Urban Fold

Can D.C. Become America's 'Healthiest, Greenest and Most Livable' City?

With the release of his new "Sustainable D.C." plan, Mayor Vincent Gray has outlined dozens of initiatives "that he hopes will vastly change how residents and visitors experience and travel across the city," reports Tim Craig.

From boosting access to fresh food to reducing energy use, the programs outlined in the newly detailed Sustainable D.C. plan are intended to remake the city over the next 20 years.

"If fully implemented, new buildings would be required to generate at least as much energy as they consume, driving would be dramatically reduced and the District government offices would get much of their power from nearby wind farms," explains Craig. "Residents would be encouraged to grow their own produce and start food co-ops, and the city would operate several public orchards."

"Although cars would still dominate city streets, it would cost more to park them and they would be expected to share the road with a streetcar system and tens of thousands of bicyclists."

"But the proposals will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and could be met with skepticism from some residents."

“Black folks are concerned about the environment, but they are also concerned about jobs,” said D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). “Gardens on roofs are fine, but if you are hungry, it’s not enough. You might have clean air to breathe, but it doesn’t matter if you are also broke.”

"Gray, who is up for reelection next year and says his plan would create thousands of jobs, hopes to make his sustainability push a hallmark of his administration."

Full Story: Gray: Plan would make District ‘healthiest, greenest and most livable’ city

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