Mayor Taveras Establishes Environmental Sustainability Goals for Providence
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Mayor Taveras Establishes Environmental Sustainability Goals for Providence

Friday, April 26, 2013

Strategies to achieve energy, food, water, waste, land use and development, and transportation goals to be developed in partnership with community members.

Mayor Angel Taveras announced new environmental sustainability goals for the City of Providence today, including a community engagement process to develop strategies and action plans to achieve these goals.

The Mayor announced the new Sustainable Providence goals, focused on energy, food, water, waste, land use and development, and transportation, after being honored at this morning's Earth Day Breakfast of Champions, an annual event hosted by Clean Water Action and Ocean State Action to recognize those who have contributed to the environmental movement throughout the previous year.

"My administration is taking critical steps to improve the quality of life for Providence residents, and to ensure that our city is a sustainable and livable place for everyone," said Mayor Taveras. "I am confident that we will see high levels of enthusiasm from our community experts to develop the strategies needed to achieve our sustainability goals, and that this process will result in a cleaner, greener capital city."

The City's new environmental sustainability goals include:

  • Waste - Fully implement a Zero Waste strategy by 2033. Zero Waste encourages the redesign of products to promote waste reduction and recycling, requires improved recycling and composting, and promotes reuse in innovative and economically strategic ways.
  • Transportation - Develop the necessary transportation infrastructure (bus, bike, car-sharing, walking/pedestrian access) so that all residents have balanced and enhanced transportation options.
  • Energy - Achieve 30 percent energy efficiency by 2030 in all City-controlled buildings, and promote renewable energy projects, conservation-oriented policies and efficiency improvements city-wide.
  • Food - Ensure every resident has access to safe, fresh, affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food, regardless of income or race.
  • Water - Replace outdated water supply infrastructure in order to continue to provide high quality, affordable drinking water for all residents; preserve the city's water supply by promoting efficient usage practices; and improve the quality of rivers, streams and the bay through robust stormwater management efforts.
  • Land Use and Development - Prioritize the City's overarching sustainability goals when making decisions about public and private land use and development. Sustainable developments emphasize the creation and preservation of open space, reinforce neighborhood character and diversity, support the development of healthy and walkable neighborhoods, promote green economic development opportunities and improve the overall quality of life for all residents.

In the coming weeks, the City will launch a community engagement process to develop strategies and action plans to achieve the goals, which were developed in partnership with the Providence Environmental Sustainability Task Force. The process will bring together stakeholders and experts from the community to create the plan and develop metrics to measure the City's progress.

The Sustainable Providence working groups will build on the City's current sustainability initiatives from GreenPrint Providence and Providence Tomorrow, the City's comprehensive plan. Establishing an implementation strategy will provide a roadmap for City departments, residents, and businesses that will help Providence to be more deliberate and strategic about incorporating sustainability into short- and long-term decision-making processes.

"Community participation is crucial to creating a viable sustainability plan for the City of Providence. Basing these goals and the strategies for achieving them on the ideas and perspectives of residents is the best way to ensure the plan is responding to real community needs and interests. With residents engaged over the long-term, this plan won't just sit on the shelf," said Amelia Rose, chair of the Providence Environmental Sustainability Task Force and director of the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island.

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