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Environmental and economic development in Newark, NJ


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A green city promotes economic development by providing an environmental friendly framework that encourages new trends that will provide monetary and social investment into the city, which creates a healthy and sustainable community. Environmental conservation and economic development are not conflicting but can be mutually reinforcing, as environmentalists have prompted calls for "environmentally sustainable" economic development. Economic development can be made progressive by reducing some of the detrimental effects of global warming, which for the most part, are man-made. By improvising on behaviors and understanding the need for a more environmentally friendly atmosphere, economic development can go green. Environmental sustainability can best spur regional development and economic growth by creating green jobs through retrofitting buildings in using renewable energy, cleaning-up and reinvesting in brownfield sites to create green space for mix-used communities, and to strengthen the public transportation infrastructure to bring commerce activity.

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Environmental and economic development in Newark, NJ

  1. 1. CONTENTS PAGE INTRODUCTION- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 3 CAUSES/ ACTIVITIES 1. Brownfields 3 2. Transportation 4 3. Building Energy 5 EFFECTS/ IMPACT 1. The Hazardous Brownfields 5 2. Transportation – Roads, Cars and Carbon Dioxide 6 3. Is Building Energy a Productive Process? 8 NEWARK’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGES 1. Neglected Brownfield Sites 9 2. Organized Transportation and Connectivity 10 3. The Strife of Building Energy 12 INTERVENTIONS 1. Brownfield Sites 13 2. Transportation 1
  2. 2. • Reducing Congestion 14 • Newark as a Commuter City 15 3. Building Energy • Establishing and enforcing increasingly strict building energy codes 17 • Retrofitting existing buildings to reach energy efficiency 17 • Utilizing massive incentives to spur use of renewable energy appliance 18 • Weatherization of low income homes 19 • Public outreach program 19 CONCLUSION 20 2
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Economic Development A green city promotes economic development by providing an environmental friendly framework that encourages new trends that will provide monetary and social investment into the city, which creates a healthy and sustainable community. Environmental conservation and economic development are not conflicting but can be mutually reinforcing, as environmentalists have prompted calls for "environmentally sustainable" economic development. Economic development can be made progressive by reducing some of the detrimental effects of global warming, which for the most part, are man-made. By improvising on behaviors and understanding the need for a more environmentally friendly atmosphere, economic development can go green. Environmental sustainability can best spur regional development and economic growth by creating green jobs through retrofitting buildings in using renewable energy, cleaning- up and reinvesting in brownfield sites to create green space for mix-used communities, and to strengthen the public transportation infrastructure to bring commerce activity. Global Challenges Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans. The cause of global warming is greenhouse gases, which are gases that allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere. The functions of greenhouse is described “When sunlight strikes the Earth’s surface, some of it is re-radiated back towards space as infrared radiation (heat). Greenhouse gases absorb this infrared radiation and trap the heat in the atmosphere. Many gases exhibit these “greenhouse” properties. Some of them occur in nature (water vapor, carbon dioxide [CO2], methane [CH4], and nitrous oxide [N2O]), while others are exclusively human made such as industrial gases which represents 82% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2006. Over time, if atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases remain relatively stable, the amount of energy from the sun to the Earth’s surface should be about the same as the amount of energy radiated back into space, leaving the temperature of the Earth’s surface roughly constant.” (Energy Information Administration [EIA], 2008) 3
  4. 4. Since the industrial revolution, there has been an imbalance between greenhouse gas emissions and absorption within the atmosphere. Human activity has increased the amount of greenhouse gases which has increased the concentrations of CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide. As a result of this activity, the concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 36% and 148% since the mid-1700s (EPA, 2007). Global warming impedes the process of economic development. Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank who wrote the Stern Review, argued that climate change could gravely effect economic growth. He warned that “failure to take action could risk a recession worth up to twenty percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP)” (BBC News, 2006). In addition, he goes on to state that global economic output can be reduced by 3% if temperatures rise by two to three degrees Celsius, and up to 10% if temperatures rise by five degree Celsius (BBC News, 2006). This kind of economic downturn can harm agriculture with the risk of droughts and floods, the insurance industry with a rise in claims caused by major weather catastrophes, and slow other areas of economic development throughout the world. For transportation, climate change will negatively affect the infrastructure of roads, railways, and pipelines (i.e. oil pipelines, sewers, etc.). Consequently, governments of all levels will spend an unprecedented amount of money due to an increase for maintenance and renewal caused by a greater variation in temperature. Causes/Activities Brownfields Brownfield sites were once productive industrial sites that exist in the industrial sections of cities and are locations for abandoned factories or commercial buildings, or other previously polluting operations (Hollander 2006: 2). The causes of brownfield sites are contributed by the 4
  5. 5. deindustrialization and globalization impact on cities (Hollander, 2006: 14). Through the progression of globalization, industries and businesses “have spread their activities and production processes throughout the world,” in order “to take advantage of labor and regulatory cost savings. Another factor on the development of brownfield sites is the “metro shifts (Hollander, 2006: 14),” which is the occurrence of “mass migration out of rural areas during the nineteenth century [and] was followed in the mid-twentieth century by mass migration out of cities into suburbs (Hollander, 2006: 14). The cause of the metro-shift in the 20th century was contributed by the federal policy interventions of the postwar mortgage programs, urban highway building, and urban renewal, thus the decline of economical development in urban cities, and the “economics of maintaining a property up to code and meeting environmental obligations exceed potential revenue generation,” in which the owners eventually abandoned the properties to avoid liability (Hollander, 2006: 15). Through urban decline, these industrial sites eventually would become contaminated brownfield sites through the deregulations of manufacturing contamination discharged to water air, and land caused by unregulated activities of industry manufacturers such as the wasteful and spent of laboratory chemical waste, process waste water, empty product containers, dirty filters, hydrocarbon spillages, solvents, pesticides, heavy metals such as lead, tributyltins, and asbestos (DDPA: 1996). Contaminated brownfield sites create challenges for municipalities around the world that want to clean up and create sustainable urban redevelopment. Some of the challenging factors are legal and financial, and if the brownfield site is owned by a municipality or a private company, the cost of clean-up can cost millions of dollars (EPA, Anatomy of Brownfields Redevelopment: 1). Time for the rehabilitation of the sites often takes years and sometimes is stalled by deficiency of funds or focus from the property’s owner and marketing for the 5
  6. 6. attraction a tenant, especially in today’s recession, and often, possible developers are concerned they could be responsible if additional contamination is found (EPA, Anatomy of Brownfields Redevelopment: 1). Besides the negative environmental factors, Brownfields create social and economic problems such as open space rubble, crime increase and poverty, the reduction of social capital and community unity, decrease of local government taxes, and private property values that may reduce social services (EPA, Anatomy of Brownfields Redevelopment: 3). Transportation Another cause of global warming is people’s overreliance of automobiles. In the United States, the introduction of the automobile has revolutionized American culture both socially and physically. Prior to the automobile’s invention, horses were one of the few transportation methods used to transport people and commerce within the city and its surrounding towns. Even though the use of horses did not contribute to pollution problems, they made city streets unsanitary due to the manure they would leave behind. When the automobile was first launched to the public, it was advertised as a low maintenance vehicle that did not contribute to sanitation problems. As the years went on, the automobile began to transform an image of independence, freedom, and increased status which fit into America’s democratic and capitalist principles. The automobile revolution, lobbied by the oil and automobile industry, paved the way for the U.S. government to support building a national highway system and implementation of the use of zoning laws that favored the use of cars. This resulted in “urban sprawl” where jobs and residents moved out of the centralized cities to suburban outskirts. Prior to the suburban migration, the majority of jobs were centered within cities where workers lived near their employer or in high density communities within city limits that was usually connected to a streetcar or rail. However, with the support of federal subsidies to fund paved-road construction 6
