Philadelphia aiming to be “Greenest City in America”

The Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII), a project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), has presented the City of Philadelphia with a report to help it achieve its vision of becoming “the greenest city in America.”  The UII team came up with a set of solutions — both quick wins and longer term approaches — towards the city’s “Greenworks Philadelphia” objectives for 2015.  These targets, set in 2009, are:

Target 1 Lower City Government Energy Consumption by 30 Percent.

Target 2 Reduce Citywide Building Energy Consumption by 10%.

Target 3 Retrofit 15% of Housing Stock with Insulation, Air Sealing, and Cool Roofs.

Target 4 Purchase and Generate 20% of Electricity Used in Philadelphia from Alternative Energy Sources.

Target 5 Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 20%.

Target 6 Improve Air Quality toward Attainment of Federal Standards.

Target 7 Divert 70% of Solid Waste from Landfill.

Target 8 Manage Stormwater to Meet Federal Standards.

Target 9 Provide Walkable Access to Park and Recreation Resources for All Philadelphians.

Target 10 Provide Walkable Access to Affordable, Healthy Food for All Philadelphians.

Target 11 Increase Tree Coverage Toward 30% in All Neighborhoods by 2025.

Target 12 Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled by 10%.

Target 13 Increase the State of Good Repair in Resilient Infrastructure.

Target 14 Increase the Size of the Regional Clean Economy by 25%.

Target 15 Philadelphians Unite to Build a Sustainable Future.

“Greenworks” was published in the spring of 2009.  It considered sustainability through five lenses: energy, environment, equity, economy and engagement.  Since then the city has also adopted “a new comprehensive plan and a new modernized zoning code which incorporates a number of instruments to advance sustainability in planning decision-making.”

WBCSD_UII_PHILADELPHIA_-_FINAL report is here (5.8 MB, 48 pp.).  For a video of the Philadelphia launch, go here.

The UII brings together 14 large companies to help urban authorities develop “realistic, practical and cost-effective sustainability action plans” and to that end is partnering with cities around the world aiming to explore solutions in a variety of geographic and cultural contexts.


20 January 2014