The next mayor of New York has just been presented with a road map to green the city’s buildings. The built environment account for 75% of carbon emissions, 85% of water use and 95% of electricity consumption in New York, and the Urban Green Council believes that greening buildings is the best way to make cities healthier and more resilient while helping the environment and saving money. So the organization, along with an impressive coalition comprised of SEIU 32BJ, REBNY, BOMA/NY, NY Building Congress, AIA NY and ASHRAE-NY, has developed a roadmap for the next mayor of New York to make NYC buildings more eco-friendly.
The most important recommendation on the road map for the next mayor is to bulk up his staff with green building experts. The road map recommends that the mayor appoint a Deputy Mayor for Infrastructure and Sustainability and require green building experience for commissioners or the first deputy commissioner at key city agencies.
The roadmap centers around three main themes. The first is improving health and focuses on amping up green building requirements for schools and increasing air quality through reducing pollution from boilers. The second theme is boosting the economy by removing the barriers that stand in the way of businesses becoming greener and creating green jobs through training. Finally, the third is becoming a leader in green building by going above and beyond various national green building benchmarks.
We hope that mayoral candidates are paying good attention to this roadmap because being in the know about green buildings is a factor that will sway many votes, especially when it comes to our health and resiliency in the face of future super storms and natural disasters.