  7. 7. and suburban development, it allowed people to live in low density communities far from the city center and integrated city neighborhoods. Furthermore, compared to cities, suburbs created few local jobs due to single use zoning1 (Wikipedia – Single Use Zoning). As a result, residents from these suburbs regularly commuted longer distances to work as suburbs spread out. Building Energy Buildings provide a constructive environment for people’s everyday living and working. People’s daily activities in buildings have great impact in terms of either energy conservation or energy over-consumption. It is said that those vastly larger numbers of our fellow humans who are not evil, but whose behavior may in fact be far more destructive in the long run. (Ayres E, 2001)The long-run destructive behavior includes the trivial things that we barely pay attention to, for instance, leaving rooms, homes or offices with lights, heating and cooling appliances on; forgetting to tighten water faucets; leaving computers on when it’s even not in use; leaving battery chargers on when it’s already fully charged; stuffing the refrigerator with overdue time food close to expiry dates; forgetting to build up insulation when heating and cooling the house; etc. Effects/Impact The Hazardous Brownfields The environmental hazards of brownfield sites are biological, physical and chemical, and are “the result of site contamination, groundwater impacts, surface runoff, migration of contaminants, or wastes dumped on site (EPA, Protecting Public Health).” The usual contamination found in brownfield sites include hydrocarbon spillages, petroleum, solvents, pesticides, heavy metals such as lead, tributyltins (found in pesticides or preservation materials), and asbestos (ATSDR, Toxic Substance Portal). Hydrocarbon is a Methane and greenhouse gas, 7
  8. 8. which is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and can cause fires, explosions, & depletion to the atmosphere (ATSDR, Toxic Substance Portal). Brownfield sites are also areas for large- scale commercial and illegal dumping of contaminated materials. Many properties have not been monitored for years and no one knows what contaminants, if any, may be underground, in the water supply, or if contaminants have migrated off the site. Dangerous chemicals such as paints and batteries containing lead; thermometers and light bulbs containing mercury; electronic goods full of hazardous substances; pesticides from the garden; solvents for cleaning; and used motor oil are also found in brownfield sites and pose a hazardous list of health problems (The Economist, 2009: 6). The existences of contaminated brownfield sites in urban areas pose a health risk to the urban population and an evident link to health problems. Chemicals with the hydrocarbon (PAH) make-up are carcinogenic and has been proven in laboratory studies to cause tumors and the development of cancers in animals and humans when inhaled through the air, consumed (food cooked on grills and barbeque), and long periods of skin contact (ATSDR, Factsheet). The inhalation of asbestos can also cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, the inflammation of the lungs (American Cancer Society (ACS, Asbestos). In a 2009 American Cancer Society study, there was a 15% increase (estimated 1,479,350 cases) of new lung-related cancers cases between men and women in the United States (ACS, 2009 Cancer Statistics). Transportation- Roads, Cars and Carbon Dioxide As the car culture progressed, automobile drivers ignored the negative environmental impact they caused to their surroundings. Use of the automobile makes up 20 to 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions believed to cause global climate change (Wikipedia – Effects of the 8
  9. 9. Automobile on Societies). In the U.S., cars emit approximately 3.4 grams per mile of carbon monoxide (Wikipedia – Effects of the Automobile on Societies). About 33% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions come from the burning of gasoline in internal-combusting engines of cars and light trucks, i.e. minivans, SUVs, pick-up trucks, and jeeps (EPA, 2009). Many of today’s vehicles are built with poor gas mileage which adds to global warming. Below is an example of low vehicle mileage: “A Dodge Durango SUV (with 5.9 liter engine) gets 12 miles per gallon in city which emits an estimated 800 lbs of carbon dioxide over a distance of 500 city miles. Each gallon vehicle consumes emits 19.6 lbs of carbon dioxide in air. Honda Insight gets 61 miles to the gallon and emits 161 lbs of carbon dioxide over the same distance of 500 city miles” ( – Causes of Global Warming). Roads played a major role in allowing cars to emit a large amount of greenhouse gases. As more people drive, new roads are built through sensitive habitat which causes loss or degradation of ecosystems. The materials required to pave roads come from large-scale rock quarrying and gravel extraction, which sometimes occur in sensitive ecological areas (Wikipedia – Effects of the Automobile on Societies). When the automobile became efficient to travel longer distances, roads were built to support this new Urban sprawl. In having people live in far and spread out locations, city planners are forced to build larger highways. Consequently, the majority of air pollution comes from crowed highways, congestion, where people from the suburbs tend to spend majority of their time. With the availability of cars and paved surfaced roads, more people are commuting from a far distance which causes traffic congestion. In a 1996 study by traffic engineers from Texas A&M, it was found that drivers in Los Angeles and New York City alone wasted 600 million gallons of gas annually while sitting in traffic ( – Causes of Global Warming). The 600 million gallons of gas translate to about 7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in just those 9
