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Tag Archives | Green Codes Task Force

Screaming (About) Trees: Daily News Reports Downside of Bloomberg’s MillionTreesNYC

Regular gbNYC readers are familiar with our complicated relationship with Mayor Bloomberg. Yes, the diminuitive orange squillionaire is perhaps a bit too eager to put the brakes on progress at the behest of NYC’s mega-developers, but Bloomberg has also contributed mightily to New York City being one of the greenest big cities in the world. Is he tacky, jerky, peremptory? Yes, yes, and yes, but given his aforementioned good works and the fact that local government is where the green action is these days, gbNYC has basically no choice but to give the Mayor a modified, limited hat-tip on sustainability. That said, his vaunted MillionTreesNYC thing is another story. While it’s hard to argue with it in theory — trees are objectively pretty sweet, and everyone from Robert Frost to baby beavers knows this — the multimillion-dollar private/public project to boost the number of NYC trees by (yes) a million by 2017 fairly smacks of fatuous, celebrity-style green activism.

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Show of Force: Urban Green Council/ New York Green Codes Task Force Delivers Report

The good news is that many of the 111 recommendations are either general and commonsense enough that no one could oppose them — add “environmental protection” as a “fundamental principle” in the “intent” portion of the construction code; enforce said construction codes more fully; streamline NYCDEP’s policies for removing asbestos; streamline and consolidate regulation practices. A large number are similarly unobjectionable by dint of their small-bore nature — it’s hard to imagine anyone getting too hacked-off over the idea of recycling fluorescent lightbulbs more efficiently or making staircases and water fountains more available. But a great many of them, though, are pretty freaking bold, and notably bolder and more aggressive than you’d imagine from reading the desultory coverage of it.

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