CITY OF PHILADELPHIA RECEIVES FEDERAL GRANT TO SUPPORT WEST PHILADELPHIA PROMISE ZONE

The grant will support a new college and career readiness program in the Mantua neighborhood

Philadelphia, July 6, 2015 – The City of Philadelphia, on behalf of the federal Promise Zone in the Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia, and the Promise Zone in the City of Los Angeles have together been awarded nearly $650,000 in federal grants for a college and career readiness program designed to help disadvantaged high school students graduate ready to take their next steps into higher education or the workforce.

“Promise Zones are communities with deep-seated challenges.  Mantua faces persistent, high poverty – nearly double the poverty rate of the entire city – low educational attainment, high crime, low rates of employment and high rates of long-term housing vacancy,” said Mayor Nutter.  “But, Mantua also has strong neighborhood assets, like transit, new developments, a strong anchor in Drexel University, high-quality early learning opportunities, access to skills development and employment opportunities, and more, supporting its transformation.  This grant will further help Mantua create lasting change by preparing young adults to enter the economy as educated, productive citizens.”

 Using the new grant funds, which were awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, both cities will train AmeriCorps members who will run the college and career readiness program.  This is the first partnership in the Nation between two Promise Zone communities.  Philadelphia’s portion of the grant is about $290,000 and will be awarded annually for three years with the possibility for renewal.  It is the latest in a series of investments in West Philadelphia that are the result of the neighborhood’s Promise Zone designation, which now total more than $30 million.

“College and career readiness for all students is the overarching goal of The School District of Philadelphia,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “Students at West Philadelphia, Overbrook, Paul Robeson and Parkway West high schools will greatly benefit from these additional investments as they make plans for the future. We are grateful to AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National Community Service for supporting these Promise Zone schools.”

In Philadelphia, 25 AmeriCorps members will serve about 2,500 students across four Promise Zone High Schools: Overbrook High School, West Philadelphia High School, Paul Robeson High School, and Parkway West.  In three of these schools, 100 percent of the students are considered economically disadvantaged.  All four schools have student populations that are 94 to 97 percent African American.

AmeriCorps members will get two weeks intensive training prior to service, and be supported throughout the year with 260 hours of training on an on-going basis. The AmeriCorps members will learn how to help their students explore what they want to do after high school and how to support the students in taking the steps needed to get there – whether it’s college, military service, national service, and internship, an apprenticeship, or a job training program.  Promise Zone partner EducationWorks will recruit, develop and supervise Americorps members as well as measure and document results.

Philadelphia will need to raise private funds to match the Federal award. Program leaders will be work with the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia and the Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia to pursue this funding.

President Obama created the Promise Zone initiative to address the challenges of areas with deep and persistent poverty. In January 2014, Philadelphia was chosen as one of the first three cities to get the designation, which brings federal investment and attention to the targeted neighborhoods in West Philadelphia.

 There are more than 100 partners in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. They include the lead agency, the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, as well as Philadelphia School District, Drexel University, Mt. Vernon Manor CDC, Philadelphia LISC, People’s Emergency Center, Philadelphia Redevelopment

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases

MAYOR NUTTER TO VISIT PUEBLA, MEXICO’S 4TH LARGEST CITY, TO BEGIN DEVELOPING ECONOMIC, EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL TIES

Mayor will also confer with Mexican diplomatic and economic officials in Mexico City, sign agreement with Puebla mayor; meet with Puebla’s business leaders

 Philadelphia, July 3, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter will travel to Mexico on Monday, July 6th as part of a three-day visit aimed at establishing closer ties with Mexico and its fourth largest city, Puebla, which is the capital of the State of Puebla, located in eastern Central Mexico. In Puebla, Mayor Nutter will meet with Puebla State Governor Rafael Moreno-Valle, City of Puebla Mayor Jose Antonio Gali-Fayad and business leaders. In Mexico City, Mayor Nutter will meet with Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Antonio Meade, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Anthony Wayne, Mexican Economic Secretary Ildefonso Guajado, and Mexico City Mayor Miguel A. Mancera.

