First Lady Spitzer- Plans to Green NY

27 01 2008

Last night, we had the honor of attending the second discussion in the UTC Sustainable cities dialogue series organized by the USGBC NY chapter. The event was held at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium, a most appropriate location for the event, at a school with programs focusing on Urban EcoSystems and Sustainable design.

One of the main focuses of last nights event was the discussion of plans and incentives to green New York State presented by NY State’s First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer.

First Lady Spitzer led an energetic and promising discussion of the programs she is spearheading in efforts to green New York. The Greening of the Governor’s mansion, in Albany was one of the first topics she presented.

The Governor and First Lady looked to the LEED EB (Existing Building) rating system for existing homes, as the best guideline to follow for the renovation the 19th century historic structure. The decision to use LEED and “go green” was motivated by the effort to create a model to encourage green building throughout the state.

The project is expected to be completed this fall – some of the featured highlights of the green renovation include solar carports, upgrades to compact fluorescent bulbs, the use of non-toxic cleaning products, upgrading to Energy Star and efficient appliances & equipment, as well as the local and organic food policy. Check out more on the Greening of the mansion :

The First Lady also briefly discussed a number of other programs in efforts to encourage a sustainable future in New York. One program that we’re particularly interested in (actually the reason we attended the event in the first place) is the Green Homes Program Bill, as it directly impacts the work in our office. This bill would give monetary incentives up to $10,000 to homeowners in New York to offset the higher initial costs of some green practices.

Other programs she briefly talked about that are being implemented in New York are:
* The Green Affordable Housing Program
* The Interactive Student Component at the mansion
* The Governors Green Building for the Dormitory Authority
* Governors Food Policy Council
* I Live NY Program to create green and livable communities
* Restore NY
* 30 by 30 and 15 by 15 program

It will be exciting to follow these programs that are planned for New York – it seems like the Governor’s Office is doing a lot to make New York State a forerunner in creating a sustainable communities for the future. These programs heavily emphasize the need to create a better place for the next generation to keep New York a thriving city to work, live and play.

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