The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) recognized the City of New York’s outstanding leadership in creating and implementing a preeminent sustainable development plan for New York City with ELI’s 2012 Environmental Achievement award.
“Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, the City of New York is setting a world class example for the smart cities of the future” stated ELI Board Chairman Edward L. Strohbehn Jr. “While cities occupy just two percent of the world’s landmass, they have an enormous environmental footprint, consuming 75 percent of the world’s energy and contributing more than two-thirds of its greenhouse gases. We honor Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York for bringing together business and environmental leaders to chart a sustainable future for New York City and create a model for the world’s megacities.”
Mayor Bloomberg’s 2007 PlaNYC program set out a path-breaking sustainability design for New York City, America’s largest local government. PlaNYC was created as a bold agenda to build a greener, greater New York. In its 2011 review of PlaNYC’s accomplishments, the City reported that in four years New York City added more than 200 acres of parkland, preserved more than 64,000 units of affordable housing, and enacted ambitious laws to make existing buildings more energy efficient. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions fell 13% below 2005 levels.
Under the Mayor’s leadership, the City and the New York Department of Environmental Protection recently reached an agreement that results in about $2.4 billion in public and private investment in green infrastructure technologies. This will remove about 1.5 billion gallons of combined sewer overflows (comprised of untreated sewage and storm water) annually by 2030 through green infrastructure — porous pavement, green roofs and bioswales (which help storm water seep into the ground). The program will accelerate the City’s progress in cleaning up New York’s treasured waterways and restoring its historic wetlands, including those of Jamaica Bay with its federal wildlife refuge and popular fishing and boating areas, underscoring New York City’s sustainability leadership.
“The City of New York’s outstanding leadership for environmental protection and municipal and global sustainability under Mayor Bloomberg provides an example for cities and their leadership across America and the world,” said ELI President, John C. Cruden.