“Philadelphia is a global city built by generations of people who immigrated to this country and to this city,” said Mayor Nutter. “In recent years, we’ve had valuable conversations with Mexican officials about creating a more formalized relationship with Mexico. We’ve now identified the City of Puebla as a direct partner for future cooperation. The joint declaration that I will sign with Puebla Mayor Jose Antonio Gali-Fayad will set in place the framework to develop future collaboration between our two cities.  The future growth of Philadelphia’s economy will be directly correlated to our ability to create ties with cities around the world.”

Developing closer ties with Puebla will be helped by virtue of the significant number of Philadelphia-area residents who came here from Puebla and its surrounding towns. The Mexican consulate in Philadelphia said that more than 18,000 people from the Puebla region received passports or consular ID’s between 2008-14 and came to Philadelphia. The Pueblan community has played a significant role in growing small businesses in the City, particularly in the Italian Market area.

“With a bilateral Pennsylvania-Mexico trade of about $6.7 billion last year, Mexico is one of Pennsylvania’s main trade partners, and we are confident that we can develop an important relationship for the City of Philadelphia,” Mayor Nutter said. “We also know that the City of Puebla has the potential to be an excellent economic partner for us.”

Carlos I. Giralt-Cabrales, Mexican Consul in Philadelphia, said, “On behalf the government of Mexico, I am very pleased that Mayor Nutter will visit Mexico next week. We gladly welcome his visit because he has been a good friend of Mexico and a reliable partner for the Mexican community living in Philadelphia. The visit of Mayor Nutter will help to consolidate the political, social and economic ties among Philadelphia and Mexico.”

Beginning his visit on Monday, Mayor Nutter will meet with Miguel Fernandez Felix, the Director of the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. They will discuss plans for a 2016 exhibition with the Philadelphia Museum of Art entitled “Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950”.  The Philadelphia Museum of Art currently has an important collection of more than 100 pieces of Mexican maiolica, a tin or lead glazed earthenware ceramic, ranging from the early 17th through the 19th century, and exclusively from the city of Puebla.

Later in the day, he will meet with Secretary Guajardo, who did his doctoral work in economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, Mayor Nutter is scheduled to meet with Anthony Meade, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Jose Antonio Meade, the Mexican Foreign Secretary and later in the day, Mexico City Mayor Miguel A. Mancera.

In the afternoon, Mayor Nutter will travel about 65 miles southeast of Mexico City to the historic city of Puebla, a city with a significant manufacturing base and strong higher-education sector. Founded about 150 years before Philadelphia, Puebla today is a city of 1.5 million and a region of more than 2.6 million. According to Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Puebla ranks second among Mexican cities in terms of foreign direct investment, and is home to the largest Volkswagen plant outside of Germany.

There, he will meet with Mayor Gali-Fayad, attend a City Council session and sign a joint declaration pledging to foster cooperation in areas including economic development, culture, and educational and professional exchange. Later, the Mayor will meet with Rafael Moreno-Valle, the Governor of the State of Puebla.

Pueblan officials who represent the City of Puebla at the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) will take Mayor Nutter and the Philadelphia delegation on a tour of Old City in Puebla, an area recognized as a World Heritage Site. Puebla is one of eight cities on the OWHC Board of Directors and will be a key ally to Philadelphia in its application to become a World Heritage Site.  Currently, Philadelphia is an observer member of the OWHC and it is in the process of obtaining the organization’s designation as the first and only World Heritage City in the United States.

The Mayor’s day will conclude at a dinner with education sector leaders in Puebla that is known for its educational institutions. According to the National Association of Universities of Higher Education (ANUIES), Puebla has the largest number of universities in the country only after the Mexico City Metropolitan Area.

The following morning, Mayor Nutter will address a group of Pueblan business leaders in an event sponsored by the Pueblan Council for Business Coordination.

Mayor Nutter will be joined on the trip to Mexico by Desiree Peterkin-Bell, City Representative and Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships, and Fernando Trevino, the Deputy Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs and an immigrant from Mexico. The City will pay for the cost of the group’s travel and lodging.

