the City, and to our residents for making green choices in their everyday lives."
To view the full Greenworks plan as well as the 2010 and 2011 Progress Reports and regular updates, visit the Mayor's Office of Sustainability website at www.phila.gov/green.