The City of Boston honored its 2013 Greenovate Award Winners yesterday and concurrently launched a new sustainability initiative. Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s Greenovate Boston program is a comprehensive outreach and communications effort to make sustainability principles accessible to the Boston populace. As the Mayor succinctly puts it:
“We have to make the sustainability issue understandable to everyone…I call it turning the science talk into sidewalk talk. We have to make this more explainable to the folks out in those neighborhoods.”
The objectives of this program are to:
- Reach every Boston resident and business through its programming and outreach efforts, in order to have them understand how their individual actions affect a sustainable future for Boston.
- Engage one-third of Boston residents to take one new, daily climate action per year, examples of which include driving one day a week less, unplugging the television at night, or using cold water when doing laundry.
- Engage businesses constituting one-third of Boston’s employees to form their own in-house sustainability teams, or to participate in existing sustainability initiatives.
In 2009, we were invited by the Boston Society of Architects and The Boston Business Journal to participate in a charette to explore the future of the Boston skyline. At the time, we argued that the future of the Boston skyline may not necessarily be about “what” we add to it, but rather by how we enhance what is already there. In this exploration – referred to as “Back Bay 2.0” – we explored the greening and progressive rehabilitation of some of the extent structures in the Back Bay District, consisting of the venerable John Hancock Tower and the Prudential complex towers. Our proposed additions to these towers envisaged a combination of wind farms, vertical hydroponic agriculture, as well as new business incubator facilities.
This and other concepts for the re-imagination of the Boston skyline were shared on a NECN broadcast and a special edition of the Boston Business Journal in the fall of 2009.
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