2013 is officially winding down- and what a year it's been for Boston's green movement! We count down five of the City's more exciting sustainable achievements in the past 12 months:
5. Urban Agriculture: A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that new Urban Agriculture Zoning will be adopted by the city of Boston, which will empower residents and commercial farming entrepreneurs with new options when growing and producing their own food! Article 89 helps to modernize zoning codes to enable innovative urban food production beneficial to both environment and community. We can't wait to watch this delicious development flourish in 2014!
4. Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance: In 2013, the City challenged Boston buildings to "aggressively invest in energy efficiency" with the passage of the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Act, which requires all large and medium sized-buildings to report their annual energy and water use. As reducing greenhouse gas emissions through investments in energy efficiency is the largest component of Mayor Menino's Climate Action Plan, this was a huge step to measuring and managing the emissions from our business sector.
3. Boston Bikes' HelmetHub: Ask and you shall receive! Boston residents couldn't get enough of our public bikeshare Hubway in 2013, but how could our friends at Boston Bikes ensure that residents were as safe as they were enthusiastic? As another successful bikeshare season came to a close in November, the City announced the first installation of HelmetHub, helmet vending machines where patrons could rent a helmet for just $2, 24 hours a day! The first vending machine of its kind in the U.S., HelmetHub is another example of how Boston Bikes continues to meet community demands, while making cycling a fun and safe alternative to driving.
2. Launch of Greenovate Boston: This this past May, the City announced the launch of Greenovate Boston, kicking off with our citywide advertising campaign! By engaging residents, our local farmers markets and businesses throughout Boston, we had a chockfull of fun activities in 2013: We spent the summer piloting Boston's first public composting program with the Mayor's Office of Food Initiatives, interviewing outstanding citizens and businesses who are making a difference with their actions, and engaging Boston residents and businesses with fun, easy initiatives, like our Adopt-a-Tree program and Carbon Challenge. Check out our Boston Globe feature to see how we've inspired your neighbors and friends; we're excited about bringing our activities into 2014!
1. Boston's #1 Energy-Efficiency Ranking: And at Number 1 is Number 1! This past September, in its first city scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked Boston as the most energy-efficient city in the country! From the incredible progress made towards achieving the goals of Mayor Menino's 2011 Climate Action Plan, with special accolades given to the City's community-based energy-savings program Renew Boston, the recognition demonstrates how Boston sets goals and our community bands together around those goals, enough to earn us national recognition! Let's keep up the innovative, community-driven energy solutions in 2014!
Happy New Year Boston, Greenovators! You should be proud of all we accomplished together in 2013. As we move into the new year we are excited to hear more of your feedback, hopes, and ideas for helping Boston continue its success as a green city!