The travel itinerary is being coordinated with the assistance of the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia. Mexican Consul Carlos I. Giralt-Cabrales and Ana Flores, Executive Director of the Mexican Consular Center, will also accompany Mayor Nutter during his trip to Mexico.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

MAYOR NUTTER KICKS-OFF POP-UP POOL PROJECT AT FRANCISVILLE PLAYGROUND

Philadelphia, July 2, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Michael Diberardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources, and representatives from the Fairmount Park Conservancy launched the Pop-Up Pool Project at Francisville Playground yesterday afternoon. The project will introduce low-cost, high-impact design elements to make this City pool a vibrant place for neighbors to meet and relax.

Benjamin Bryant, Director of Planning & Design at Group Melvin Design, conceived of the idea for the Pop-Up Pool Project and submitted the proposal for grant funding to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Cities Challenge.  The Group Melvin Design firm and Sikora Wells Appel landscape architecture firm designed the Pop-Up Pool Project features.

“Philadelphia has more than seventy pool and spray-grounds, making it easy for all Philadelphians to experience the joy of cool water on a hot summer day,” said Mayor Nutter.  “The Pop-Up Pool Project at Francisville Playground has made this space an attraction so neighbors can enjoy a simple pleasure this summer.  I thank Benjamin Bryant from Group Melvin for his work and the Knight Foundation for awarding the grant to make it a reality.”

The Pop-Up Pool Project features a custom designed lounge deck, canopies, family lounge with outdoor games and toys, and landscaping improvements. The project is one of seven recipients of the Knight Cities Challenge grants in the City of Philadelphia. The total grant awarded for the project was $297,000.

Thirty-two projects were chosen as winners of the first Knight Cities Challenge, sharing an award of $5 million to execute their projects. The 32 winners proposed creative ideas ranging from installing porch swings in public spaces, transforming vacant land into urban forests that produce trees to be replanted on city streets and in parks, to transforming the vacant space surrounding the recently closed, historic Edward Bok School in South Philadelphia into a new community living room.

“The Pop-Up Pool project shows that one creative idea, when nurtured, can change a neighborhood and our day-to-day lives for the better,” says Kathryn Ott Lovell, the Executive Director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy. “The collaborative effort to enliven the public pool at Francisville Playground among project partners, community members and the Knight Foundation can serve as a microcosm for the future of public space endeavors in Philadelphia.”

All the winning projects focus on at least one of three drivers of city success: (1) Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep the best and brightest; (2) Opportunity: Ideas that create economic prospects and break down divides; (3) Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.

 “Pools, being seasonal by nature, are in a way the original “pop-up” park, so the use of “lighter, quicker, cheaper” design improvements seemed like a perfect fit. Our hope is to help re-imagine a greater role for public pools in our neighborhoods, recognizing them for the true civic assets they are,” said Benjamin Bryant, Group Melvin Design.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA ANNOUNCES MILESTONE 1,000 VETERANS HOUSED THROUGH LOCAL INITATIVE

Philadelphia, July 2, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Susan Kretsge, Deputy Mayor for Health & Opportunity, announced that more than 1,000 formerly homeless veterans have been placed in housing since the City launched a local initiative, PhillyVetsHome, to end veteran homelessness in August 2013.  PhillyVetsHome, a collaborative venture of  the City of Philadelphia, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) with non-profit partners, released a report showing a 90% decrease in the number of unsheltered veterans in under two years. 

“Our original commitment was effectively to end homelessness among veterans in Philadelphia before Veterans Day 2015,” said Mayor Nutter.  “On November 11th, veterans experiencing homelessness in our great city will be rare, brief and non-reoccurring.  As the birthplace of our Nation, Philadelphia has an obligation to our veterans, who defended our homes, to help them secure appropriate housing.”

The goal of PhillyVetsHome is for every veteran in the City of Philadelphia who is literally homeless to have the opportunity to find permanent housing, or to prevent homelessness for veterans who are at risk, by November 11, 2015.  PhillyVetsHomes said that with unprecedented collaboration, achieving a 90% reduction in the veteran homelessness rate is tremendous preogress, but there is still more work to do to reach the ultimate goal.  To achieve that goal, PhillyVetsHome is calling for more property owners to make rental units available for veterans.

