by Jack Rosebro
|Sources of Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions. Click to enlarge.|
In his annual state of the city address on 12 July, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper outlined a series of ambitious long-term initiatives and goals as part of his “Greenprint Denver” plan to make the city more sustainable.
Many aspects of the plan would take an estimated 20 years to complete, stretching far beyond 2015, the maximum amount of time that Hickenlooper is allowed to serve as mayor under current term limits.
Transportation-related goals of Greenprint Denver include:
All light duty vehicles (excluding patrol cars) replaced in 2007 will be replaced with hybrid-powered vehicles where appropriate vehicles are available. Where vehicles required for specific tasks are not available in hybrid form, the highest fuel mileage/lowest carbon emission per mile vehicles available will be acquired.;
Transition of all diesel-powered city vehicles to B20 biodiesel fuel in 2007. By 2011, the Biological content of diesel fuels used in all diesel vehicles is to exceed 20%;
Attain a 5% reduction in mileage traveled compared to 2005 for all non-direct City service delivery vehicles (excludes patrol cars, trash trucks, etc, includes most passenger cars, field supervisors’ trucks, etc.). By 2011, attain a 15% total reduction in city fleet VMT (vehicle miles traveled); and
Increase the number of alternative fuel vehicles at DIA by 20% from 2005 to 40% of the fleet. This is to increase by 50% from 2005 to be 70% of the fleet by 2011.
Identify and implement priority multi-modal transportation development projects in 11 major corridors throughout the city, including transit, bicycle and pedestrian access, with priority projects to be identified completion of the Strategic Transportation Plan currently underway. Prioritize and initiate transit oriented multi-modal connections along one transportation corridor identified in the 2006 Strategic Transportation Plan; and
Increase employee mass-transit ridership by 10% over the 2005 baseline.
Other goals of Greenprint Denver include:
Complete updated inventory of greenhouse gases and begin substantial progress toward a 10% reduction in per capita greenhouse gas emissions from the 1990 emission rate by the year 2012, in conformity with the US Mayors Climate Agreement.
Construction by 2007 of solar and methane-fueled power plants with a combined ability to power more than 2,500 homes;
Requiring all new city buildings and major municipal renovations to be certified to LEED-Silver standards, as well as meeting EnergyStar guidelines;
Redevelopment of existing brownfields and creation of 1,000 “green-collar” job opportunities by 2011;
Significant water quality improvement in the South Platte River by 2011; and
Helping Denver Water realize its 2050 goal of a 35% water usage reduction by 2015.
Longer-term goals include planting more than one million trees in Denver over the next 20 years, tripling its tree canopy from 6% to 18% tree cover. To achieve the goal within that time frame, an average of 137 trees per day would have to be planted. Hickenlooper intends to work with local schools and businesses to reach that goal.
Next month, local voters will choose whether or not to approve a new 20-year public utility franchise agreement between the City and County of Denver and Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company, to provide the Xcel subsidiary with the right to maintain and operate local electrical and natural gas infrastructure.
As part of the agreement, Public Service Company of Colorado has agreed to contribute $200,000 towards the construction of a solar power plant.
|The map of signing mayors. Click to enlarge.|
Hickenlooper is one of the US mayors who signed a resolution last year endorsing the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which includes a pledge from all signatories to meet or beat Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas reduction targets, as well as encouraging the federal government to meet or beat those same targets, and to assist local governments in sharing “best practices” with respect to local climate protection programs. As of 7 July, 262 mayors have signed onto the agreement. (Earlier post.)