It's the Environment, Stupid.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New York's Green Agenda

NY has been in the news recently for pushing forward a green agenda.

New NY gov Eliot Spitzer is going back to the ol' Carter mantra and calling for conservation. He's proposing a combo of legislation and regulations to get the state to consume less energy by 2015. Although the details haven't been revealed, the NY Times reported that these will include stricter energy standards for appliances, and upping the ante for energy efficiency on (so-called) green buildings. There's also talk about building/installing renewable energy generation facilities.

The reasoning for this is simple - by using less energy the state will save money. Well that, and Spitzer won't be forced to be the bad guy in proposing to build new power plants, even though he's already proposed legislation to make NIMBY a non-issue in locating "clean" power producing facilities (besides, by the time the state will need more power plants the Gov will have moved on to bigger and better things...)

In other NY news - NYC mayor Bloomberg revealed his big green plan for the city yesterday. However, this plan will need some serious cash (with some projects it could be in the ballpark of $200 mil a year). One revenue generating proposal involves a toll for drivers coming into Manhattan (based on a similar scheme in London). The PlaNYC (that's what they're calling it) is very, very, very ambitious and includes proposals for several gigantic projects:

One proposal calls for investments of $200 million a year from both the city and state to create a financing authority that would assure the completion of major projects like the Second Avenue subway. New authorities, with representatives from the city, state and private industry, would push for improved energy efficiency in new buildings and for the replacement of energy-guzzling power plants.

The city also would encourage the construction of platforms over railyards and highways to create land for housing. In addition, the plan would open 290 schoolyards as playgrounds, eliminate city sales taxes on energy-efficient hybrid vehicles, increase the number of bike paths and cultivate mussels to suck pollution out of the rivers.

n another measure, the city would plant more than 1 million trees in the next 10 years. It would offer incentives — intended to capture storm water runoff — for larger and deeper sidewalk tree pits and green roofs.

The plan calls for zoning changes in many neighborhoods with access to public transportation that would allow for larger homes and a higher density of housing, although such changes are often resisted in those neighborhoods.

It pledges that every New Yorker would live within a 10-minute walk from a park, and it calls for small public plazas in each community board district that does not have a park.

It would replace or modernize diesel-powered school buses in the city fleet and offer incentives to get heavy diesel trucks off the road. And it would commit city funds to clean up 7,600 acres of so-called brownfields, where soil has been polluted by chemicals or industrial materials. Some of the land would become parks.

It is a lofty vision for NYC, but I think it is just what this city needs. It goes back to a question I've asked before here, how do we rebuild the already built up environment?

NYC doesn't have the luxury of space as nearly every square inch has been built upon, yet the city is an ever changing place even despite these existing infrastructures (and perhaps because of them.) There is a lot of development and redevelopment going on, and neighborhoods across the five boroughs are being revitalized (or destroyed depending on whose side you're on). But this redevelopment does need direction and a vision and it sounds like Bloomberg is stepping up to provide just that.

7 Comments:

  • Hey Aim-
    Um, sorry this comment doesn't have anything to do with the environment, but was just peeking to see if I could find some old friends and found you! Woohoooo!
    Hope NYC is treating you good! How is the big city treating you?
    I'm in podunk Oregon still! Have a great day!
    Karlie (Mifflin) Gaskins

    By Blogger Karlie, at 20:33  

  • I saw a recent article in Government Computing News: GSA paves way for IT-based buildings that explains how the state of Missouri is achieving upwards to $30M in savings using some IT/Energy solution, on existing infrastructure, from some firm named Gridlogix.

    The state seems to have a pretty novel approach to achieve a large near term savings. While the Ice Caps melt, maybe its time to look for better technology oriented solutions.

    energylover@gmail.com

    By Anonymous James Bell, at 18:36  

  • Too many special interests in this country. We have an Alaskan Congressman who just had to have that bridge to that small island, when even the island's residents didn't want it. Wasteful.

    Citizenry - regardless of your political persuasion we need to rein in spending. If your political representative votes for stupid spending you need to vote him or her out.

    By Anonymous phoenix Arizona auto insurance, car insurance, life, home owner, health insurance quote, at 12:17  

  • Yeah all the goverments are shit.. that's why nobody cares.. should have a law that said if anyone that it's against the nature should be fined or imprisoned, just easy like that.

    By Anonymous buy viagra, at 14:06  

  • NY is definetely doing what it can to get Green. Many other states do not do as much.

    By Anonymous Back Year Taxes, at 10:17  

  • Great job on a great topic

    By Anonymous Filing Old Tax Returns, at 13:25  

  • Hello! nice article, I would just like to express my gratitude for the cool information contained in this post. Keep on taking action!

    By Anonymous Mi Tierra San Antonio, at 02:09  

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