Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Greening of U.S. Cities

More and more U.S. cities are announcing their "green" plans:

Chicago seeks to be known as "the green city." "Mayor Daley really has committed to making Chicago the greenest, most environmentally friendly city in the nation." Some of the initiatives proposed or underway:

  • a green roof is required on all buildings that receive some city funding
  • plant more trees
  • the first hydrogen fueling station in the U.S., which will be used for city shuttle buses.
  • four wind turbines have been installed atop one of the city's many skyscrapers.
  • require all new public buildings to incorporate recycled or renewable materials and energy-saving green technologies
  • green medians with natural grasses, mulch, flowers, and bushes
  • quintupling bike lanes

New York City seeks to be "the first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city." Some of the initiatives proposed or underway:
  • enclosed highways, more green space, river cleanup
  • more energy efficient lighting on everything from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Rockefellar Christmas tree lights to the Times Square ball
  • Yellow Cabs must go green

Los Angeles seeks to become “the greenest big city in America.” Some of the initiatives proposed or underway:
  • use 20 per cent green energy by 2010
  • pilot project where bio-solids from local sewage treatment plants are converted into clean energy
  • requires all new public buildings to meet LEED standards
  • mandated low flow toilets and showerheads for the entire city
  • installing smart irrigation systems in parks, diverting more treated waste water from the oceans for outdoor use, and creating more green space with native trees and plants to absorb storm runoff to stave pollution of the ocean and the region’s groundwater
  • building carpool lanes, making the city more bike-friendly and expanding public transport
  • expansions to the light rail and subway system
  • plant trees
  • increased recycling programs and proposals to divert green waste to ethanol production facilities

Albuquerque seeks to be known as "one of America's most green-friendly cities." Their initiatives include:
  • embraced the Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • buy only alternative-fuel vehicles for the city fleet
  • possible revisions to the building code to promote green-friendly homes and businesses
  • more of the city government's energy use to come from wind or solar power

Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond and Emeryville, California will also work together to become "green."

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