Gallery: 6 Ways PlaNYC Has Successfully Made New York a Greener Place t...

This month marked the fifth year anniversary of NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's ambitious PlaNYC sustainability plan, and we're very proud to say that in that short time, New York residents are already experiencing a significantly greener city. If you don't believe us, check out all of the ways the program has successfully improved our quality of life in the official report or if'd you prefer to take the easy route, read on as we showcase six of the projects that we thought made a really important diffference - from the cleanest New York Harbor in more than a century to the restoration of thousands of square miles of formerly contaminated brownfield sites. Hit the jump to learn more.

image via Philip Lange, Shutterstock

Travel Time Reduced by 20% for Thousands of Bus Passengers

Among various new public transportation initiatives that have been launched to improve service, reduce travel time and get more people around the city car-free, one of the most successful has been the Select Bus Service lines that have reduced travel times by up to 20% for thousands of bus passengers. After the original Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway line in the Bronx and the First Avenue/Second Avenue in Manhattan proved so successful, PlaNYC worked with the MTA to expand the network to 34th Street. The East River Ferry pilot project launched last year has also been a boon for hundreds of thousands of residents who travel between Brooklyn and Queens and Manhattan and Governor’s Island.

image via Megan Kirk, Shutterstock

75% of Buildings Over 50,000 Square Feet have met the PlaNYC’s Benchmarking efficiency program

This may not be so clear at first so let us explain: a whopping 75% of energy use can be attributed to buildings, so NYC committed to drastically improving energy efficiency among the city’s biggest buildings. As part of the Greener Greater Buildings Plan, owners of all buildings over 50,000 square feet are required to report on their energy use so that in the long run, measures can be taken improve their performance. To date, 75% of the city’s largest buildings, accounting for 45% of our energy consumption, have complied with the program, which means that 1.6 billion square feet of real estate will eventually become lean and mean power consumers. This translates into serious GHG reductions for everybody!

image via Little NY, Shutterstock

76% of New Yorkers Live Within 10 Minutes Walk of a Public Park

One of the most significant achievements made as a result of the PlaNYC program is the substantial increase of green spaces around the city. In the last year alone, easy access to a healthy, invigorating urban park has been granted to 240,815 more New Yorkers. In 2007, only 70% of the city’s residents could get to a park within 10 minutes of walking. That number has risen to 76% and will grow further still. We don’t know the numbers, but this has to make our beautiful city one of the greenest on the planet.


or your inhabitat account below