  10. 10. two cities ( As the population grows and move outside the city, traffic delay will rise by 50% over the next 25 years ( – Many Cities Face Los Angeles-like Traffic Jams). For congestion to be alleviated, state and local governments must greatly invest into freeways and arterials by adding 104,000 lane-miles at a total cost of $533 billion over the next 25 years ( – Many Cities Face Los Angeles-like Traffic Jams). With car emissions, traffic congestion, and additional asphalt paved roads, these variables contribute to greenhouse gases which cause Urban Heat Islands (UHI). Urban heat islands are produced by dark surfaces and reduced vegetation which warms the air over urban areas. Even though asphalt pavement has its advantages such as smooth and all weather surfaces, there are related problems. One of the consequences in covering streets with dark asphalt is that it increases hot temperatures within the city by absorbing light which in turn heats the air and helps create an “urban heat island” (Akbari, Pomerantz, and Taha, 2001). On a clear afternoon, the air temperature in a typical city increases by 2.5 degrees Celsius higher than in the surrounding areas (Akbari, Pomerantz, and Taha, 2001). In summer months, urban heat islands increase smog production due to higher urban air temperatures. Is Building Energy a Productive Process? Unconscious and irresponsible daily behaviors can be generalized as activities for energy overconsumption. Energy overconsumption in buildings is mainly referring to electricity and heating gas consumption. Nearly half of the electricity in the U.S. comes from coal burning (Annual Energy Review 2006) with the by-product of carbon dioxide. Therefore, energy overconsumption activities result in a tremendous increase of carbon dioxide in the air. Statistics shows that buildings are responsible for 72% of United States electricity consumption and 54% of natural gas consumption (The First State of the Carbon Cycle Report). In addition, 71% of 10
  11. 11. carbon dioxide emissions from commercial buildings and 72% of carbon dioxide emission from residential buildings are produced by space cooling, lighting and heating. According to figure 1, residential and commercial buildings in the United States are responsible for 37% of CO2 emissions, which is the second biggest proportion after transportation (The First State of the Carbon Cycle Report). . Source: DOE EERE Buildings Energy Data Book 2005 Figure 1: United States’ carbon emissions by sector and (for commercial and residential buildings) by end use. Newark’s Economic Challenges Neglected Brownfield Sites With a population of 275,000 and New Jersey’s largest city, Newark has experienced the down fall of a once prosperous and predominantly existing manufacturing industry contributed by the disinvestment into the city, and the suburbanization of northern New Jersey after World War II, which has left more than 700 acres of largely underutilized public and private property or brownfield sites abandoned (NJDEP, List of BDAs). These brownfield sites are known or suspected to be contaminated from industrial operations and manufacturing. During the 1980’s 11
  12. 12. the city lost 60, 0000 residents, and 26 percent of the remaining residents are at or below the poverty level (NJDEP, Site Remediation Program). Compared to the global cities of London, New York and Tokyo, small and medium-sized cities such as Newark are dependent to the once- prized industrial lands that now lay useless in the insignificant hierarchy of the global economy. With an economic boom of $48,133,302 (Ralph, 1975: 60) revenue during the late 1800’s from the manufacturing of jewelry, trunks, tanning, clothing, hats, boots and shoes, and carriages and wagons, Newark’s survival today is dependent on the insurance industry and transportation hubs such as the Port of Elizabeth, NJ Transit and the Path, and home to various universities, but the brownfield sites are still predominantly left untouched and can bring the city renewal economic benefits. In a New Jersey Department of Environmental Health survey, Newark is home to 67 brownfield sites, which covers an estimated 430 acres of Newark’s 700 acres landscape (NJDEP, BDA Sites at a Glance), but in the last six years only 650 acres of Newark’s brownfield sites and surrounding neighbors (Elizabeth, Harrison, Orange/West Orange) has been clean-up. The graph provided below demonstrates the disparities of brownfield site clean-up and redevelopment from 2005 until 2008. The state of NJ provides brownfield site remediation programs for the clean-up, and since it’s initiation, the city of Newark has remediated an estimated of 30 acres for warehousing, riverfront, walkway, and retail purposes. The graphs are an example of the city of Newark and private owners’ inattentiveness or slow of pro-activity to the environmental and economical issues of Brownfield sites (NJDEP, BDA Sites at a Glance). 12
