6 Ways PlaNYC Has Successfully Made New York a Greener Place to Live

by , 05/09/12

PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg, NYC, New York, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, pollution
image via Kropic1, Shutterstock

3.7 Million Square Miles of Brownfield Sites Have been Remediated

Few other cities have taken the recovery of brownfield sites as seriously as NYC. Whether former gas stations, manufacturing plants or chemical processing facilities, millions of square miles of space have blighted the urban landscape, but as of March this year, 3.7 million square million miles of formerly contaminated land have already been transformed in healthy, habitable places. Of the 45 brownfield sites enrolled in the City’s Brownfield Cleanup program, half are under construction. That’s huge!

PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg, NYC, New York, air quality, greenhouse gas emission, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, air quality,
image credit: Sky and clouds, Shutterstock

300 Heavy Oil Conversions and Counting are Clearing NYC’s Skies

As part of the effort to improve the city’s air quality (the goal is to make it the best in the United States), the city launched NYC Clean Heat. This program entails phasing out the dirtiest heating oils, namely number 6 by 2015 and number 4 by 2030, by switching either to natural gas or number 2 oil. But doing so is not cheap, especially for low-income buildings, so funding assistance from the city is paramount to the success of this endeavor. To date, 300 such conversions have already been made, which spells much cleaner air for everybody, and by the end of 2013, it is hoped that 50% of the dirtiest oils will be phased out completely.

PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg, NYC, New York, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, water quality
image credit: Hudson river and boat, Shutterstock

New York Harbor is the Cleanest it has been in Over a Century

Thanks to a massive $9 billion investment in water quality, the New York Harbor is the cleanest it has been in more than one hundred years. That is an extraordinary achievement, but efforts to improve waterways doesn’t end there. In fact, it extends to all 520 miles of the city’s shoreline and within the boroughs themselves. Significant investments in infrastructure and vegetation designed to enhance management of rainwater runoff and improve sewage cleaning plants will result in an additional 40% reduction of combined sewage overflows (CSOs) by the program’s end.

This is just a small selection of the amazing goodness that has come of the PlaNYC plan, but we urge you to check out the entire 2012 PlaNYC progress report so you can get a fuller idea of everything that is happening to make our city one of the greenest in the world.

Lead image credit: Statue of Liberty, Shutterstock