Urban areas around the country are all seeking ways to lessen the environmental impacts by reducing waste, creating more green space, expanding recycling and solar energy.
Mayor Barrett has led the way for a better environment. Beginning shortly after his 2004 election, the mayor created a group of sustainability stakeholders, the first Milwaukee Green Team to advise the city on ways to be more energy efficient.
By 2012, Mayor Barrett had implemented more than 85% of the first Green Team’s recommendations including reducing City energy use by over 15% by 2012. In order to build off these successes, the Mayor appointed a new Green Team to develop a comprehensive sustainability plan for Milwaukee. In 2013, the Mayor and Green Team introduced ReFresh Milwaukee, the City’s first sustainability plan with a vision for community sustainability over the next 10 years and seeks to make Milwaukee a world class eco-city.
Mayor Barrett’s vision of a greener Milwaukee led to the formation of the Green Infrastructure Plan which includes strategies to manage water resources and adapt to a rapidly changing climate.
By 2030, Milwaukee will add approximately 36 million gallons of stormwater storage by implementing green infrastructure. This is the equivalent of adding 143 acres of green space throughout the City. Green infrastructure will be designed, installed, and maintained by an inclusive workforce that is representative of Milwaukee’s diversity. The Green Infrastructure Plan will help Milwaukee adapt to climate change while creating a healthier and more resilient city. The Green Infrastructure Plan satisfies the targets outlined in the Refresh Milwaukee Sustainability Plan.
Initiatives currently being implemented in Milwaukee.
-The Greener Healthier Schools Program is an ongoing program that will reduce pavement and create more green space at MPS schools. Milwaukee Public Schools, together with generous funders and community partners, has announced a multimillion dollar investment in Milwaukee schools and neighborhoods.
-The Green Parking Lot has Milwaukee folding green infrastructure to City-owned parking lots, including at public libraries.
-The City Of Milwaukee announced this month for the city’s largest solar energy field. The field will have over 7,000 solar panels. Milwaukee will get more of their energy from clean power.
-The Green Street Projects began in 2013. The city started incorporating stormwater catchment projects as streets are repaved, including a series of 16 bioswales constructed in medians along Highland Boulevard.
A clean environment benefits everyone. Achieving the goals for a greener Milwaukee will require a leader like Mayor Barrett to bring people together to collaborate and work to create new ideas and implement the plans for the future.