New York

United States
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Elected 2014

Case Studies

OneNYC sets a target of reducing New York City’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050, compared to 2005 levels. The City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP) is one of the world’s most comprehensive building energy efficiency policy packages, and supports the citywide target through four local laws.

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NYC CoolRoofs

January 14, 2015 New York

The NYC °CoolRoofs program, launched in 2009, has coated over 5.7 million square feet (529,547 square meters) of rooftop (626 buildings) with a white, reflective coating, offsetting the warming effect of greenhouse gases (GHG) and also directly cooling the city. The program provides benefits and savings directly to the building owner by reducing cooling costs by 10-30%, and has proved to be an effective way to help tackle the Urban Heat Island effect and reduce GHG emissions.

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In Focus City Reports: New York

June 3, 2014 New York

The In Focus city reports provide valuable insight into the efforts of the world's leading cities to become more sustainable. This report has been developed with C40's official reporting partner, CDP Cities, and AECOM, using data submitted through CDP's reporting platform. It conveys information about how New York City perceives its climate risk, measures key climate change-related data, and manages climate action.

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The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP) is the most comprehensive set of energy efficiency laws in the U.S., targeting New York City’s largest existing buildings which constitute half its built square footage and 45 percent of citywide carbon emissions. For these buildings, the policies require an annual benchmarking of energy and water use with public disclosure; an audit and retro-commissioning every ten years; for non-residential spaces, upgrades for lighting to meet the energy code, and the installation of electrical meters or sub-meters for large tenant spaces.

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In the early 1990s the City embarked on an aggressive program to protect and enhance the quality of New York City’s drinking water. Based on an extensive water quality monitoring and research program, the City determined the key sources of pollutants were inadequately treated wastewater; wildlife, especially waterfowl; agriculture; and stormwater runoff from development. The City designed a comprehensive watershed protection strategy to target these primary sources of pollution, incorporating both protective and remedial initiatives. The watershed program provides an alternative to expensive end-of-pipe filtration treatment.

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The NYC Green Infrastructure Plan

April 27, 2012 New York

In September 2010, New York City released the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan, which presents an alternative approach to improving water quality by integrating green infrastructure, such as bioswales and green roofs, with investments to optimize the existing system and build targeted, cost-effective “grey” or traditional infrastructure. The full implementation of this plan will save the City approximately $1.4 billion and reduce combined sewer overflows by 12.1 billion gallons per year.

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Summer Streets

April 27, 2012 New York

Since 2008 the New York City Department of Transportation has hosted Summer Streets, an annual celebration of the City’s most valuable public space–its streets. On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of NYC’s streets are closed to cars and opened for people to play, walk, bike, and breathe. Summer Streets provides more space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation.

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Select Bus Service

April 27, 2012 New York

New York City’s buses carry over 3 million passengers per day, but are the slowest in the United States. Select Bus Service (SBS) is a joint effort of the New York City Department of Transportation and MTA New York City Transit to improve the speed and reliability of the city's bus system by implementing bus rapid transit (BRT) improvements on routes throughout the city.

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