Sustainability: A Core Value in Denver City Government
In the summer of 2005, former Mayor John W. Hickenlooper joined 49 other mayors nationwide in a U.S. Conference of Mayors pledge to improve the environment of their cities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Worldwide, cities have a significant environmental footprint: They cover just two percent of the world’s surface, but they accommodate 50 percent of the world’s population and consume 75 percent of its resources.
The mayors acknowledged that they could take steps now in their own governmental operations and communities to reduce their impact on worldwide global warming pollution by striving to meet or exceed targets set forth by the United Nation’s Kyoto Protocol.
The signatory cities agreed to hold themselves accountable and demonstrate leadership at the local level in seven broad areas: energy, waste reduction, urban design, urban nature, transportation, environmental health and water.
As of October 2009, 1,054 mayors representing over 88 million Americans have now signed this historic agreement.
The pledge was one of the first actions taken by Mayor Hickenlooper after launching Denver’s Sustainable Development Initiative to integrate environmental impact considerations into the city’s programs and policies, convene stakeholder groups, catalyze new projects, and communicate the importance of sustainable development in Denver.
With help from business and community partners and dedicated city staff, an action agenda for sustainability was produced. Greenprint Denver is a pragmatic approach to determine city objectives that can be tracked, measured, refined and reported.
Greenprint Denver charts the city’s course over the next five years and will position the city as a national leader in a global effort to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.