Today, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter took a big step forward in his commitment to making Philly the greenest city in America. He plans to transform 500-acres of underused land into verdant public parks over the next five years.
The plan, Green 2015, looks to coordinate various communities, public institutions, and private entities in an effort to make the city more ecologically responsible and beautiful.
“Green 2015 is a strategy for using green space to improve the lives of our fellow citizens, more than 200,000 of whom have no access to parks today,” Mayor Nutter said at the announcement. “At the same time, it works as an effective tool for economic development by improving quality of life in neighborhoods all across Philadelphia.”
On top of the increase in acreage, Green 2015 will bring the city in closer compliance with stricter federal storm water regulations.
Some of the best news: Green 2015 won’t require as much green as it may seem. That’s because much of the land to be converted to green public space is already publically owned, which means Philly doesn’t have to buy it. Similarly, private partners--like the University of Pennsylvania--have pledged their support with the initiative, the release says.
Existing parks will be improved, as well, according to the release. In addition, Green 2015 includes a plan to make Philly more bike-friendly, instituting city-wide trails and greenway networks.
Michael DiBerardini, the Parks and Recreation Commissioner, says, “Our goal is to focus on parks and green space as a long-term investment in Philadelphia’s future. Green 2015 charts a course for action that will make our city more equitable, livable, and competitive.”