MAYOR CORY A. BOOKER, NEWARK MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, NEWARK ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION,
NEWARK SUSTAINABILITY OFFICE, EPA REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR JUDITH ENCK,
AND OTHER DIGNITARIES UNVEIL NEWARK SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PLAN AT CITY HALL
Newark launches first comprehensive sustainability plan to make the city healthier, greener, and more vibrant; Plan focuses on common sense solutions
for healthy urban living, with projects on air quality, community greening, food access, energy, waste re-use, and sustainable economic development
Newark, NJ – April 2, 2013 – Mayor Cory A. Booker, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Adam Zipkin, Newark Municipal Council members, Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck, Newark Environmental Commission Chair Kim Gaddy, Sustainability Director Stephanie Greenwood, Brick City Development Corporation CEO Lyneir Richardson and other dignitaries unveiled the City of Newark’s Sustainability Action Plan on Thursday, March 28, at a community launch party in the City Hall First Floor Rotunda, located at 920 Broad Street, in Newark.
“The event celebrated the launch of a city-wide plan to make Newark healthier, greener, and more vibrant. Based on several years of community-driven planning, the Newark Sustainability Action Plan lays out a policy framework, goals, and priority action items in key areas that affect the health of Newark’s urban environment. The plan will be implemented over the next five years with participation from City government, community organizations, residents, businesses, and other partners.
“I want to applaud the community members, Environmental Commissioners, and City staff who have brought us to this point. We have an extraordinary Plan. The commitment and authenticity of this Plan has already been made evident in the work we have been doing together as a community, from sustainable, affordable housing to urban farms to energy saving projects,” said Mayor Booker, noting that there is still much work to do. “If we commit ourselves to trudging the difficult path, because of the work we do, generations yet unborn will live healthy and abundant lives. We will enact in the City of Newark a true liberation. Our kids really will be free at last – free from health problems, free from a climate that does not serve their genius.”
The plan consists of the following major points:
- Newark’s Sustainability Action Plan lays out a policy framework for actions that will improve public health, enhance quality of life, reduce costs, and expand job and business opportunities for Newarkers.
- The Plan focuses on six categories that affect the city’s environmental, social and economic health: air quality, energy, waste and recycling, stormwater management and community greening, greenhouse gas emissions, and healthy food access.
- Projects carried out in partnership with the community will reduce diesel pollution, support energy savings, expand the tree canopy, re-use waste materials to manufacture new products, and grow fresh, affordable produce in urban gardens and farms.
- City government will lead by example, realizing cost savings and environmental gains through better management of fleets, electricity, stormwater, recycling, and supplies.
- Actions identified in the Plan leverage investments in improving the urban environment to promote job and business opportunities for Newarkers and sustainable economic development.
- To be implemented by city government, community organizations, businesses, and residents over the next five years, this Plan puts Newark on a path to a green, healthy, and vibrant future.
The Plan was developed through a multi-year community-drive process led by the Newark Sustainability Office and the Environmental Commission with support from a consultant team led by KSS Architects. The final Plan was drafted by Newark Sustainability Director Stephanie Greenwood, with extensive support from Environmental Commissioners and Sustainability Office staff, and with editing and graphic design provided by KSS Architects and production by Minute Man Press in Newark.
“With its Sustainability Action Plan, Newark is committing to become a healthier, more sustainable city,” said Ms. Enck. “I commend the City’s leadership for creating a model that should be followed by other cities throughout the nation. The focus on environmental justice, green infrastructure and zero waste is especially important.”
“Newark’s environment is critical not just to the health and well-being of our residents, but also to the future of the city’s economic development,” said Deputy Mayor Zipkin. “This plan puts us on track to make the improvements we will need to thrive as a city into the 21st century and beyond.”
“This Plan represents the vision and hard work of many partners. The Newark Sustainability Office thanks everyone who brought this Plan into being. We look forward to working in the community and within City government to put the commitments in the Plan into action,” said Director Greenwood.
“I applaud the Mayor and the Office of Sustainability for the release of the Sustainability Action Plan,” said Ms. Gaddy. “I am looking forward to working with Newark residents, businesses and the Municipal government to make this plan a living document that allows Newark to become a healthy, vibrant and sustainable city.”
“KSS Architects is proud to be a part of the Sustainability Action Plan for the City of Newark, helping to document all the important work already underway and identifying new initiatives the City, local business, schools, and community can tackle together to make Newark healthier, greener and more vibrant,” said Michael Shatken, AIA, LEED AP, Partner at KSS Architects, a leading member of the consultant team that provided research, conducted interviews, assisted with editing, and provided graphic design for the final version of the Sustainability Action Plan.
“BCDC is pleased to support the Sustainability Office’s important work by acting as an administrator for various sustainability initiatives and by advancing the assessment, cleanup and reuse of brownfield properties; promoting healthy food access for residents and facilitating energy cost reduction through aggregate purchasing opportunities,” said BCDC CEO and Director Richardson.
“Going Green” has been a major priority for the Booker Administration since it took office in 2006. Led by recommendations from hundreds of stakeholders gathered through Newark’s Green Future process, the City established its first-ever Environmental Commission, which works closely with the Sustainability Office to work across municipal departments and develop policies, programs, and partnership to support healthy neighborhoods, vibrant businesses, and job creation.
Notable accomplishments include leveraging state and federal programs to reduce energy costs in municipal buildings, developing and launching the Newark Sustainability Action Plan, increasing urban farming and gardening, enhancing city capacity to manage stormwater through green infrastructure, including tree planting, and rolling out programs that improve outdoor and indoor air quality. Since 2006, Newark has facilitated the development of hundreds of units of new energy-efficient affordable housing units, including several LEED Platinum multi-family buildings; connected thousands of households to cost saving weatherization programs; helped more than 50 businesses reduce operating costs through energy efficiency upgrades; and supported career path job-training programs to put Newarkers to work in green jobs. In addition, the City has leveraged millions of dollars to reclaim brownfields and has undertaken the largest rehabilitation and renovation project of City parks in decades, opening the largest such municipally-owned facility, Nat Turner Park, in 2008. The City has marked significant accomplishments in making Newark a sustainable, vibrant community in which to live, work, and play.
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About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation’s largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major rail connections, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.
For the past six years under the Booker Administration, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival. In population, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the northeast. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The production of affordable housing has doubled, and businesses are returning. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission: to set a national standard for urban transformation.