“HUD is proud to be a partner in this amazing effort that is building momentum every day,” said Jane C.W. Vincent, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “Significant progress has been made because of our commitment to our shared goals of providing housing for those men and women who have served to protect our freedom and way of life.”

Kathy Salerno, Director of the Veterans Multi-Service Center Homeless Services, agreed, “Working closely with non-profit partners we are finding and supporting our veteran brothers and sisters every day.” Other partners in PhillyVetsHome include Project Home, Impact Services, and the UESF.

One veteran, Charles Bouges, said his new home brought him a new start in life. An Army veteran, Mr. Bouges was excited to see that his apartment was near the airport; it’s location rekindles a long lost life plan.  During 17 years of service in the U.S. Army, Mr. Bouges worked on helicopters and yearned to be a pilot.  Now, with stability and a place to live, his aim is to get a pilot’s license.  “I am going to soar over Philadelphia,” he said.

“Our commitment to eliminate homelessness for those men and women who have proudly served this county with military service is a reality,” said Dan Hendee, Director of the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. “Working together, as a community, we are building a system to support all veterans who may experience a housing crisis and need assistance.” 

Landlords and property owners interested in renting to local veterans, please complete this form and send applications to phillyvetshome2015@gmail.com

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases

MAYOR NUTTER RELEASES 2015 GREENWORKS PHILADELPHIA PROGRESS REPORT

Philadelphia, June 30, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter released the 2015 Greenworks Philadelphia Progress Report, the sixth and final summary of the work completed under the City of Philadelphia’s comprehensive sustainability plan during the Nutter Administration.

Offering a keynote address at the Franklin Institute, the Mayor said that of the 164 initiatives outlined in the plan, 160 are already underway or complete.  Of the 15 target areas, the City has exceeded, met or nearly met 7 of its goals and is trending in the right direction on 4 others.

The full report is available online at www.phila.gov/green.

Additionally, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability also released a web-based mapping and visualization tool that showcases citywide progress. Created with local geospatial analysis firm Azavea, the Greenworks Map provides an easy way to access information about the City’s place-based sustainability investments by displaying them geographically. Users can see Greenworks projects and initiatives in a citywide map-view, zoom to a particular neighborhood or address, and filter by areas of interest. The Map will be available to partners to use and will be updated regularly as new projects are implemented.

The Greenworks Map is available at www.Greenworksmap.com or on the Office of Sustainability’s homepage at www.phila.gov/green.

The text of the speech is as follows, check against delivery:

Good afternoon and thank you all so much for joining us.

Today, we are releasing the Greenworks 2015 Progress Report, the last sustainability report to be issued by this Administration. I wanted to take the opportunity to bring together core partners to thank you and celebrate what we have accomplished together over the past eight years.

We are thrilled to be back at the Franklin Institute, the place where we launched our Greenworks plan in 2009, in its beautiful new LEED-certified conference center.

Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of the Franklin Institute, is here.  Let’s give him a round of applause.

I want to thank Katherine Gajewski for that very kind introduction.  For the last few years, with the support of her team at the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Katherine has coordinated our sustainability efforts to great success.

Let’s recognize Katherine Gajewski and the entire team at the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

Before we begin, I’d also like to acknowledge the many city officials who have been integral partners in making Philadelphia a greener city, especially: Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources; Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Commerce Director; Howard Neukrug, Water Commissioner; Dave Perri, Streets Commissioner; and John Elfrey, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities.

One of the things that make Greenworks so special is that nearly every department and agency played a role in its development and implementation. Thank you to all of my City colleagues who are here today.

Just over six years ago, I was proud to announce Greenworks Philadelphia – a bold, innovative and comprehensive framework for a greener, more sustainable city, Philadelphia.

Many of you have been vital partners along the way, sharing your knowledge, expertise and passion with our Administration.  You have truly been a force to be reckoned with.

