On June 21, urban sustainability stalwarts braved the heat to attend the Urban Sustainability Forum at the Academy of Natural Sciences. The forum offered a Greenworks 2012 Progress Update as well as serving as a ceremony for the newest graduates of the Citizen Planning Institute.
The Greenworks 2015 Plan from the Mayor's Office of Sustainability was released in 2009, setting 15 sustainability targets in the areas of environment, equity, economy, and engagement designed with the goal of making Philadelphia the greenest city in America by 2015.
Topics ranged from trash management to tree coverage. It was exciting to hear a conversation about the ways the city is excelling and improving, as well as the clear enthusiasm for partnership and collaboration across City departments. One notable program presented at the forum was the "Greened Acre" initiative, a measure of stormwater management where the Water Department, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, is promoting measures to enable more areas of the city to be able to manage at least the first inch of stormwater runoff. The city hopes to add an additional 450 of these Greened Acres by 2015 through the use of features such as green roofs, permeable pavers, and additional street trees.
The following speakers shared their work and progress:
Katherine Gajewski, Director, Mayor's Office of Sustainability Joe Palantino, Deputy Public Property Commissioner, City of Philadelphia Donald Carlton, Operations Administrator, Streets Department Natalie Shieh, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Christine Marjoram, Director of Planning and Research, Philadelphia Water Department Erica Smith Fichman, TreePhilly Manager, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Donna Carney, Director, Citizens Planning InstituteThe Urban Sustainability Forum hosts monthly programs. July's topic will be Patchwork Philadelphia: Reconnecting Urban Neighborhoods to Natural Systems. Patchwork Philadelphia was a winner of the Living City Design Competition. and re-envisions the Philadelphia's Brewerytown and North Central neighborhoods with green corridors, block gardens, bikeways, better transit, and more to reconnect residents with nature and a support a balanced and holistic urban lifestyle. Find out how we can have our city and green it too on Thursday, July 19. Reception at 6:00 p.m. Program starts at 6:30 p.m.