Green Cities Conference Releases Municipal Survey Data

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Study Shows Leading Cities, Top Trends in Sustainability for Central Florida Governments

Survey Results

Florida businesses want to go green, and so do their host cities.

The Green Cities™ Florida Conference (May 20-21 in Orlando) today announced the results of its Sustainability Initiatives & Priorities Survey which targeted 100 cities in Central Florida earlier this month. Nearly 40 cities responded to the study, sharing programs which cover everything from renewable energies and water conservation to community education and green work force development.

The study asked each participant to share their most important programs and initiatives, while letting conference organizers know what topics they wanted to learn more about in its programming. To follow are the top priorities they shared:

1. Alternative water supplies and water conservation as a whole
2. How emerging technologies will be used in conservation efforts
3. How to market sustainability to the public
4. Green house gas reduction strategies
5. How the American Recovery and Investment Act will affect job growth and retention
6. How to apply for funding to assist with the implementation of sustainable initiatives
7. Implementing renewable energies in new building technologies
8. LEED certification requirements
9. Cost benefit of implementing green practices
10. How municipalities can influence policy makers to allocate funds to help achieve greening goals

Based on local initiatives and programming information, the following cities and their programs were highlighted in the study:

Orlando - http://www.cityoforlando.net/elected/greenworks/index.htm

Through grant money provided by the Department of Energy, Orange County is currently installing a 1 megawatt (MG) solar array atop the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, making it the largest solar array of its kind in the Southeast. In addition the City of Orlando has established, Green Works Business, an educational program designed to provide the Orlando business community with comprehensive best practices for sustainability in business.

Deland - http://www.beacononlinenews.com

The City of Deland has systematically changed its water program to encourage conservation by adopting a tier structured rate program and rebates for customers who switch to energy star appliances.

Jacksonville - http://www.jea.com

Jacksonville has Florida's 2nd largest community owned utility, JEA, which generates green energy by burning methane gas from one of the city's sewage treatment plants and from several local landfills, capturing the energy that would be lost if they merely burned off the gas.

South Daytona - http://www.pinellas-park.com

Pinellas Park enforces landscaping codes which "green" the city, encouraging use of native drought resistant plants, reclaimed water usage and shading of parking lots. In addition, they city has purchased hybrid vehicles for use by city workers in select departments.

Clearwater - http://www.clearwater-fl.com/green

The City of Clearwater has started monitoring and tracking energy use within government buildings. After current usage rates are determined, the city will develop a plan to reduce energy use. The same methodology will be followed for solid waste, recycling, and water use.

Tallahassee - http://www.talgov.com

Tallahassee's city bus service, StarMetro has park and ride routes called 80X routes. These routes service the community's highly populated suburbs, offering free Wi-Fi and over 88 i-stops which are stand-alone solar powered bus shelters, providing increased safety for evening riders while utilizing renewable energies for power.

Venice - http://www.venicegov.com

The City of Venice recently began green planning efforts by adopting the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Additionally, funding has been secured for formal application towards Florida Green Building Coalition's (FGBC) Local Government Green Standards through the Planning Department, and certification by both the City Engineer and Building Official through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The Green Cities™ Conference will offer a high-tech, interactive, outcome based, portfolio of seminars on sustainable solutions, presented by the nation's leading green business, government, business, and technology experts. Green Cities™ prepares business and government with specific tactics for participating in this growing green economy. There will be over 70 presenters and more than 1,200 expected attendees.

"Florida businesses want to go green, and so do their host cities." says Joseph Malki, Founder of the national conference series. "Our Green Cities events provide the practical how-to's from successful innovators across sectors of industry and government management."

Early bird registration for Green Cities™ Florida ends May 11th and scholarships are available for students and some nonprofit groups. For more information, please visit http://www.greencitiesflorida.com and http://www.greencitiesmedia.com

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