Sustainable City Focus: New York

New York: The most 'walkable' city in the US

If you’ve not had much chance to keep abreast of the sustainability headlines coming out of New York City over the last couple of weeks then here’s a handy round-up.

According to Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has announced that New York City has tripled its production of solar power by completing the installation of panels on city-owned buildings across the five boroughs. The 10 projects increase the city’s total solar production to 648 kW – enough to power 143 households – and will cut 205 tonnes of carbon emissions, as well as save money on annual energy costs.

The Mayor also announced that the city’s first green hackathon, “Reinvent Green,” will launch this summer to spur the development of digital tools that empower New Yorkers to engage in sustainable practices. According to the report on GreenTechMedia, the weekend event will challenge data scientists, developers and designers to use environmental data to create tools and apps that empower New Yorkers to live greener, greater lives.

The New York Times has reported on a pilot project to install 250 “smart screens” in old telephone booths, allowing visitors to find transportation updates, city program information and details about local events, all for free.

Fast Company provides an update on the BusRoots project – an initiative to introduce living roofs on top of the city’s buses. The prototype uses sedum and in the future, it’s designed to include edible plants and vines. But it seems the city transit authorities aren’t overly enthusiastic.

Also from from Fast Company we hear that Chicago’s El Line (elevated train line) could become A park, emulating NYC’s High Line. While the Guardian reports that the world's first underground park - aka the New York Low Line - has moved a step closer to reality as it surpasses its initial finding target.

Finally, which has created a ‘heat map’ of New York, to reflect its ranking as the most walkable city in the US. The map shows the most walkable areas highlighted in green and the least walkable areas are highlighted in red.

To find out more about New York City's Low Line project listen to our podcast with James Ramsey the man behind the ambitious scheme.