by Mayor Vincent C. Gray | Washington, DC is an established leader in sustainability. We are first in green power consumption, ranked third in the number of LEED certified buildings, and have the largest bike-share program in the country. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, DC is ranked #8 amongst 27 of the greenest metropolitan cities in North America, and has been voted #1 in environmental governance.
While our accomplishments to date have been impressive, I believe we can do even more to make the nation’s capital a more sustainable and forward-thinking city.
In July 2011, I announced that I would work with the people of this great city to make the District the most sustainable city in the United States. This is a huge undertaking. But, I am confident that we are capable of achieving this goal. We are fortunate to have, one of the most energetic, grassroots communities of environmental advocates right here in the District. These individuals and organizations have demonstrated the willingness to do what’s necessary to help the District succeed in this endeavor. Their advocacy and support will allow us to meet our end goal, which is to connect sustainability with economic development and become the most sustainable city in North America.”
Earlier this summer, I launched “Sustainable DC,” a planning process designed to make the District the greenest, healthiest, and most vibrant city it can be. I’ve directed my team to solicit feedback from a variety of stakeholders, the most important of which are DC’s residents, who will serve as the architects of what a sustainable DC should look and feel like. Their ideas and recommendations will help to inform our planning process, our policies and our programs. Sustainable DC kicked off with a launch campaign called, “Start in September.” This intensive public outreach campaign resulted in staff from the DDOE as well as the Office of Planning attending more than 25 public meetings and events in September alone. We are continuing to gather ideas from residents across the city through our website,www.sustainable.dc.gov. To date, hundreds of visitors have contributed innovative ideas on how to make the District more sustainable.
This month, working groups comprised of subject matter experts, District government staff, and the public will begin researching and analyzing key topics: the built environment, climate, energy, food, the green economy, nature, transportation, water, and waste. In addition to identifying bold new ideas, Sustainable DC will incorporate current plans, projects, and initiatives into a clear vision of sustainability for the District. Using that information, we will develop ambitious, but achievable, goals and initiatives for achieving our collective vision of a truly “Sustainable DC.”
Visit our website, www.sustainable.dc.gov , and tell us what you are doing to ensure that your country or city becomes sustainable. Alternatively, we can be reached at email@example.com. As you know, the environment is the thread that connects us all.
Vincent C. Gray, Mayor