Forum Hosted in China Offers Insight for Building a Sustainable DC

Forum Hosted in China Offers Insight for Building a Sustainable DC

Post ID: 35356 | POSTED ON: Jun 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Office of Planning (OP) Director Harriet Tregoning participated in the 2012 Beijing Forum on Sustainable Development of Cities, hosted by the Beijing Municipal Government at the National Convention Center in the Beijing Olympic Park. The theme of this year’s conference – “Culture: the Engine for Cities’ Sustainable Development” – offers District leaders an opportunity to glean from the international community more information to aid Mayor Gray’s sustainability efforts.

“We are at a unique point in our city’s history,” said Mayor Gray. “After decades of declining population, we now have more than a solid decade of growth behind us, with vigorous expansion expected for the foreseeable future. We have a choice to either grow in a way that benefits our residents, our economy and our environment or allow historic inequities to continue to divide our city. I believe the choice is clear and we must plan for a city that is greener, healthier, more livable, more prosperous and more equitable.”

At the conference, Director Tregoning delivered a presentation at a plenary session on “Culture and City Development Strategy” where she shared information about the District’s Sustainable DC initiative. Mayor Gray represented other mayors participating in the forum in a speech delivered before Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Conference.

“I am excited to share some of the innovative projects we’ve been developing in the District, discuss how they may serve as models and learn from the international community,” said OP Director Tregoning. “By experimenting with green infrastructure and other sustainable approaches, we believe we can develop careers and opportunities for all residents of our city.”

In April of this year, Mayor Gray presented the District’s Vision for a Sustainable DC in a town hall held at the Florida Avenue Baptist Church, the first African-American church in the District to install solar panels. The vision, an important milestone in the Sustainable DC effort, intends to transform the District into the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.

Sustainable DC will develop and implement 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.

Seven months of community outreach and engagement preceded the April announcement where the Mayor laid out his ambitious goals for improving the District’s built environment, climate, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste, water and the green economy. The goals are nation-leading and benchmarked against cities across the country. The vision will provide direction for the next phase of development—a detailed Sustainable DC implementation and action plan to be refined through the collaboration of District agencies, community representatives, businesses and members of the public over the next six months.

Leading the District’s Sustainable DC efforts are Tregoning; District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director Christophe A. G. Tulou; members of the Mayor’s Green Cabinet; the Sustainable DC Green Ribbon Committee; Sustainable DC public working groups; and other community members.

For more information about Sustainable DC and the Vision for a Sustainable DC, visit http://www.sustainable.dc.gov.

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John Lyndon

Publisher & Editor In Chief at MAYORS & CITIES Magazine
John Lyndon is the Publisher and Editor In Chief of Mayors & Cities Magazine.

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