According to Dwell Magazine, New York City made history earlier this spring when it passed legislation to make the city greener.
The Climate Mobilization Act, which is comprised of bills and resolutions “designed to drastically improve the energy efficiency” of The Big Apple, will equate to “taking more than one million cars off the road by 2030.”
The new legislation requires all newly constructed residential and commercial buildings, and buildings undergoing renovations, to incorporate plants, solar panels or mini wind turbines (or all three) on their roofs. An additional bill will adjust requirements for smaller buildings and look at ways of “phasing in” the change to avoid bothering homeowners and small business owners.
While the effects of implementing the Climate Mobilization Act’s requirements might seem small to decision makers, Dwell says they will result in larger, long-term impacts for energy conservation, including:
- Vegetated green roofs can help minimize the “urban heat island effect;” this is because the plants take in light that would otherwise become heat energy.
- Mitigated heat gain will help reduce demands on power plants and reduce energy use inside buildings (for example, Dwell says that an extensive green roof can cut a building’s energy demand for air conditions by 75 percent).
- Carbon emissions from the city can be decreased as a whole (Dwell says that New York City’s buildings are the top contributor of carbon emissions in the area, and two percent of its total buildings contributes to half of all building-related carbon emissions. This equates to approximately 50,000 buildings.).
The office of Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, also recently released OneNYC 2050 – Building a Strong and Fair City, which details plans to chop greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 40 percent in the next ten years. By 2050, the Climate Mobilization Act’s “Dirty Building Bill” aims to have that number doubled, cutting emissions by 80 percent via “energy-saving solutions” like better insulation.
“The Climate Mobilization Act is a downpayment on the future of New York City—one that ensures we lead the way in the ever-growing fight against climate change,” Costa Constantinides, a New York City council member, told Dwell.