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District Honored For Exceptional Achievement in Climate Protection and City Livability

Saturday, June 22, 2013

District Honored For Exceptional Achievement in Climate Protection and City Livability

Awards Highlight Innovative and Imaginative Strategies to Ensure a More Sustainable DC

(Washington, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today, accepted two awards for the District of Columbia’s work in sustainability at the US Conference of Mayors’ 81st Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC initiative received an “Outstanding Achievement in City Livability” award while the District’s Capital Bikeshare system received an Honorable Mention in the Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards category.

“These awards are further evidence that the District of Columbia is on its way to reaching ambitious goals in the Sustainable DC Plan,” said Mayor Gray. “Programs like our Capital Bikeshare system and other innovative initiatives in green building, stormwater management and energy efficiency are setting the course for the District to become the most sustainable city in the nation.”

Sustainable DC is a 20-year plan to make the District the healthiest, greenest, most livable city in the nation. The plan includes 32 goals and 143 actions organized into four “priority challenges” and seven “sustainable solutions.” The initiative has engaged more than 8,500 people, and enlisted ward-based volunteers to talk about the plan to residents across the city. Sustainable DC is also working closely with nine colleges and universities, 75 embassies and international institutions, and 120 downtown businesses. While the plan has large-scale environmental benefits for the District, it is designed to primarily benefit city residents by improving community health, saving money on everyday costs of living and creating new economic opportunity.

More than 75 applications were submitted by more than 50 cities nationwide for the Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards. Four large cities were selected as Honorable Mentions, including the District for its Capital Bikeshare system. Capital Bikeshare is a partnership between the District and several Maryland and Virginia jurisdictions and is the first large-scale bike-sharing system in the country. The system includes 1,800 bicycles, more than 200 solar-powered stations, and almost 35,000 annual members. A 2013 survey found that users save an average of $800 per year and collectively reduce their driving by 5 million miles annually. The Capital Bikeshare system has climate-related benefits through reducing greenhouse-gas emissions generated in the city and shrinking our carbon footprint.

Visit usmayors.org/climateprotection/2013awardees for descriptions of each winning program; capitalbikeshare.comfor information on the District’s Capital Bikeshare system; and www.sustainabledc.org for information on Mayor Gray’s plan for a Sustainable DC.