  13. 13. Brownfield Sites Clean-Up and Reuse Development in Acres from 2005 -2008 Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, 2009, Press Release) has provided $111.9 million in grants to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 for brownfield site redevelopment, but because these programs are not mandated, the state needs to request stakeholders, owners of contaminated properties, and responsible parties to participate in the program and at times. Due to issues to issues of liability, the financial cost of property value and the extent of environmental contamination to fund the clean-up, if grants don’t provide coverage of expenses, are several reasons why the revitalization of brownfield sites remains stagnant in the city of Newark. With the current economic hardships and limited participation from responsible parties in NJ’s Brownfields Development Area (BDA), initiative programs, such as the NJ Site Remediation Program, view the stagnation of brownfield revitalization will continue, thus impeding Newark’s future economic growth. Organized Transportation and Connectivity In terms of transportation logistics, the city of Newark is strategically important to the flow of global commerce in regards to air, sea, rail, and highway access. When it comes to air access, Newark Liberty International Airport is the region’s second largest airport and one of the most important international hubs in the world. For rail access, Newark has one of the most profoundly used hubs in the Northeast Corridor, giving the city a central location in the world’s 13
  14. 14. economic activity stretching from Boston to Washington (Regional Plan Association, 2006). For highway access, interstate highways provide both truck and auto access to locations throughout New Jersey and the New York metropolitan region. Finally, when discussing public transportation, NJ Transit and the Path provide the city with access to jobs in New York City and northern New Jersey. As a leading transportation hub, Newark is plagued with environmental challenges. One of the challenges are the effects of UHI within the city that is estimated “to be on average increase of 3.0 degrees Celsius…Newark’s heightened UHI conditions is probably the result of its greater population density and areal extent, and its geographic location in a shallow bowl that traps westward breezes from New York City (Solecki, et al., p. 42). The cause of UHI in Newark is the congestion experienced within the many highways passing by the city such as McCarter Highway (Route 21), Route 1 and 9, Garden State Parkway, Interstate-280, Interstate-78, and the New Jersey Turnpike. There is no existing city data when discussing traffic congestion, but state data is available, which is provided by NJIT’s “Mobility and Costs of Congestion” report (NJIT, 2000). This article will use the data provided by the Mobility and Costs of Congestion report, which gives a clear scope of the issue within the county level. The report uses four quantitative indexes categorized into four sections (freeways, principal arterial streets, other arterials, and all roadways) that explain the negative impact that congestion has on the county. The first index is the Roadway Congestion Index (RCI) and it illustrates cars per road space. The RCI measures the vehicle travel density on major roadways in an urban area (NJIT, 2000). An RCI exceeding 1.0 indicates an undesirable congestion level, on average on the freeways and principal arterial street system during the peak period (NJIT, 2000). Essex County RCI score for Freeways is at 1.28, principal arterials at 1.39, other arterials 14
  15. 15. at 1.02, and all roadways at 1.30 (NJIT, 2000). Accordingly, Essex County has the highest RCI for state when the study was conducted in 2000 (NJIT, 2000). A second index is the Travel Rate Index (TRI) that illustrates the amount of extra travel time it takes to travel during the peak period (NJIT, 2000). The travel time (in minutes per mile) within the peak is compared to off- peak and uncongested speeds. A TRI of 1.20 indicates that it will take 20% longer to travel to a destination during the peak period than during the off-peak period (NJIT, 2000). As a result, Essex County has the highest TRI with freeways at 1.16, principal arterials at 1.72, other arterials at 1.26, and all roadways at 1.13 (NJIT, 2000). The third index is the travel delay per license driver that illustrates the hours lost due to recurring delay during the peak travel periods which is estimated from travel speed estimates on the freeways and principal arterial streets (NJIT, 2000). Essex County annual hours for freeways is at 7.82, principal arterials at 17.53, other arterials at 0.13, and all roadways at 25.48 (NJIT, 2000). Finally, the last index is the cost of congestion which is a function of two variables: delay and fuel cost. The annual total cost (dollars) per Essex County driver at freeways at 208.93, principal arterials at 416.75, other arterials at 2.62, and all roadways at 628.29 (NJIT, 2000). Evidently, improvements to Newark’s robust transportation network are imperative by connecting Newark’s surrounding neighborhoods to its existing linkages to the region. The Strife of Building Energy Compared to other global cities, Newark has its own different set of issues. First is its substantial demand in the central area .As the largest city in New Jersey, Newark is the host of more than 6 headquarters of companies, and it hosts seven universities with more than 50,000 students. These companies and universities are located within the business center and University Heights. Substantial energy supply is demanded for lighting, heating and cooling within this 15
