A new mayor is about to take the reins here in NYC, as the Bloomberg era slowly draws to an end and Mayor de Blasio becomes the most powerful man in the Big Apple. The first democrat to sit in City Hall in almost a generation, de Blasio is quite the contrast to billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, a man known for his controversial antics and iron dedication. Clearly focused on inequality and the cost of living crisis that’s long been a part of New York City living, de Blasio appears to be in it for the people, which is great.
But what does that mean when it comes down to sustainability?
Love him or hate him, you have to admire Mayor Bloomberg’s dedicated to the creation of a more sustainable city. From supporting Brooklyn car share programs to pushing the importance of climate change during the last national US elections, Bloomberg was certainly focused on greener goals than most.
Thankfully, Mayor de Blasio appears to be walking a similar path, offering a vision of sustainability for New York that would help the city “become the most sustainable big city in the world.” To do this, de Blasio believes in the need to continue “improving public health and our environment” citing significant public infrastructure, a robust mass transit system, dense living patterns and the ability to innovate as main drivers for change.
As a Brooklyn car share company, we believe in Mayor de Blasio’s vision for the city and support a continued focus on urban sustainability. And while many politicians are known for talking the talk and never really walking the walk, de Blasio’s record appears solid when it comes to issues of sustainability.
As a City Council member, de Blasio supported legislation that offered incentives to implement LEED green building standards. He also worked to improve air quality and campaigned to remove Styrofoam from landfilling. The new mayor has pushed for better waste management and recycling in area schools, and has put a great deal of his focus on an e-waste management plan.
What to Expect From de Blasio
While we’re far from political experts here are Carpingo, we do pride ourselves in staying up-to-date on important local issues, especially when they impact the way in which our Brooklyn car share members enjoy both our service and our beautiful city. As such, we’ve spent a little time researching de Blasio’s campaign and commitments, as presented in his Framework For a Sustainable City. Here’s what our team of Brooklyn car share members hope to see:
- He’ll continue to support and build on PlaNYC by creating an alliance for a sustainable New York between private and public sectors.
- He’ll support and expand investment in large-scale renewable energy, using it as a tool to create jobs, as well as retrofit the city’s older buildings for efficiency.
- Institute direct loans for energy efficiency in buildings and energy service agreements, similar to the Green Deal in Britain.
- Work with smaller businesses, like our Brooklyn car share, in order to help them green up their approach and institute a long-term plan to upgrade the City’s power grid with smart grid technology.
- He will uphold the moratorium on fracking.
De Blasio’s Dedication to Zero Waste
While Mayor Bloomberg focused a great deal of his focus on climate change (the damage sustained by Hurricane Sandy left him little choice), de Blasio has made it clear that his stint in office will be focused more on reducing waste. While de Blasio will continue to invest in infrastructure upgrades to improve the resilience of the city to extreme weather, it won’t be an easy fix. This is because he’ll need to force building owners and neighborhoods to move their power supplies and power networks higher above the ground in order to protect them hurricane level waves. He’ll also need to improve transit connections revamp the city’s toll system in order to speed up traffic and alleviate congestion on bridges into the city. That’s a lot of work, and a lot of tax payer’s money.
On the other hand, there’s de Blasio’s commitment to improved waste management. He’s stated a number of times that he is committed to setting a Zero Waste goal in NYC, something that San Francisco has been striving towards for a while now. This west coast city now recycles 80 percent of its waste in comparison to NYC’s 15 percent. By doing this, de Blasio believes that he can cut down the city’s $320 million bill for landfilling, never mind the fuel needed to operate the city’s garbage trucks.
Initiatives like the city’s composting program and the Green Professional Building Skills Training model, de Blasio hopes to unite government officials, business leaders, labor unions and environmentalists alike.
It won’t be an easy task, that’s for sure. But here at our Brooklyn car share, we’re already looking forward to what Mayor de Blasio has in store for our beautiful city.