I am delighted to report that the City Council has voted to approve our community’s first-ever Sustainability Plan, “GreeNR.” This is big news, and it concludes a two-year process of research, analysis, and discussion that brought together residents and policy experts, and that also featured extensive public input.

As you probably know from my previous posts on this subject, GreeNR presents a compelling vision for economic, environmental, and social progress, coupled with practical recommendations for short-, medium-, and long-term action.

The document is divided into six areas: Energy & Climate; Resource Conservation & Waste Reduction; Ecology, Biodiversity & Public Health; Smart Growth & Economic Prosperity; Transportation & Mobility; and Public Participation & Awareness. It is then further subdivided into forty-three specific initiatives. As I noted in my State of the City Address last week:

“GreeNR addresses subjects as big as renewable energy and as small as supermarket tote bags, with lots in between, from a fuel-efficient municipal fleet, to household composting, to water quality and open space preservation.

It’s aimed at saving money in both the public and private sectors and at giving us the best return on our investments. It’ll provide residents with information and expanded options, so that we can all make the best voluntary choices for ourselves. And it will help New Rochelle take advantage of a shift to green consumer preferences, lifestyles and job opportunities, instead of falling behind.

On its own, the Sustainability Plan doesn’t change any laws or make any guarantees. And it certainly doesn’t spend any money. What it does do is establish a framework for ongoing decision-making, focused on the qualities that make a community desirable.”

As a next step, the City Administration will develop an initial implementation plan that addresses GreeNR’s short-term objectives. The City Manager will also provide annual updates on progress toward GreeNR’s goals.

The full draft plan is available online at www.newrochelleny.com/greeNRdraft. The online document will soon be updated to include amendments accepted by the City Council and will then be re-posted in its final form.