Debating a Greener Future by Gotham Gazette Staff, May 07, 2007 Twitter Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan for a larger but more environmentally friendly New York City continues to attract praise and criticism. And already the plan is makings its mark. In the days since the Earth Day speech, Bloomberg announced an executive budget that took some very early steps toward financing his grand vision. (See related story.) He revealed a plan for a largely industrial area near Shea Stadium, which he said exemplified green principle. Others disagreed. (See related story.) And the building department announced a long awaited revision of the building code that, among other things, would encourage environmental sound construction. This week we offer more commentary and analysis of Bloomberg's vision to create an environmentally sustainable city heading toward the middle of the 21st century. Last week, our Sustainability Watch focused on the plan as a whole, but this week we look at specific parts of the proposal -- from its plans to clean up contaminated areas to how the bills will be paid. (For a guide to articles by topic area -- transportation, energy, land and water, money and jobs -- see below.) Sustainability Watch, a joint project of Gotham Gazette and the Hunter College Center for Community Planning & Development, will try to keep alive the debates about what's good and not, look at what's missing, discuss how the plan is working and monitor the gaps between plan and practice. As part of this, we continue to urge you to comment on these articles and the mayor's plan through our message boards (attached to every article) or by emailing us at info at GothamGazette.com. Transportation The Outlook for Congestion Pricing By Bruce Schaller Schaller Consulting Officials from the outer boroughs and the suburbs have rushed to condemn the fee, but as the debate continues, the political calculations could change. A Fee to Level the Playing Field By Brian Ketcham Traffic engineer Motorists cost the rest of us billions of dollars a year. Congestion pricing aims to correct that. Paying to Drive and to Park By Paul Steely White Executive director, Transportation Alternatives Faced with likely opposition to his laudable plans for congestion pricing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg should also try to raise the cost of parking. Improve Transit, Then Charge to Drive By Hope Cohen Deputy director, Center for Rethinking Development Political and technological issues could stall congestion pricing, but there are many transit improvements the mayor can make in the meantime. Reaping Real Benefits from Congestion Pricing Carolyn Konheim Chair, Community Consulting Services Along with charging fees to motorists, the city has a number of other tools available to reduce traffic on our roads -- and some of them could be instituted quickly. Energy A Start on A Cleaner, More Efficient Future John Nettleton Cornell Cooperative Extension If New Yorkers are really going to use less energy and cleaner energy, more must be done to educate the public and promote alternative sources of energy. Finishing the Job By Mike Gordon President and founder, ConsumerPowerline The mayor has taken a good start on the road to a sustainable energy future, but tough choices lie ahead, including whether to have electricity cost more. Land And Water What plaNYC Does Not Do By Dave Lutz Executive director, Neighborhood Open Space Coalition Any plan for a bigger, more environmentally friendly city needs to include more parkland and encourage community gardening. Greening New York's Brownfields By Mathy Stanislaus and Jody Kass Co-directors of New Partners for Community Revitalization The plan to clean up and develop contaminated areas could provide needed land and eliminate health hazards -- if it's done right. Willets Point Plan -- Green or Grandiose? Tom Angotti Director, Hunter College Center for Community Planning & Development The mayor's plan for Willets Point, the Iron Triangle of Queens, raises question about the city's vision of sustainable development. Sustaining Neighborhoods By Phil DePaolo President, New York Community Council While the mayor sees Williamsburg-Greenpoint as a model for development elsewhere in the city, the rezoning there has changed the character of the area and forced out many long-time residents. A Plan for Misplaced Development By Marcy Benstock Director, Clean Air Campaign City Hall's proposal could foster development in waterways and floodplains --increasing the risks of storm and flood damage and endangering habitat. Money and Jobs Reality Check By Carter Craft Director of programming and operations, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance In a city where grand visions often falter, Mayor Bloomberg confronted budget issues head-on, helping his plaNYC pass the "do-ability test." Paying for plaNYC By Glenn Pasanen Professor, Lehman College There's little evidence of the mayor's big plans in his latest budget, but he hopes the state will create a new authority to fund his 2030 programs. Spreading the Benefits By Annette Bernhardt, deputy director of the Justice Project at the Brennan Center for Justice, and Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of New York Jobs with Justice The mayor's vision must include a focus on good jobs with decent wages if growth is to benefit all New Yorkers.Â Tweet Editor's Choice Everything Dot NYC Council 2.0: Rules Reform Outlines Next Steps in Open Data Overdue & Over Budget, Capital Projects Roll On Comments Comment(s) The comments section is provided as a free service to our readers. Gotham Gazette's editors reserve the right to delete any comments. Some reasons why comments might get deleted: inappropriate or offensive content, off-topic remarks or spam.