Jessica Dailey

What is a Sustainable City? Four Influential Green Mayors Discuss During the Festival of Ideas

by , 05/09/11

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Michael Nutter – Mayor of Philadelphia

While the sustainability plans for Braddock and Medellín are further removed from what we know here in New York City, Philadelphia’s plan is rather similar to our own. Last year, Mayor Nutter launched Greenworks Philadelphia, his plan to make Philly the greenest city in America (is that a challenge, Mr. Nutter? NYC will take it!). The plan set 15 targets for the city that involved reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, improving the quality of life, and creating jobs.

Philadelphia has seen a lot of success in the past year, with the implementation of hybrid buses, construction of new bike lanes, and upgraded recycling programs. They enacted a new law that requires all new buildings or renovations to be a minimum of LEED Silver. Plus, the city has big plans for the next couple years. By 2015, Mayor Nutter hopes to transform 500 acres of underused land into parks and public green space.

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One of Mayor Nutter’s most ambitious projects is the redevelopment of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Much like New York’s waterfront, Philly’s waterfront was once a thriving shipping industry, but fell into decline as shipping methods changed. In 2004, Robert A.M Stern Architects unveiled the Master Plan for the complete renovation of the 1200 acre area. Already, a tremendous amount of development has taken place, with a clean tech research center moving in and dozens of restaurants and retail shops setting up in the eco-friendly buildings. The shipyard is being upgraded to accommodate today’s ships and cruise liners, and preservation of the historic core is underway.

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