Greenworks Philadelphia includes more than 150 initiatives to help create jobs and reduce the city’s environmental footprint
Philadelphia - Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability announced Greenworks Philadelphia, an ambitious, comprehensive framework to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the United States of America by 2015. It sets goals in five areas - energy, environment, equity, economy and engagement - and encompasses more than 150 initiatives. Together, they will reduce the city’s vulnerability to rising energy prices, limit its environmental footprint, and reposition its workforce and job development strategies to build upon Philadelphia’s competitive advantages in the emerging green economy.
“Greenworks Philadelphia is a vision for how Philadelphia can and should seize this moment, building on the assets of the city left to us by the past and creating a better future for ourselves, our children and generations to come,” said Mayor Nutter.
Van Jones, President Obama’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, said, “Greenworks Philadelphia is an example of what cities and communities throughout this country can do to develop smart, green solutions on a local level. The Mayor’s commitment to become more energy efficient, reduce the city’s carbon footprint and increase opportunity through green job creation are key components to a green recovery.”
Greenworks Philadelphia seeks to make more homes and buildings weather-tight, increase recycling and minimize trash, give residents better access to parks and fresh food, and capture the benefits of solar and geothermal energy. It envisions planting thousands of trees, equipping the municipal fleet with less-polluting engines and expanding green job training, so plenty of Philadelphia’s workers have the skills to retrofit buildings and install solar arrays.
“Green jobs represent a new pathway to the middle class, just as factory jobs once were,” said Mayor Nutter. “Philadelphia enjoys a reputation as a city that values work-real work, honest work, hard work. So despite these tough economic times, or perhaps because of them, it is time once again for Philadelphians to roll up their sleeves and get to it.”
Mark Alan Hughes, Philadelphia’s director of sustainability and the chief policy advisor to Mayor Nutter, said the mayor is not only committed to sustainability, “he is actively leveraging any and all resources that will prepare all Philadelphians for jobs in the growing green economy,” Hughes said.
Margaret O’Sullivan, Philadelphia City Director of the Clinton Climate Initiative said, “With the launch of Greenworks Philadelphia, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability has provided a compelling framework for a smart energy future. The City of Philadelphia joins others in the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group in embracing the extraordinary challenges of energy vulnerability and climate change with the release of this forward thinking and accessible roadmap for Philadelphia’s citizens and businesses.”
Developing a sustainability framework was a key part of Mayor Nutter’s election campaign, and upon taking office, he established the city’s first Office of Sustainability. Many organizations have worked hard for years to get a comprehensive sustainability plan adopted, but have lacked a serious partner in City Hall.
Greenworks Philadelphia was refined over the past 10 months by many city employees, local and national nonprofit organizations, and civic and business leaders including the Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Board, which is chaired by attorney Joe Manko and Anne Papageorge, vice president for the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services at the University of Pennsylvania. William Penn Foundation also supported the development of Greenworks Philadelphia.
“This framework for sustainability emerged from the ideas of hundreds of Philadelphians throughout the city,” said Mayor Nutter. “It’s everybody’s plan, but the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will act as the clearing house for coordinating many of the proposed activities and help us build new partnerships with citizens, communities and institutions throughout the city and region.”