[Source: Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon will use today’s State of the City address to outline an ambitious strategy to make Phoenix the first carbon-neutral city — and the greenest — in the entire country. Green Phoenix, a 17-point plan developed in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability, would require about $1 billion in water, renewable energy, public-transit, and other investments.
Gordon is turning to President Barack Obama’s economic-stimulus package for help, though he doesn’t expect to receive funding for every goal. The mayor’s proposal, if fully implemented, would cut city-generated greenhouse-gas emissions by roughly 70 percent, or 430,000 metric tons a year, the equivalent of taking 80,000 vehicles off the road, based on one estimate. The three- to four-year plan is essentially a mix of new concepts and projects already under way. They range from providing bicycle rentals at light-rail stops to developing Phoenix’s canal system for recreation and business use similar to the Tempe Town Lake area.
In a bid to secure funding from the $787 billion federal stimulus package, Gordon and ASU President Michael Crow pitched the plan Tuesday to Energy Secretary Steven Chu in Washington, D.C., emphasizing that it also would create jobs and improve neighborhoods and health. During the meeting, Crow said, he sensed that Phoenix was the first city to approach Chu with a comprehensive program promoting green technologies, which could be used as a model across the U.S. “We put a new idea on the table,” Crow said by phone after the meeting. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]