Category: Citybuilding

cities, planning, best practices, transportation, waterfront, green building, local economy, recycling, clean air, clean water, complete streets

San Francisco Zero Waste by 2020

GreenMarketingTV talks with San Francisco Department of the Environment’s Jared Blumenfeld about the ambitious sustainability goals for the city, which include:

  • Zero Waste by 2020
  • A Ban on Plastic Bags
  • Elimination of Worst Pesticides
  • All Buildings Follow LEED-Gold Standard
  • Renewable Energy Tax Credits for Homeowners
  • Affordable Energy Audits for Business
  • Citywide Composting and Recycling

Recycling: Get Loud, Get Answers

by Evan Belser This Thursday, February 22, at 1PM in Room 400 of City Hall there will be a City Council hearing regarding Philadelphia’s grossly inadequate recycling program. The hearing will be a landmark in a decade of advocacy on the matter. The advocates have argued their stance in terms of environmental stewardship. As it…

Philly On Wheels

Think transit, not recreation. That’s the paradigm shift cities like Lyon, Paris, Minneapolis and Miami made when instituting their bike sharing systems. In Philadelphia, where the average person views biking as a potential blood sport, the ground is being well prepared to take it to the next level. Bicycling has doubled in Philadelphia over the…

Public Trust Doctrine Preserves Park

Mary Tracy, SCRUB release In an opinion released today, Philadelphia Orphans’ Court Judge John W. Herron  has DENIED the City’s request to lease 19.4 acres of dedicated parkland to Fox Chase Cancer Center. The Judge applied the public trust doctrine as the standard of review in deciding this case. The public trust doctrine, enshrined in Pennsylvania since the early 1900’s,…

Politics As Usual?

Green City Journal hosted a forum on November 8th for the closing night of Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association’s (PIFVA) expo “Politics As Usual?”, which highlighted political documentaries made by local filmmakers. I moderated a forum with local activists: Jerry Silberman, sustainability advocate and negotiator for PASNAP , Philly for Change’s David Sternberg, Casino…

Next Great City Report Card

Members of the Next Great City Coalition gathered Tuesday outside City Hall to applaud advances made by Mayor Michael Nutter and his administration toward accomplishing the ten near-term sustainability goals outlined by the Coalition during the last Mayoral election. “Ten months into office, Mayor Nutter and his administration as well as the support of City Council members have helped us to accomplish five of our ten recommendations and have made progress on three more,” said Christine Knapp, Outreach Director for PennFuture , the Coalition’s lead organization.

Knapp noted progress on many of the Coalition’s recommendations including legislation passed to update Philadelphia’s Zoning Code, a restructuring in the way fees are levied on commercial properties to contribute more fairly to treatment of stormwater runoff, and initiatives to reform and fund the Park Department. But by far the most stunning advance has been the shift citywide to single stream recycling and the administration’s commitment to move to weekly collections by the end of the year.

Knapp also noted advances in tree planting, renewable energy purchase by the city and the retrofitting of city trucks to reduce diesel emissions. The City announced a program funded jointly by the EPA and monies from a City settlement with Sunoco to retrofit 88 diesel firetrucks to significantly reduce soot, smog pollutants and carbon monoxide emissions. This was part of the Next Great City’s recommendation to reduce the incidence of asthma in Philadelphia.

Noting that in school, 8 out of 10 correct is good but not in the “A” range, Mayor Nutter reaffirmed his commitment to do better and to accomplish all the goals set out in the agenda. “This is about serious business here in Philadelphia. And whether it’s green jobs, whether it’s changing our building code, whether it’s preserving the planet and being able to pass it on to our children and grandchildren, these issues have significance for city government as well,” said Nutter, “Whether it’s saving money on energy costs, or how we design buildings, the issue of good land use planning and how sustainability fits into that, obviously retrofitting vehicles, dealing with air pollution, water supply, stormwater management, all of these issues are significant here in Philadelphia and there’s no reason in the world why we not be able to get to the goal that I laid out very early on, and that is making Philadelphia the number one green city in the United States of America.”

The Mayor made an appeal to vote “yes” on the Parks initiative coming up for vote on November 4th. The ballot question proposes to merge the Fairmount Parks Commission with the Recreation Department and will, he said, be a more effective agency. “What we’re talking about is better management, greater efficiency and productivity, the synergy of these two great systems combined,” he said, “I believe that we will get more out of the combined systems than we will ever get from them separately.”

Nutter thanked the Coalition for “framing the conversation” during the Mayoral election. Since taking office, Nutter has appointed Mark Alan Hughes as Director of Sustainability, and a Sustainability Cabinet to coordinate work with every department on sustainability issues. The Next Great City, funded by the William Penn Foundation, is a coalition of 107 civic, nonprofit, environmental and labor organizations working to promote sustainability issues citywide. They published their 10 step Agenda for sustainability in January of 2007.

2008-10-21 14:51:33

Future Cities

by Walter Libby – No doubt, we are in recession. And our prospects for recovery look grim. Already we’ve seen nine straight months of jobs losses. And it seems likely that they will continue, and get worse. We are caught in what economists call a liquidity trap. Here, despite the Fed driving interest rates ever…

Philadelphia’s Maternity Care Crisis

Chestnut Hill Hospital recently announced its plan to close their maternity department on November 4th, bringing the number of Philadelphia area maternity facilities to close in the last ten years to 15. In every case, citing high malpractice insurance and low reimbursement rates, unprofitability of the maternity ‘line’ was the reason given. According to the…

City and State Talk Resiting

Today, Governor Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter convened a meeting with local elected representatives and Foxwoods Casino to discuss the possibility of resiting their project. Foxwoods has agreed to look at alternative sites, not on the riverfront, within the City of Philadelphia. It will be all over the news tomorrow: Daily News, Inquirer,…

Our Election Results

Hallwatch Press Release – Do you vote? Would you like to be able to see the election results your tax dollars paid for on the City’s web site? If so, please take one minute to submit a request for access to the City’s password protected election web site. You may do so here. The appropriate…