When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled PlaNYC in April, the press focused on just one of its 127 proposals for helping the city grow in an environmentally sustainable manner: a “congestion charge” applied to motorists in Manhattan’s key business districts. Bloomberg made headlines again this week when he called for replacing the city’s entire taxicab fleet with hybrid vehicles that pollute less. But there’s a lot more to PlaNYC than automobiles.
“It’s the other 126 proposals that are going to have an effect on all of the design professions,” observes Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association and a member of the mayor’s sustainability advisory board. The effect could in fact be huge. Buildings account for the lion’s share of New York’s current carbon output, 79 percent, according to a recent city audit. PlaNYC sets a goal of cutting the city’s carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2030.