June 15, 2011 : At the corner of 15th and Market Streets, Mayor Michael A. Nutter released the 2011 Greenworks Progress Report and unveiled a pilot green roof on the corner bus shelter, a collaborative project of the Philadelphia Water Department and Roofmeadow, a Philadelphia-based company that is a national leader in green roof design. Greenworks Philadelphia, a comprehensive sustainability plan to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America by 2015, is reducing Philadelphia’s vulnerability to rising energy prices, limiting the city’s carbon footprint, and positioning Philadelphia as a leader in the emerging green economy. Mayor Nutter announced that in the two years since implementing the plan the City and its partners have started or completed work on 135 of the 151, or 89%, of Greenworks initiatives.
“Our commitment to sustainability is making Philadelphia a green city, attracting clean tech companies and increasing quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Nutter. “Our great progress toward Greenworks goals not only benefits us today, but also sets the stage for Philadelphia to thrive in the future.”
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.
The City of Philadelphia is attracting significant attention for its sustainability efforts. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy chose to locate one of three national innovation clusters in Philadelphia. The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC), located at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, is uniting a broad coalition of partners from across sectors to research and implement improvements in building energy efficiency. In the process, GPIC is transforming the Philadelphia area by showcasing new tools and technologies in local buildings and attracting the brightest minds in clean technology to the city.
“Greenworks is an ambitious plan, and the progress accomplished during the first two years of implementation proves that when Philadelphians work together, we can make great strides,” said Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability. “Many thanks are due to City agencies for finding innovative ways to incorporate sustainability into their work, to our external partners their continuing efforts and new collaborations with the City, and to our residents for making green choices in their everyday lives.”
Green roofs like the one on the 15th and Market bus shelter decrease the amount of stormwater that enters the sewer system, reduce the urban heat island effect, and prolong the useful life of a roof. The technology is a great example of how, even in a small footprint, property owners can reduce their long term costs while making Philadelphia a more pleasant and healthier place to live. Details on the installation are available at http://www.phillywatersheds.org/greenbusshelter.
To view the full Greenworks plan as well as the 2010 and 2011 Progress Reports and regular updates, visit the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability website at www.phila.gov/green.