Do you think the lifestyle of the inhabitants ofyour town or city reflects behavior that is in linewith the concept of sustainable development?In your opinion, what should be improved?
Do San Franciscans Think Green?San Francisco is often considered the progressive hub of America andits green culture is reflected in its trash disposal practices, greenbuses, public transport, green spaces and love of the environment.
San Francisco Quick Facts• San Francisco has an ethnically diverse city of over815,000 residents.• 32% of San Francisco’s residents use public transportationon a daily basis, but only 11% of Bay Area residents takepublic transport to work.• San Francisco has two main metro systems, The Bay AreaRapid Transit (BART) and Muni.• San Francisco has a strict planning department thatconsiders the needs of all its residents and considerssocial, environmental, hazard and physical issues ofsustainability.
Who are the Stakeholders?San Francisco has many factors to consider whendeciding to implement green policy. As a result allparties involved must be considered.Policy MakersInhabitantsInvestorsPropertyOwnersEnvironmentalGroups
Taxi Emissions S.F. has more hybrid taxisthan any other city inAmerica. Over 20% of taxis arehybrid making S.F. “TheGreenest Taxi City inAmerica”. Since 2008, San Franciscotaxis are said to haveconsumed 2.9 millionfewer gallonsannually, while spewing35,000 fewer tons ofgreenhouse gas per year.
Public Transportation Agencies The San Francisco MunicipalTransportation Agency(SFMTA) has reached its goalof reducing its fleetgreenhouse gas emissions tothirty percent below 1990 andbecoming 100 percentemission-free by 2020. Hybrid buses emit 95 percentless particle matter (PM, orsoot) than the buses theyreplace, the produce 40% lessoxides of nitrogen (NOx), andthey reduce greenhouse gasesby 30%
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit BART riders get the equivalentof 249 miles per gallon. A typical BART ride is 13.45miles. One commuter alone savesover 5.868 gallons of CO2 ayear. BART has over 750 newparking spaces for bikes. BART has an average of360,000 weekday trips. BART has over 9 stops in SanFrancisco and 41 stops aroundthe Bay Area.
The Reality•San Franciscans are very in-tunewith the environment and mostresidents want San Francisco tobe a model of sustainability forother American cities.•San Francisco elected officialsare handling most of theresident’s needs by havingvarious boards and committeesthat meet regularly and areopen to the public.•San Franciscans pridethemselves on being informedand involved. The Bay Arearanks 7th most educatedpopulation in the United States.
Buildings in San Francisco Home to many of the worldsleaders in thedesign, construction, andoperation of sustainablebuildings, San Franciscans areplanning, building, and preservingour built environment to balancepresent needs, futureresources, and the history andculture of our past. Buildings shape the urbanenvironment of San Francisco andmuch of the community’senvironmental impact. SanFrancisco is implementing agroundbreaking, comprehensivesuite of policy initiatives andincentive programs to improve theperformance of new and existingbuildings.
The Reality of Green Buildings in S.F. The majority of buildings inS.F. are old and would requirean abundance of money andresources to convert them intogreen buildings. Rent in S.F. isnow the highest in the nationand most tenants do not haveenough resources to convertthese dated buildings. The city of S.F. can do a betterjob of promoting green growthby implementing policy thatwould incentivize buildingowners.
San Francisco’s Water Resources San Francisco has some of the best drinking water in the UnitedStates and gets almost all its drinking water from Hetch HetchyReservoir in Yosemite National Park. San Francisco does not excessively waste its water; per capitaconsumption is lower than the statewide average, but it still wastesfresh water sources by not accessing its own underground waterresources. With climate change expected to create droughtconditions, and with the population expected to increase 6 million by2035 the states water resources will be hard-pressed to serve all theneeds; every city and county should be planning now to irrigatelandscapes with recycled water and treat sewage water—SanFrancisco isn’t there yet. A possible solution is for policy makers to promotes usage of recycledwater and for San Franciscans to start using their own undergroundwater resources.
San Francisco must create changewith how it accesses its water.Currently, San Franciscans wastealmost all their own water sources bynot accessing it. A possible solutionmight be creating new policy thatwould mandate use of San Francisco’sown water sources. San Francisco struggles to maintainthe old with the new. It has a lot ofold buildings that residents cannotafford to convert to greener buildingsbecause of high rent. This could be anopportunity to incentivize buildingrepairs through tax deductions. In order to increase public transportridership, San Franciscans need morebikes lanes and places to park theirbikes—they need more of anincentive to take public transport towork.
Are San Franciscans Capable ofContinuing to Make Change?•Overall, San Francisco has done an amazing job ofimplementing changes since 1990 to lower carbonemissions.•San Francisco has a lot of oversight in how it runs itoperations which creates transparency.•Having been honored as the greenest city in the US andCanada Green City Index and the Cleantech Capital of NorthAmerica, San Francisco has a challenge to continue to leadthe way on sustainability and innovation. My suggestionsare one way to take sustainability to the next level in SanFrancisco.
Works Cited15, January. "San Franciscos Water Ways." Los Angeles Times. Los AngelesTimes, 15 Jan. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.BART. BART Green Factsheet. Oakland: BART, 2012.Http://www.bart.gov/images/bluesky/GreenSheet.pdf. 1 Jan. 2012. Web.Basurto, Angelo D. Pictures by Angelo Basurto. 2013. Photographs. San Francisco."Designing a Smarter, More Sustainable San Francisco." Sfenvironment.org.N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2013."Email a Friend." HybridCarscom San Francisco Is The Greenest Taxi City inAmerica Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2013"Green Building." Sfenvironment.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2013."Hybrid Buses." Hybrid Buses. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.Kurtzleben, Danielle. "The 10 Most Educated U.S. Cities." US News. U.S.News &World Report, 30 Aug. 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2013."SPURs Agenda for Change in San Francisco." SPUR. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2013."What Is Planning?" San Francisco Planning Department :. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr.2013.