You have shouted your “green is good” mantra and convinced people in this city to listen to you.  You have created the change you want to see in our great City.

We are proud to share our success, and make no mistake Greenworks has been a success, with all of you. It is one of the things I’m most proud of in my time as mayor.

When I took the oath of office, I said Philadelphia must become the greenest city in America.  It was a simple statement – an ambitious, aspirational goal that focused on short-term changes and long-term results for the benefit of Philadelphians, their children and their grandchildren.

As we started, we knew we had the assets: a city of walkable streets, one of the best regional transit systems in the country, an incredible and large park system, and a rich stock of durable buildings.

We knew we would have the support of the organized and focused sustainability movement, but we needed a plan that would rally Philadelphians, and we needed to implement it well.

Back then, it was a question of will.  Did Philadelphia have the will power to challenge the status quo of high carbon emissions, massive energy consumption and low recycling rates?

Would we fight back against the literal rising tides of climate change?

Could we get Philadelphians to care about an issue that seemed less pressing than crime, jobs and education?

While policy makers and pundits argued about whether climate change was real – even though the science is significantly settled — municipal governments had to lead the way and create impactful policy.

Our plan, complete with measureable goals to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has 164 initiatives.  And, we built in transparency and accountability measures, reporting on our progress each year.

Greenworks covers nearly every facet of ‘greening’ imaginable: energy efficiency, waste management, air and water quality, clean energy, public green spaces and even the tree canopy.  Most importantly, it allows everyone to play a role, and it is our collective action that is bringing about great changes for our great city.

When we launched Greenworks, we brought together city departments, advocates, community groups and other stakeholders to work toward a shared goal – to become a more sustainable, equitable and livable city, to improve our shared urban environment.

And, the results have been nothing short of tremendous.

In 2007, our city-wide recycling rate was as abysmal 6%. Today, it is above 20%.

We’ve increased the amount of waste that is recycled or used to produce energy from 53% to 73%.

City government green house gas emissions have been reduced 15% below 1990 levels.

Even as federal air quality standards have gotten stricter, Philadelphia has seen record low numbers of unhealthy air quality days in 2013 and 2014 at just 6 days.

We greened more than 580 acres to manage stormwater and planted more than 120,000 new trees since 2009 and created TreeKeepers, a seasonal maintenance crew that supports our tree canopy goals while learning critical job skills.

We’ve increased Philadelphians’ access to healthy, affordable food with more than 100 new farmers markets, gardens, and farms and convened Philadelphia’s Food Policy Advisory Council.

Since 2008, we have retrofitted more than 16,250 homes making them more energy efficient, more affordable to own, and more comfortable.

I want to say a little something about retrofitting – prior to this Administration, retrofitting wasn’t a significant presence in Philadelphia.  We saw this as an opportunity where leadership could create incentives to increase individual energy efficiency in homes and businesses.  We used federal grant dollars, formed partnership and now, we’re even attracting businesses to the City that specialize in this kind of work.

We’ve added about 100 miles of bike lanes and launched the City’s bike share program, Indego, which celebrated its 100,000th rider two weeks ago after less than two months of operation.

These accomplishments and many more are detailed in depth in the 2015 Greenworks Philadelphia Progress Report, which you received today.

I won’t go into great detail.  The report, and its 164 initiatives, speaks for itself, but I do want to point out that, of the 15 targets, we have exceeded, met or nearly met 7 of our goals and are trending in the right direction on 4 others.

And, other city departments are getting in on the greening efforts, too.  Look at:

Green City, Clean Waters, a historic agreement between the City and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is a program in the Water Department that installs green infrastructure, instead of more costly grey infrastructure, to better manage storm water runoff.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is currently running a set of experiments with The Wagner Free Institute of Science and local community groups in Haddington Woods in West Philadelphia to understand adaptive forest management appropriate for the changing weather Philadelphia will experience in the coming century.  This program will help us make investments in restoration practices that will preserve our forests for generations to come.

