Diagram: David Hsu 

Sustainable New York City made the case for instituting environmental sustainable practices into everyday municipal operations, two years prior to the release of PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg's citywide sustainability plan. 


Together with our previous sustainability publications, High Performance Building Guidelines(1999) and High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines (2005), which led directly to the enactment of local laws encouraging high performance construction, our Sustainable New York report helped pave the way for Mayor Bloomberg's long-term sustainability plan, PlaNYC.

PlaNYC, produced by the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability in April of 2007, consists of inter-related strategies pertaining to New York City’s housing, open space, water, transportation, energy and air that collectively aim to reduce global warming emissions and develop a green and sustainable city. Two of the initiatives outlined in the plan to improve water quality in New York City were also outlined in Sustainable New York City as successful systems to combat the negative environmental impacts caused by storm water runoff.


To meet growing environmental challenges and to lead the way for other cities, New York needs to set ambitious sustainability goals for the future. The NYC Office of Environmental Coordination recognized this and sought the Design Trust's help in developing a comprehensive sustainable policy for NYC that would make it "a global leader and a healthy and economically and environmentally smart place to live, work, and play." 


To create the Sustainable New York City report, the Design Trust worked with a remarkable team, including Project Fellow David Hsu, Robert Kulikowski, the Director of NYC Office of Environmental Coordination and his deputy, Jonathan Dickinson. We also drew on the expertise of many state and city agencies, and solicited input from an array of environmental policy experts from across the country. 

Through this intense collaboration with OEC, we were able to produce a report that is grounded in a firm understanding of how municipal agencies work in NYC today and what sustainable practices are realistic for agencies to implement. 

The Design Trust’s work with the Office of Environmental Coordination helped in tipping the scale towards greater sustainability citywide.

Jonathan Dickinson, NYC Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability