Amid all the excitement over Philly's first green roof bus shelter two weeks ago, we buried some really big news that happened the same day: Mayor Michael Nutter released the 2011 Greenworks Philadelphia Progress Report. The second annual update on the status of Greenworks—the mayor's 2009 sustainability plan that aims to transform Philadelphia into America's greenest city by 2015—can be downloaded here. Of the 151 initiatives outlined in the plan, 135 of them (89%) have been started or completed.
After the jump, a quick list of progress-report highlights from the Philadelphia Recovery Office. But the entire document is recommended reading for anyone interested in the city's future and the economic and social benefits of urban sustainability.
Accomplishments during the second year of Greenworks implementation include:
- Launch of EnergyWorks, a comprehensive energy efficiency solutions program offering energy audits and funded by ARRA dollars through the new, regional Metropolitan Caucus, low-interest financing, and certified contractors for home and business owners in the Greater Philadelphia region.
- Installation of 55,000 and replacement of 30,000 LED traffic signals, saving over $1 million a year in electricity costs.
- Acceptance of Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City, Clean Waters, a groundbreaking stormwater management plan, by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
- Release of Green2015: An Action Plan for the First 500 Acres, a study establishing green space expansion strategies, by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and PennPraxis.
- Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s launch of Get Healthy Philly program to reduce obesity by increasing access to healthy, affordable food and opportunities for physical activity.
- Installation of the first City-owned solar project, a 250 kW array at the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant.
- Weatherization of over 2,300 homes, saving low-income homeowners money on their energy bills.
- City Council legislation permitting the use of sustainable materials such as previous pavement for sidewalk paving, and the Streets Department installing the City’s first porous pavement street, which reduces the number of pollutants that enter our waterways and creates safer driving conditions in hazardous weather.
- Reconstruction of the South Street Bridge with dedicated bike lanes and wider sidewalks, showcasing City’s dedication to complete streets.