New York‘s Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement on Earth Day, back in 2007, listed a 127 initiative aimed at making a ‘greener, greater New York‘. Some of the ideas will involve making any new construction more environmentally-friendly, will involve helping New Yorkers with their existing homes and upgrade them to be more energy efficient. It will also help existing buildings, such as hotels, condominiums and businesses become more energy efficient as well.
New York‘s Department of Environmental Protection allocated over $34 million dollars aimed at water conservation efforts to reduce water use by 5%. The new program will provide rebates to replace washing machines, urinals, and toilets with the state-of-the-art more efficient models. Rebates will also be provided in an effort to make green building more affordable. Many environmentally friendly features like improved ventilation’s, rain water collection, terraced rooftops with lawns and gardens, and white rooftops that reflect heat rather than absorb heat, all of these new applications will be added to the ‘new building’ codes; all new apartments and houses will adhere to a more stringent standard. The city plans to offer property tax abatement for any building installing solar panels.
It’s not just the affluent that will benefit from green construction, some of the 55,000 units funded under Bloomberg’s plan is to create and preserve 165,000 homes by 2013. But, it will still take a radical new approach to ensure and convince New Yorkers that going green is not only environmentally sustainable and affordable, but worth the effort. For instance, the new Via Verde apartment complex located in the Bronx, has been touted as a eco-conscious model with features such as the ability to capture rainwater, space to grow fruits and vegetables, a Christmas Tree farm and solar panels and all the land for this project was donated.
Currently, the cities buildings emit 79% of the global warming gases, which accounts for 1% of emission nationwide; that’s more than Ireland and Portugal combined. Experts believe that New York City’s construction of new buildings using less energy and water is paramount and also necessary, because the demands upon its use of natural resources will outpace its current use by 2012.
Earth Day is coming around again, and for the past three years, New York has made steady progress in achieving its ambitious goals. They have not only implemented the 127 initiative, but they have gone beyond just ‘going green’, they have created a new model for sustainable economic development and growth by embedding the goal of a sustainable future deep within each agency involved.