Last month, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray announced the Sustainable D.C. Plan, which aims at turning D.C. into the “greenest city in the U.S.” over the next 20 years. It is a collaboration involving 400+ local green experts, 15 D.C. government departments and agencies, and more than 180 meetings with more than 5,000 people involved. The plan has developed 32 goals, 31 targets, and more than 140 proposed actions.
One goal is to obtain 40% tree canopy, putting D.C. among the top tier of tree-covered cities worldwide. 6,400 trees are to be planted this year alone. Another nature-related plan involves the Anacostia River, which is currently one of the dirtiest rivers in the country. The plan is to create “a fishable, swimmable Anacostia River in a generation.”
The city already has 1.5 million square feet of green roofing in place, and green streets are on the rise as well, particularly in Chinatown. So far, $4.5 million has been dedicated to “innovative pilot projects” in green infrastructure technology. The city also wants to see 1,000 new local clean energy projects, and a wind farm dedicated to D.C. government operations.
This all sounds lovely, but since Washington is currently in the middle of all sorts of drama with the sequestrian and a large portion of D.C.’s economy relies on federal government spending, it is still up in the air as to when all of this can really be implemented. We can only hope that our politicians’ inability to play nice will not affect the potential of a cleaner, healthier city.
Image CC licensed by Kyle Rush: Washington D.C.