It’s a new day and New York has a new mayor-elect. Bill de Blasio won the 2013 NYC Election by a landslide last night with a solidly liberal campaign focused on ending stop-and-frisk, improving education and fixing economic inequality. But the new mayor could also be a big win for environmentally conscious New Yorkers; one of de Blasio’s less advertised initiatives was A Framework for a Sustainable City.
In his green plan, de Blasio outlines several strategies for building a strong and sustainable New York. The new mayor says he will commit the city to using more renewable energy sources including wind, geothermal, hydropower and biofuels, and try to enact the New York Solar Jobs Act for the entire state of New York. To help reduce overall energy usage, de Blasio promises to help educate small businesses about the government and private resources they can use to make themselves greener and lower their energy bills.
One of de Blasio’s sustainable initiatives has been quite controversial – the building of the East 91st street waste-transfer station. The new waste-transfer site would help reduce the number of garbage trucks that need to trek all the way to sanitation stations in the outer boroughs like Brooklyn and the Bronx. However, Upper East Side residents are concerned it will affect the image of the neighborhood and introduce harmful fumes to the densely populated area.
As time has told, though, just because a candidate promises something during a campaign doesn’t mean it will actually happen. But it’s worth noting that de Blasio has a proven track record of doing the green thing. As a City Council member, he supported legislation to promote green buildings, improve NYC air quality by raising the motor vehicle emissions standards, and the creation of a comprehensive e-waste management plan. On his own, the incoming mayor also initiated the SPARE (Stop Polystyrene and Revitalize the Environment) pledge to ban government use of Styrofoam.
Bill de Blasio has some big green shoes to fill when he takes over the office on New Year’s day. But, from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like he may carry on Michael Bloomberg’s legacy of environmental stewardship.
Images © Bill de Blasio/Facebook