Green jobs represent a new pathway to the middle class, just as factory jobs once were
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) April 29, 2009
Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability today 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. Today, 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."
Here is a summary of what Greenworks Philadelphia seeks to do:
Goal: Philadelphia Reduces Its Vulnerability to Rising Energy Prices
Target 1: Lower City Government Energy Consumption by 30 percent
Retrofit municipal buildings using Energy Service Companies (ESCOs).
Create target energy budgets for city operating departments.
Develop energy conservation education for city employees.
Target 2: Reduce Energy Consumption in Buildings Citywide by 10 Percent
Develop new buildings that are more energy efficient.
Create financing program for energy efficient tenant improvements in commercial leases and revolving loan fund for residential improvements.
Target 3: Retrofit 15 Percent of Housing Stock with Insulation, Air Sealing, Cool Roofs
Capitalize on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provides Philadelphia with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to retrofit aging housing stock.
Expand access to weatherization jobs through community partnerships.
Target 4: Purchase and Generate 20 Percent of Electricity Used in Philadelphia from Alternative Energy Sources
Construct biogas cogeneration facility.
Support solar power purchase agreements on public and private sites.
Take advantage of PECO's compliance with Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which mandates that energy providers obtain 9.2 percent of their electrical supply from alternative energy by 2011.
Goal: Philadelphia Decreases Its Environmental Footprint
Target 5: Reduce Green House Gas Emissions by 20 Percent
Exceed climate agreements with U.S. Conference of Mayors, ICLEI and the Clinton Climate Change Initiative and lead on new agreements.
Create/adopt registry to take advantage of future federal cap-and-trade legislation.
Target 6: Improve Air Quality toward Attainment of Federal Standards
Reduce the number of days rated as "unhealthy" by the Air Quality Index. Decrease ozone and fine particulate matter levels to meet new, stricter federal standards.
Add filters to all diesel vehicles in City fleet and switch to biodiesel and CNG.
Reduce street congestion through parking policy and signal technology.
Reduce emissions at the Port of Philadelphia and Philadelphia International Airport.
Target 7: Divert 70 Percent of Solid Waste from Landfill
Increase the amount of recycling by residents to 25 percent by 2015 through incentive programs and public engagement efforts.
Install public space recycling containers in Center City.
Reduce the amount of trash generated.
Goal: Philadelphia Provides More Equitable Access To Healthy Neighborhoods
Target 8: Manage Storm Water to Meet Federal Standards
Recommend that the natural links between land and water be reconnected, with green infrastructure -- trees, vegetation and soil -- becoming the city's preferred storm water management system.
If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revises applicable regulations, 3,200 acres of green space and permeable surfaces will be created by 2015.
Increase green and open space by using permeable pavement on parking lots and playgrounds, building green roofs, and distributing rainwater collection barrels to homeowners.
Target 9: Provide Park and Recreation Resources within 10 Minutes of 75 Percent of Residents
Create an additional 500 acres of public space.
Redevelop and provide public access to major waterways.
Create open space during neighborhood redevelopment efforts.
Maintain efforts to "clean and green" vacant lots.
Target 10: Offer Local Food within 10 Minutes of 75 Percent of Residents
Promote initiatives of the Philadelphia Food Charter and Food Policy Council.
Expand the number of farmers markets, food producing community gardens and urban farms so that 86 new fresh food outlets are created by 2015.
Convert vacant land into working gardens.
Target 11: Boost Tree Coverage toward 30 Percent in All Neighborhoods in 2025
Plant 300,000 trees.
Work closely with partners such as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and accelerate city-wide tree planting campaign.
Plant trees in vacant lots, school yards and on city-owned property.
Encourage Philadelphians to plant and care for trees on their streets and in their yards.
Launch local carbon offset initiative in support of tree planting (Erase Your Trace)
Goal: Creating Competitive Advantage from Sustainability
Target 12: Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled by 10 Percent
Support SEPTA in its effort to increase transit ridership through service improvements, capital investments and new fare technologies.
Invest in transit-oriented development and Bike/Pedestrian trail efforts.
Target 13: Increase the "State of Good Repair" of City Infrastructure
Increase infrastructure "state of good repair" to 70 percent.
Develop Public Property facilities asset management database system.
Incorporate climate adaptation projections into infrastructure planning.
Target 14: Double the Number of Low- and High-Skill Green Jobs
Double the number of green jobs to 28,800.
Create an economic development strategy built on demand for affordable energy.
Link workforce development programs to green job opportunities
Goal: Philadelphians Unite to Build a Sustainable Future
Target 15: Philadelphia is the Greenest City in America
Partner with Philadelphia Youth Commission and others to organize neighborhood energy campaigns.
Create other engagement efforts around recycling and tree planting.
Track progress with annual updates.
Make data available on-line so that independent analyses can be conducted.