Washington, D.C. Releases Sustainability Plan
Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the release of the Sustainable DC Plan to ensure the District is the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the nation. The Mayor released the plan during an event at the Earth Conservation Corps Pump House at Diamond Teague Park on the Anacostia River. There, he was joined by more than 100 people, including members of his Green Cabinet and Green Ribbon Committee, in support of the effort.
The plan builds on the past 20 months of the Sustainable DC initiative’s work and takes a comprehensive approach to addressing four key challenges: creating jobs and growing the District’s economy; improving the health and wellness of residents; ensuring equity and diversity across the city; and improving the climate and the environment. The plan encompasses 32 goals and 31 targets, and offers 143 specific actions in the areas of the built environment, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste and water.
“The release of the Sustainable DC Plan marks both the culmination of a major effort and the first step in a very important journey for the District,” said Mayor Gray. “To me, creating a more sustainable District means improving the quality of life for every resident. We will grow the economy, improve our residents’ health and enhance transportation, buildings, parks, and neighborhoods. This plan provides the strategy for success, and I am committing the full resources of the District government to ensuring that we achieve the goals it sets out. I’m also asking for your help, because it will be up to all of us — residents, workers, students, business owners, and visitors – to move the plan from vision to reality.”
The Sustainable DC Initiative began in the summer of 2011 with the goal of developing and implementing a strategy to:
- Broaden and diversify the District’s economy and the range of available employment and business opportunities for residents;
- Reduce disparities related to income, health, employment and education across the city; and
- Ensure a high quality of life and a clean environment for our residents, workers, and visitors.
In the spring of 2012, Mayor Gray released his Vision for a Sustainable DC to make the District the most sustainable city in the nation by 2032. Based on suggestions from the public and the recommendations of working groups, the vision laid out ambitious goals and targets for nine areas related to sustainability. These were then used as the foundation for the full Sustainable DC Plan.
Actions in the Sustainable DC Plan to help improve the District within the next generation include:
- Coordinating targeted workforce-development strategies and education programs to create jobs and foster business growth in the green economy;
- Building 1,000 more renewable-energy systems and enabling residents and businesses across the city to more easily invest in shared renewable facilities;
- Modernizing all of the District’s public school buildings to at least the LEED Gold standard under the US Green Building Council’s LEED system and expanding sustainability-education efforts citywide.
- Controlling pollution caused by stormwater runoff with 2,000,000 more square feet of green roofs and a healthy tree canopy over 40 percent of the city;
- Completing 37 miles of streetcar network and 100 miles of citywide bike lanes;
- Establishing facilities to accept residential and commercial compost; and
- Providing tens of millions of dollars in innovative financing to promote private-sector energy- and water-efficiency retrofits; and
The Sustainable DC Plan is based on the work of the numerous District government agencies, dedicated stakeholders, more than 700 people who participated in the working groups, and thousands more who submitted ideas online and at more than 180 public meetings and events.
“The Sustainable DC plan is the playbook that the District — city government, private sector, and residents working together — will use to move from Mayor Gray’s Vision for a Sustainable DC to a reality,” said Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning and co-leader of the Mayor’s Sustainable DC Initiative. “It will ensure that sustainability remains an important factor in our decision-making as a city and will change the way we do business here.”
Keith Anderson, Acting Director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and Sustainable DC co-leader, added, “The potential for the Sustainable DC Plan to improve the health of our people and the quality of our environment while simultaneously growing the economy, creating jobs, and reducing social inequity is nothing short of remarkable. Sustainability is about achieving multiple benefits with every dollar spent and every action undertaken.”