ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, a non-profit with more than 1,800 members worldwide that are organizing sustainability and green initiatives, has published a list of eight U.S. mayors and elected officials leading environmental innovation and smart city initiatives in their communities. The list is part of the ICLEI’s Planet Earth magazine, which highlights member activities.
My only gripe with the list is that the smallest city represented has more than 94,000 residents, but I’m sure that ICLEI will focus on smaller communities in subsequent issues. Here’s the list of officials and their initiatives featured, in order of largest to smallest city.
- Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York (8,363,710) - His PlaNYC green strategy has 10 sweeping goals, including a plan to require energy audits of large commercial buildings.
- Mayor Carlos Alvarez of Miami-Dade County, Florida (2,466,827) - Florida probably is one of the most vulnerable states when it comes to climate change and Alvarez is taking action. Its plan is still in the works, but the county has produced a thorough assessment of what’s at stake.
- Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco (815,358) - There are many reasons, but one of the most current is the city’s PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program — the nation’s largest — for funding energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy projects.
- Mayor Sam Adams of Portland, Oregon (550,396) - Sustainability is at the center of the city’s economic development strategy, which includes $33 million in sustainable development funds.
- Jay Fisette, the board chair of Arlington County, Virginia (212,200) - Fisette was the force behind “Go Green Virginia,” which is a competition among Virginia towns to see which can accumulate the most green points through smart transportation, smart water, smart land use, and smart energy initiatives.
- Steve Bellone, supervisor of the Town of Babylon, New York (211,792) - Bellone drove the launch of the Long Island Green Homes program back in 2008, which was the first PACE program aimed at helping homeowners fund energy efficiency improvements.
- Mayor John Hieftje of Ann Arbor, Michigan (114,386) - The first U.S. city to convert its streetlights to LED, Ann Arbor has a goal to be powered by 20 percent renewable energy to 2015.
- Mayor Ray Buol of Dubuque, Iowa (93,072) - The city has hired IBM to help it use technology to improve its water and energy services infrastructure. It also is a lead partner for the National Trust for Historic Preservation Green Lab, a fund for helping create green historic buildings.