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Philadelphia Strives to Be America’s No. 1 Green City

philadelphiaPhiladelphia mayor Michael Nutter and the mayor’s Office of Sustainability have released a comprehensive plan to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the United States by 2015. Encompassing more than 150 initiatives, Greenworks Philadelphia sets goals in five areas — energy, environment, equity, economy and engagement — all designed to help create jobs in the emerging green economy and reduce the city’s environmental footprint.

Key target goals of Greenworks Philadelphia include:

  • Decrease city government energy consumption by 30 percent
  • Reduce energy consumption in buildings citywide by 10 percent
  • Retrofit 15 percent of housing with insulation, air sealing, and cool roofs
  • Purchase and generate 20 percent of electricity  from alternative energy sources
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent
  • Improve air quality toward attainment of federal standards
  • Divert 70 percent of solid waste from landfill
  • Manage storm water to meet federal standards
  • Provide park and recreation resources within 10 minutes of 75 percent of residents
  • Offer local food within 10 minutes of 75 percent of residents
  • Boost tree coverage toward 30 percent in all neighborhoods in 2025
  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled by 10 percent
  • Increase the “State of Good Repair” of city infrastructure
  • Double the number of low- and high-skill green jobs to 28,8000

The city has already made progress through a few green initiatives launched by its sports teams. The Philadelphia Phillies, for example, have purchased 20 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy to serve the ball club’s 43,500-seat Citizens Bank Park, and the Pittsburgh Pirates recently launched a green initiative dubbed “Let’s Go Bucs. Let’s Go Green.”

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