Will DC Eventually Be the Country’s Greenest City?

by Shilpi Paul

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More than a year ago, Mayor Vincent Gray announced his goal of making DC the “healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.” On Wednesday, Gray introduced an extensive plan outlining how to get there in the short- and long-term. By 2032, the Mayor said the city will reach its goal.

In this year’s budget, the city set aside $4.5 million toward various initiatives, like the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, the Green Building Act, and weatherization programs, outlined in the plan. The money will be used on several distinct projects, like assessing District-owned roofs for their green roof potential, installing MPD cars with controls that allow them to keep using electronics without running the engine, and perhaps the most exciting, creating 10 mini-parks in public parking spaces, complete with WiFi access.

As far as the goals and targets that the plan hopes to reach by 2032, here is a sampling:

  • Citywide energy use will be reduced by 50 percent, and renewable energy will make up 50 percent of the District’s energy supply. Overall emissions will be reduced by 50 percent.
  • The number of jobs providing green goods and services will increase fivefold.
  • 100 percent of existing commercial and multi-family buildings will be retrofit to achieve net-zero standards, generating as much energy as they use. All new buildings will meet be required to meet that standard as well.
  • The wetlands along the Anacostia and Potomac will be increased by 50 percent.
  • Twenty more acres of land will be cultivated to grow food, and 75 percent of the city’ residents will be within a short walk of a community garden, farmer’s market or healthy corner store.
  • Increase the use of public transit, encourage biking and walking, and reduce car and taxi trips to 25 percent of total commutes.
  • Cover 40 percent of the city with a “healthy tree canopy.”
  • Make sure that a variety of amenities and services are within a 20-minute walk of all residents.

The 129-page document outlines many more concrete plans.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/emissions_reduced_by_50_mayor_gray_introduces_bold_sustainability_plan/6682

1 Comment

  1. Q-Street said at 5:03 pm on Wednesday February 20, 2013:

    Thanks for linking to DC’s plan. I was a little surprised to see a ‘bottle deposit law’ as a ‘long term’ goal. Seems like that’s something that they could pass right now, with an implementation timeline.

    As a kid, I loved taking my recyclables to grocery stores in Maine and getting a few bucks back. Sure I was getting my own deposit back, but I made an effort to pick up as many bottles as I could.

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