Get Healthy Philly: The Health Department, in partnership with the Food Trust, created eight new farmers markets and 669 healthy corner stores.  It also developed Philly Food Bucks, an incentive program that allows SNAP recipients to add $2 worth of fresh fruits and veggies to their purchase for every $5 in SNAP benefits they use at farmers markets in the city.

Today, city departments are collaborating with partners inside and outside of government to make our city more sustainable.  For example:

Parks for People: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, the Water Department and the School District of Philadelphia, are greening schoolyards and recreation centers in five neighborhoods with a shortage of open, green public space.  The first 10 sites will be completed by early next year.

PowerCorpsPHL: An AmeriCorps program designed to support Philadelphia’s environmental stewardship, workforce development and youth violence prevention priorities, PowerCorpsPHL members serve with the Water and Parks & Rec departments to maintain the city’s stormwater infrastructure and urban green spaces.

These initiatives, big and small, are moving us toward our ultimate goal of making Philadelphia the greenest city in America.

And, Greenworks’ positive outcomes have informed the sustainability planning efforts of other partners.  SEPTA, Center City District, University City District and the School District of Philadelphia have each shared in our vision and developed or are working on their own plans.

A great example of leadership and partnership is SEPTA’s climate planning for the Manayunk Norristown high speed line. An increase in flooding incidents made SEPTA realize they needed to start climate adaptation planning.

Their work to understand how extreme weather influences their operations helped them win $87 million in Sandy recovery funds from the Federal Transportation Administration and also provided a helpful example that the City followed as we began our own climate adaptation planning.

As this example shows, regional work is informing federal programs and supporting local progress. We’re all in this together.

As you can tell, greening and sustainability efforts have become a part of the fabric of our municipal government – in fact, we’ve earned overwhelming support from Philadelphians and made our sustainability efforts a permanent part of city government.  I want to thank Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown for her advocacy around sustainability efforts.

We’ve created a new vision of a greener Philadelphia with a sustainable future and this will be even more important in the coming years as we continue to experience the impacts of climate change.

Let me just say, I believe that climate change is not only real, but a serious threat looming over our nation and every nation on the planet.  And cities responsible for emergency services, stormwater management and street plowing are the first responders to the results of climate change.

In the last few years alone, Philadelphia has seen the snowiest winter ever; the two warmest summers ever; the hottest July ever; the wettest day and the wettest month ever; two hurricanes; and something called a derecho, which I’d never heard of before!

The effects of climate change are real and serious.  Temperature fluctuations are already stressing our infrastructure from buildings facades to streets and water mains.

We know we need to be proactive, and so we are working with climate scientists to understand what these changes will look like in Philadelphia.

This much seems clear: the trends we’re already seeing will continue.  It will be hotter and wetter, and we will have to make real changes to prepare so that Philadelphia can continue to thrive for our children and grandchildren.

And that’s just here.  Around the world, weather is becoming more extreme – floods, droughts, hurricanes, hotter days, more extreme cold, an average temperature increase worldwide of 1.5 degrees Farenheit over the last 100 years.

And the global effects of climate change, like rising sea levels and widening deserts, will be dire if we don’t do something now.

Pope Francis has spoken out on the environment and climate change – saying what should be evident to us all; that climate change is a global issue with deep repercussions for the entire human race if we don’t take action now to address it.

While Congress is at an impasse, I commend President Barack Obama for his commitment to climate change.

Last year, the President convened the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, on which I was honored to serve.

The Task Force brought together state, local, and tribal leaders to develop a set of concrete recommendations on how the federal government can assist us in facing the challenges of climate change – and many of these recommendations are already being developed.

The Task Force also led to a serious discussion on the urgency of climate change and the role cities can play in addressing it.

That’s why, together with my fellow mayors and Climate Preparedness and Resilience Task Force members, Annise Parker of Houston and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, we launched the Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda, which aims to raise awareness around the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Climate change will be one of the great leadership challenges cities and nations face in the coming years.  Cities like Philadelphia have gained valuable experience through sustainability planning that will be immensely helpful as we tackle future challenges.

The challenges ahead are great, but so are the opportunities.  The next generation of the sustainability movement will need to be even more transformative, better linking efforts to neighborhoods, because ultimately, we must remember that people are at the heart of sustainability. Environmental outcomes and social equity must go hand in hand.

