I missed the first full day of the Greening the Heartland Conference because I was attending a meeting of the US Conference of Mayors. I was back today, though, and had a chance to meet with some of the Greening participants.
As everyone knows, sustainability is a global issue with local solutions.
The City of St. Louis has the opening chapters of a pretty good story to tell the conference.
One element of our effort that participants could hardly miss is the story of our neighborhoods, where our stock of historic buildings is being recycled into homes and businesses.
We have also recently hired our first sustainability manager to coordinate the efforts of our departments and agencies. We’ve passed an ordinance requiring that all new City buildings be built LEED certified (and if you walk or bike through Carondelet Park you will see the construction of the first of two LEED certified recreation centers). We’ve also added new neighborhoods to our recycling program; strictly enforced ordinances that prohibit dumping dangerous and nuisance items in streets, dumpsters, lots, and alleys — and prosecuted offenders. We’ve added new miles to our network of bicycle lanes and great amenities to our bicycle trails. We’re phasing out the bottled water being purchased by City offices. And, working with aldermanic president Lewis Reed, I have begun discussions with other regional partners to formalize a regional commitment to the goals of environmental sustainability.
This was a great conference. You can review its highlights here.