When a person thinks about New York City, sustainability is not the first thing that comes to mind. Among all the artwork, high-end businesses, fast-paced lifestyle, endless parties, and traffic jams, you’d probably expect that sustainability is the last thing on New Yorkers’ minds. People here seem to only concerned with making money and figuring out the best ways of spending it. On the other hand, you have legislation and efforts that indicate that New York City is becoming a sustainable city at a surprising rate. So, what is the real picture? Well, let’s take a closer look.
Is New York City is becoming a sustainable city?
After reviewing all the different aspects of current NYC lifestyle trends, we can safely say that New York City is becoming a sustainable city. Even though people are working hard and don’t have much time, they don’t shy away from doing their part in order to make NYC more habitable and nicer to live in. Furthermore, both the state’s Department of Health and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection have been working hard to implement various sustainability policies. These policies should help sustain and even better the living conditions in NYC. With any luck, these sustainability measures should also help increase the life quality of the people of NYC in the long run and keep NYC nice and healthy.
Now, there are a lot of measures that the city of NYC has taken and that people of NYC utilize in order to keep New York sustainable. So, for this article, we are going to point out 5 which we feel have the biggest contribution. Mind you, these are the measures that have been taken so far. With luck, new, stronger measures and new innovations will be implemented in the future which will make NYC that much more sustainable.
Protecting the water supply
One of the more important policies you should be aware of is the management plan for protecting the state’s largest freshwater sources. The city and the state have come together and implemented sustainability measures that should ensure the quality of NYC water. Among the measures mentioned in the plan are:
- Flood mitigation in watershed communities
- Stabilisation of eroding stream banks
- Using the best-management practices in agricultural work on watershed farms
These measures are aimed toward providing long-term freshwater sustainability for the people of New York. So, with luck, we should experience an increase in water quality.
Demand for green housing measures
When it comes to housing trends in NYC, there are two things that are on the rise. Smart homes and green homes. And, if you can combine the two, you should see a considerable increase in property value and demand. So, if you are looking for a way in which the people of NYC are making it more sustainable, you’ve found it. These demands are helping reduce the environmental impact of living and are making NYC an overall greener place. Besides smart energy systems and top-notch insulation, you also have monitored heating and water preservation. More and more apartments are implementing these systems. So much so that you have entire residential spaces committed to sustainability and smart housing solutions.
Lowering carbon footprint
It might be surprising to hear that New York is one of the states with the lowest carbon emissions per year. To put that into perspective, New York has 6% of the US population and only produces 3% of the nation’s greenhouse gases. Now, we can chalk this up to policies or low incentives for car transportation. But, in actuality, multiple factors have come together to help NYC have such a low carbon footprint.
The fact that driving a bike and taking the subway are the preferred ways of transport in NYC does help. But, it is the general trend of having an eco-friendly lifestyle that does most of the work. People of NYC are more than willing to drive low emission cars. They also take extra steps in order to work with businesses that implement eco-friendly measures. Therefore, if you plan on settling down in this amazing city, know that you’ll be expected to implement these measures as well.
Another trend that has major contributions to New York City’s sustainability is urban gardening. More and more New Yorkers are finding ways to introduce nature and gardening in places where you didn’t think it possible. From small gardens built on terraces and balconies to natural elements implemented in apartments and buildings. Not to mention the rooftop gardens, which have become almost a staple of NYC. These green measures not only promote a healthier lifestyle, but they also bring a sense of nature to this concrete jungle of a city. Even restaurants are opting for having a more natural setting.
Pushing sustainability efforts
All of the lifestyle and housing trends that we’ve mentioned are a big part of why New York City is becoming a sustainable city. But, none of them would be enough if it weren’t for sustainability efforts from the people who run it. One of the most important people for setting NYC on the sustainability path is its former mayor Mike Bloomberg. His sustainability plan was later continued by Mayor de Blasio with the OneNYC development plan. This plan also tackled post-Hurricane Sandy resiliency, which is why it didn’t have such numerous measures.
But, those two set the incentive for the later policies that were expanded by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Now, NYC is easily one of the most sustainable big cities in the world. And, with a developed bike riding infrastructure, a decent public transport service, and an ever-increasing number of trees and parks, it is only going to continue to be so.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Sally Norton