With its untapped potential as a transformative environment advancing global innovation, the development of St Elizabeths East will exemplify the District of Columbia’s longstanding commitment to sustainable development and living.
On February 20, 2013, Mayor Gray announced the Sustainable DC Plan to ensure the District is the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the nation. The Mayor released the plan during an event at the Earth Conservation Corps Pump House at Diamond Teague Park on the Anacostia River. There, he was joined by more than 100 people, including members of his Green Cabinet and Green Ribbon Committee, in support of the effort.
The plan builds on the past 20 months of the Sustainable DC initiative’s work and takes a comprehensive approach to addressing four key challenges: creating jobs and growing the District’s economy; improving the health and wellness of residents; ensuring equity and diversity across the city; and improving the climate and the environment. The plan encompasses 32 goals and 31 targets, and offers 143 specific actions in the areas of the built environment, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste and water.
The future development will answer Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Vision for a Sustainable DC to become a model for sustainable design, development, and building nationwide. An important milestone in the Mayor’s Sustainable DC initiative, the Vision promotes improvements in the District’s built environment, climate, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste, water, and the green economy, while also focusing on cross-cutting issues of jobs and health.
The Sustainable DC initiative will develop and implement a strategy to:
- Broaden and diversify the District’s economy and the range of available employment and business opportunities for residents,
- Reduce disparities related to income, health, employment and education across the city; and
- Ensure a high quality of life and a clean environment for our residents, workers, and visitors.
Following the start of the Sustainable DC initiative, Mayor Gray took quick action to develop the plan and take the first steps to making the city more sustainable. In November 2011, Mayor Gray launched nine different public working groups that examined best practices, existing conditions, and public comments in order to develop key recommendations for the District’s first sustainability plan. More than 700 people participated in the working groups by prioritizing innovative city goals and creating ambitious visions of what the District needs to do over the next 20 years to be sustainable.
With aggressive, actionable goals that are nation-leading and benchmarked against other U.S. cities, the resulting Vision for a Sustainable DC includes a series of “down payments” toward the full sustainability plan, including many current commitments that will have a direct impact on the neighborhoods nearest St Elizabeths East:
- High-efficiency streetlamps
- Expansion of the Capital Bikeshare
- Completion of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
In 2012 Washington, DC topped the U.S. Green Building Council list of the top 10 states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, based on the U.S. 2010 Census.