Gritty Philly Tries on a New Reputation: Sustainable City

Darby Minow Smith profiles Katherine Gajewski, Director of Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability, and looks at the efforts she's leading to give vision to the next phase of the city's history.
September 24, 2012, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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With 300 years of compact development around the rational plan of William Penn, Philadelphia has great bones around which to build a sustainable city for the 21st century. And as the Director of the city's Office of Sustainability, it's Katherine Gajewski's responsibility to lead the effort to transform the way the city looks and works over the next 20 years, reports Smith. "Gajewski works to implement the ambitious city-wide Greenworks Philadelphia plan [PDF], directs a five-county energy-efficiency program, and even organizes a social group of city employees nicknamed the 'Young-ish City Government Workers.'"

"In 20 years, half of the city is going to be covered in green infrastructure. That means everything from smart streets to parks and open spaces to green roofs," says Gajewski. "We're only four years into our [sustainability] plan and already people's perceptions of Philadelphia are changing. Our population is on the rise. We have more people who are moving into the city."


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Published on Friday, September 21, 2012 in Grist
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