What’s in a Vision? Mayors Discuss Sustainability

At last week’s Innovation Summit, DC Mayor Vincent Gray said that he would make the city  “fossil-free” by 2030.

Yesterday, he released his vision for a “Sustainable DC,” and how we would get there. Although he didn’t reiterate the goal of becoming fossil-free by 2030, he does have a comprehensive plan to reduce energy use throughout the city, and further his goal of being the “most sustainable city in America.”

Actions include:

  • Requiring energy audits and disclosure for all buildings
  • Create financial tools to capture the cost of global warming emissions in products and services
  • Expand public transportation services
  • Require all new buildings to be energy and carbon neutral

See the full plan>>

However, as many residents note, the plan is not enforceable. The ideas in the vision are just that - ideas, but as the Washington Post notes, many of the projects are underway, including 30 acres of green roofs.

Mayor Gray isn’t the only mayor in the country that is working on a sustainability plan. In last week’s GW Moving the Planet Forward Innovation Summit, three mayors along with GW President Steven Knapp and GW professor Melissa Keeley sat down to discuss what cities are doing and need to do in order to adapt to climate change and thrive.  All three mayors noted that sustainability makes sense on multiple levels, especially fiscally.

During a Twitter chat between Mayor Tommy Battle and the World Wildlife Fund, Battle declared that going sustainable is a “dollar and cents issue…If I can get more energy for less dollars, sustainability makes sense.”  Mayor Mallory and Mayor Gray also noted that their cities are doing more in the solar sector as well as adding green roofs to infrastructure.

See the full panel, or just get the highlights.

Tell us: What is your city doing to increase sustainability in visible ways?

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