Now, it is up to the next mayor and it’s my greatest hope that the new Administration not only continues this work, but embraces it with new ideas and energy.

As Philadelphia’s leaders in this sector, you must carry this work forward and hold the next Administration accountable.  Our future as a city depends on it.

Specifically, we need to focus on:

Enhancing transportation options for all Philadelphians, which includes making sure our streets are safe and accommodate all forms of transportation – an idea referred to as ‘complete streets’.

Improving Philadelphians’ access to green spaces by continuing to focus investments in neighborhoods that are most in need.  We took on this work through Green2015 and the ParksForPeople program, the Knight and William Penn Foundations along with the Fairmount Park Conservancy are continuing this work through their ‘Re-imagining the Civic Commons’ project for 5 revitalized public spaces like the Reading Viaduct and West Parkside.  The next administration should continue investments in neighborhoods that haven’t yet been helped.

Strategically planning for a changing energy future by developing a city-wide energy-use master plan.  In the future, our relationship to energy must change.  We’re going to have to use less of it, and get more of what we do use from renewable resources.

And preparing for climate change.  I’m proud of the work the Office of Sustainability has done to identify the changes we’ll face in Philadelphia and understand what we’ll need to continue providing services and maintain our infrastructure.

Our adaptation plan will be published this summer, and it’s a great first step toward preparing Philadelphia to thrive in a new climate.  The next Administration will need to carefully consider the recommendations from the plan and use it to help residents and businesses prepare.

As I said, you have the report.  The facts are there, but let me give you my sense of the big picture.

The successful cities of the future will be those that operate efficiently, provide clean air and water, offer a high quality of life and public health, and are resilient to the coming changes we know will challenge our infrastructure, economies, systems and every resident.

Hanging on the wall in my office is a quote by American architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham.  It is a quote by which I live and govern.

He said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.  Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.  Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us.  Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.  Think big.”

Mr. Burnham was talking to Chicago’s City Council about the Plan of Chicago, a plan that shaped city planning in Chicago and around the world.

A principled man of great vision, Daniel Burnham knew, perhaps better than most, that an ambitious and forward-thinking plan, grounded in hard work and practical action, could yield great results not just for today, but for generations to come.

I believe Greenworks Philadelphia is a big plan, the kind that would have made Mr. Burnham proud.

Over the last six years, Greenworks has identified and implemented solutions to make Philadelphia a greener city with a sustainable future.  It has created a sturdy platform for future sustainability success.

But the work has just begun.  Clearly, there is much more to do.

Now, it is up to those who will take up our sustainability torch to build on Greenworks foundation.

Plant more trees and create more greened acres.

Reduce municipal energy consumption, our dependence on traditional energy sources and city-wide greenhouse gas emissions.

Expand the development and use of renewable energy.  Increase recycling and diversion rates.

Help Philadelphia residents and businesses in every neighborhood reduce their energy use by retrofitting old buildings and building highly efficient new construction.

Raise awareness and better educate residents about what the average citizen can do to reduce their individual carbon footprints.

Continue to seek out sustainability benefits, not just for the environment, but to the health and well-being of citizens and to the economy and beauty of our neighborhoods.

To the next generation of green advocates I have one request:  expand the movement, refine the vision and stagger us with what you can do.

For soon, it will be your responsibility, as the Athenian Oath says, to “…transmit this city greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Thank you. And now let’s celebrate!

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

MAYOR NUTTER SIGNS LEGISLATION AUTHORIZING NEW USE AND LEASE AGREEMENT FOR PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed a bill authorizing a new five-year Airport-Airline Use and Lease Agreement between Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and its partner airlines, which will take effective on July 1, 2015. 

 

“Philadelphia International Airport is truly an engine of economic growth; it generates $14.4 billion in spending for our regional economy and accounts for more than 140,000 jobs,” said Mayor Nutter.  “In addition, our city’s major economic sectors: education, medicine & research, hospitality and the growing startup & technology scene, all depend on efficient and cost-effective air travel.  This new agreement will allow the Airport to modernize operations so that we can continue to provide high quality service to the more than 30 million passengers that travel through PHL annually to more than 130 destinations around the world.”

