Suffice it to say, it's a very good start.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability today announced Greenworks Philadelphia, an ambitious, comprehensive framework to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the United States of America by 2015.It should probably be noted that Mark Allan Hughes, who is Philadelphia's Director of Sustainability and Nutter's chief policy advisor, also happens to be one of the smartest people in the city. So the Mayor has that going for him.
It sets goals in five areas — energy, environment, equity, economy and engagement — and encompasses more than 150 initiatives. Together, they will reduce the city's vulnerability to rising energy prices, limit its environmental footprint, and reposition its workforce and job development strategies to build upon Philadelphia's competitive advantages in the emerging green economy.
"Greenworks Philadelphia is a vision for how Philadelphia can and should seize this moment, building on the assets of the city left to us by the past and creating a better future for ourselves, our children and generations to come," said Mayor Nutter.
Greenworks Philadelphia seeks to make more homes and buildings weather-tight, increase recycling and minimize trash, give residents better access to parks and fresh food, and capture the benefits of solar and geothermal energy.
It envisions planting thousands of trees, equipping the municipal fleet with less-polluting engines and expanding green job training, so plenty of Philadelphia's workers have the skills to retrofit buildings and install solar arrays.
After a quick glimpse at the plan's tactics, our favorite parts:
* Capitalize on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provides Philadelphia with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to retrofit aging housing stock.
* Divert 70 Percent of Solid Waste from Landfill
* Increase the amount of recycling by residents to 25 percent by 2015 through incentive programs and public engagement efforts.
* Install public space recycling containers in Center City
* Boost Tree Coverage toward 30 Percent in All Neighborhoods by 2025
* Plant 300,000 trees.
* Create an additional 500 acres of public space.
* Increase green and open space by using permeable pavement on parking lots and playgrounds, building green roofs, and distributing rainwater collection barrels to homeowners.
* Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled by 10 Percent
* Add filters to all diesel vehicles in City fleet and switch to biodiesel and CNG
* Reduce street congestion through parking policy and signal technology
* Support SEPTA in its effort to increase transit ridership through service improvements, capital investments and new fare technologies.
* Invest in transit-oriented development and Bike/Pedestrian trail efforts
* Make data available on-line so that independent analyses can be conducted.
The recession can suck it.
Greenworks Philadelphia [ Official Site]
The big idea: Smart cities embrace sustainability [ Philadelphia Daily News - Plan Philly ]
Cities: No longer the problem, now the solution [ Philadelphia Daily News - Plan Philly ]
Will budget crisis kill green? [ Philly.com ]
OpEd: Councilman wrong on Philly's green future [ Philadelphia Daily News ]