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PlaNYC 2030: One Year Later

On Earth Day 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a wide-ranging plan to make the city more environmentally friendly as it expands to meet the needs of 1 million more residents by 2030. His PlaNYC offered 127 specific proposals on land use, transportation, energy, reducing greenhouse gases and other vital issues. For Earth Day 2008, Sustainability Watch, a joint project of Gotham Gazette and the Hunter College Center for Community Planning & Development, asked experts to assess the plan -- its successes and failures, what it does and does not do -- and what the next steps are in the long-term effort to create a livable city for 9 million people.

Congestion pricing has come and gone. And now advocates and experts examine what could come of some of the other 126 initiatives in the administration's PlaNYC in our second installment of Sustainability Watch.

New Yorkers see the smog in the air and garbage on the street. But many of the city's most polluted areas struggle for notice and cleanup. We look at three of them. By Gotham Gazette Staff.

David Von Spreckelsen, a senior vice president of Toll Brothers, which hopes to build along the Gowanus canal, argues the city has a better plan. By David Von Spreckelsen.

Joshua Verleun, an attorney with Riverkeeper, writes that the Gowanus Canal area should be designated a Superfund site. By Joshua S. Verleun .

The estuary separating Brooklyn and Queens has earned the dubious distinction of being one of the country's most polluted waterways. Residents, advocates and others have long pleaded for a cleanup -- to no avail. Is that finally about to change? By Courtney Gross.

This area of approximately 5.2 square miles includes more than 20 sites the government or residents consider contaminated -- many of them close to apartment buildings and houses. In March, the community learned of further dangers. By Melissa Checker.

Perfectly timed for Earth Day, the Bloomberg administration and the City Council introduced a package of legislation yesterday that seeks to improve energy efficiency in large commercial buildings and could require about 20,000 buildings to improve their use of electricity.

The plan hopes to reduce the city's carbon footprint by 5 percent -- roughly comparable to the carbon emissions generated by Oakland, Calif.

A combination of updating the energy code and creating efficiency and lighting benchmarks, the energy plan already has racked up criticism from a wide array of interest groups, including the real estate industry and tenants rights advocates. Many are concerned over the financial impact of the legislation.

By Courtney Gross.

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