 

The new Agreement, which also includes options for two 1-year extensions, was approved earlier this month in City Council.  The new lease, valued between $2.8 billion and $4.1 billion in existing and new commitments, will enable the Airport to continue to fund projects to enhance and modernize operations and provide effective and efficient service to passengers.

Over the proposed five- to seven-year term, airlines that service the Airport will pay an estimated total of $1.3 billion to $2.1 billion in new rates and charges.   Revenue generated through the collection of rates and charges is reinvested in the city-owned Airport, covering the cost of Airport operations and financing capital improvement projects.

Stephen Johnson, American Airlines Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, also signed an authorizing document on behalf of American Airlines. PHL is served by 29 carriers, including American Airlines, which merged with US Airways in 2014.  American Airlines is the largest carrier and operates an international hub at PHL.

“This new Agreement is the result of months of negotiations with our airline partners to reach a common goal,” said PHL CEO Mark Gale. “It is a blueprint for continued growth, facility improvement and economic development.”

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

MAYOR NUTTER LAUNCHES COMMISSION ON UNIVERSAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN

Philadelphia, June 30, 2015– Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the launch of the Commission on Universal Pre-Kindergarten, which was approved through a ballot question by Philadelphia voters on May 19, 2015. The Commission is charged with conducting a comprehensive analysis and implementation plan for adopting universal pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year olds in Philadelphia, including recommending funding proposals. The Commission is required to submit a draft funding plan to the Mayor and City Council by January 15, 2016. Following a comment period, the Commission will submit their final report to the Mayor and City Council by April 15, 2016.

“Providing a high-quality education to our young people is the best possible way for our city to develop a robust economy, eliminate poverty, improve quality of life, and reduce violence,” said Mayor Nutter. “I am delighted that the voters of Philadelphia overwhelmingly approved the ballot question to create the Commission on Universal Pre-kindergarten. This Commission will address, head on, one of the major challenges facing Philadelphia—how to educate our children. It will work to ensure we have a sustainable funding plan, which will allow us to implement and maintain high-quality pre-kindergarten to better prepare thousands of children per year to enter our K-12 school system.”

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, sponsor of the resolution, said, “Nothing could be more important than giving our youth the chance to have positive lives and to get them started in gaining positive educations.  Pre-k is one of the major issues of our day; we look forward to making it a reality in our City.”

The Commission on Universal Pre-Kindergarten will meet no fewer than six times with at least two meetings held for public comment. Its’ final report will comprise relevant legislative, administrative, or policy recommendations, including:

  • Recommendations to the Mayor and Council for achieving a universal pre-kindergarten program, including a timeline and estimated costs; and,
  • One or more proposed Council bills to raise revenues sufficient to fund the program proposed by the Commission, with other reliable revenue sources, as available.

The co-chairs of the Commission are Sharon Easterling, Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, and Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Vice President for Health and Health Equity at Drexel University.

The other members of the Commission on Universal Pre-Kindergarten are:

  • Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell
  • Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown
  • Catherine Blunt, Former Principal, Parkway Center City High School
  • Miriam Calderon, Senior Advisor for Early Leaning, Commonweal Foundation
  • Diane Castelbuono, Deputy Chief for Early Learning, School District of Philadelphia
  • Donna Cooper, Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)
  • Rob Dubow, Director of Finance, City of Philadelphia
  • Jennifer Duffy, Principal, Henry Lea Elementary School
  • Michelle Figlar, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Vanessa Garrett-Harley, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, City of Philadelphia
  • Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Opportunity and Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
  • Reuben Jones, Executive Director, Frontline Dads, Inc.
  • Pheng Lim, Principal, Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures (FACT) Charter School
  • Lisa Nutter, President, Philadelphia Academies, Inc.

The Commission will be supported by staff from the Mayor’s Office of Policy & Planning, the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment & Opportunity and the Office of Finance.  All Commission members will serve without compensation.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases
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