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A Message from the Mayor

My Fellow Philadelphians:

One year ago, I unveiled Greenworks Philadelphia, an exciting and ambitious plan to transform Philadelphia into the greenest city in the United States of America. This landmark effort draws on the collective talents and expertise of dozens of government departments, nonprofits, neighborhood organizations, utility companies, and the private sector—along with the commitment of people who live and work in Philadelphia.

Greenworks sets 15 targets for improving our city's environment, reducing our energy use, creating jobs, and enhancing our quality of life. We promised that we would report back every year on our progress toward these goals, and I'm pleased to present the first annual Greenworks Progress Report. Inside you'll learn about our accomplishments this year, what we're currently working on, and what's still on the drawing board.

We've been recognized at the national level for the progress that we've made, recently receiving an award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for being America's top sustainable city. Washington is taking notice, too. Just last month Philadelphia was awarded a $25 million grant from the Department of Energy to invest in energy efficiency and conservation—one of only 25 recipients across the country. Other major cities are paying attention to our example just as we are looking to them for model programs and novel ideas we can bring back to Philadelphia.

We hope you're enjoying benefits from some of our first year's work by exploring our new bike lanes and riverfront paths, enrolling in Recycling Rewards, riding a hybrid SEPTA bus, or recycling on the go in one of our new street corner recycling bins. Our progress in other areas is less visible but just as vital. We're studying where to locate 500 new acres of open space by 2015 and requiring new construction of City buildings to achieve LEED Silver certification.

The progress that we've made so far is a credit to the dedication and commitment of so many individuals and organizations throughout Philadelphia. As a result of your work we're reaching our recycling goals, homeowners are saving money on their energy bills, people have found work in the new green economy, small businesses have received funding to make energy efficiency improvements to their properties, and City government is saving money that can be invested in further improvements and public services. Thank you.

When I said in my inaugural address that Philadelphia will be the number one green city in America, I'm sure many felt the goal was too bold, too ambitious, perhaps unachievable. Now, looking back on the first year of Greenworks, I am more confident than ever that we will be successful. Together we can build on our momentum, realize the benefits of sustainability for all of our citizens, and establish Philadelphia as a city on the cutting edge of innovation in the 21st Century.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter
City of Philadelphia