  16. 16. central area. Second, just like any other city in the western counties, the primary challenge is the large stock of older buildings, and the difficulty and expense in raising their energy efficiency. (Energy efficiency in the buildings) According to 2007 U.S. Census, Newark has total of 107,629 housing units, and 29.90% was built in 1939 or earlier, 60.1% was built between 1940 and 1999, and only 9.9% was built after 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau). Appliances such as a furnace or boiler are used to heat buildings with poor insulation. Hence, old buildings with energy inefficient appliances are one of the reasons for increasing energy consumption, which leads to the fourth problem —high energy bills. People who live in the old buildings fall in 20% high poverty rate compare to 12% national rate and 15% state rate with low median income $34,452 comparing to NJ state median income $67,035(U.S. Census Bureau). Thus, these residents can’t afford to pay the high energy bills nor update their energy appliance to energy efficient. Last, but not the least, is the lack of use of renewable energy. New Jersey has more solar installations than any other state in the nation, except for California. However, 2000 census shows only 0.1% of homes in Newark were using solar system to heat home, and in 2007 there were 0% of home using such energy (U.S. Census Bureau). Interventions Brownfield Sites Firstly to restore the economical growth, the contamination of brownfield sites in Newark needs to be cleaned up. As neighboring cities and suburbs grow, the demand of land increases through the spur of urban growth population, thus creating unnecessary urban sprawl when land availability is possible through the revitalization of brownfield sites. The revitalization of brownfield sites also creates jobs and skill-training programs for the Newark community, which will benefit human capital and provide unity within the community. Another positive factor in 16
  17. 17. the clean-up of brownfield sites are mixed communities with a green standard of living with energy and transportation efficiency can develop such as Atlanta Station in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta Station is built on a formerly contaminated site that was home to a 100-year-old steel mill, which ceased to operate in 1998. The location has now become a city within a city on a 138 acre with retail, residential, commercial and public space within the commercial district of Midtown Atlanta (Atlanta Station). Enduring the same environmental issues of contamination in the city of Newark, the steel mill where Atlanta Station now is situated, was divided by two merging interstate highways and now connected to downtown Atlanta by a highway over-passing a pedestrian bridge, thus eliminating fragmentation with the rest of the city of Atlanta (Atlanta Station). Though the clean-up of contamination and construction of Atlanta Station took years and millions of dollars, the investment into Atlanta’s economy is enormous as retail chains and local businesses are settling in, while Atlanta urbanites can live a green life style in luxury residential housing, while protecting the environment from urban sprawl, congestion, and energy inefficiency. Another use in the sustainable urban redevelopment of brownfield sites is the usage of green technology. With the technological innovations of green chemistry and nanotechnology, Newark can create technology facilities for the environmental-friendly waste management and recycling on non-recycling items such as computers and IPods (The Economist, 2009: 10). With the imagery of green technology, Newark can become one of the first cities in the United States to position green manufacturing businesses and once again create economic growth in an effort to protect the environment and serve its community. 17
  18. 18. Transportation Reducing Congestion One of the many answers to global warming is the reduction of automobile usage throughout highly populated regions. A way to change people’s behaviors is to implement pay- as-you drive insurance where drivers pay more for driving privileges which can encourage people to reduce driving. However, an effective method is congestion pricing, which is a system of charging drivers during peak time to reduce traffic congestion. Singapore was the first city to employed congestion pricing in 1975 which charged drivers $3.00 to bring their vehicles into the city central district (APTA, 2002). Funds generated by the program allowed the city to expand and improve their public transportation system and keep traffic at an optimal flow. As a result of congestion pricing, the city experience a 45% traffic reduction, 10 miles-per-hour increase in average driving speed, 25% fewer accidents, 176,000 fewer lbs of carbon dioxide emitted, and 20% increase in public transit usage (APTA, 2002). Another likely but efficient solution is to implement or strengthen a public transportation system. Most successful public transportation systems are those that provide easy-access links within and among all forms of modern travel. A multi-model transit system can reach a large amount of people, providing travelers with choices. The advantage of a transit system is to lure riders away from cars. An example is the bike-on-buses programs that successfully link riders with different transportation modes. In San Francisco area, two thousand bicyclists commute each day between San Francisco and Silicon Valley on commuter trains equipped with bike racks (APTA, 2002). In Phoenix, buses equipped with bike racks attract more than 15 million bicyclists a year (APTA, 2002). If Americans drove alone to work, it will fill a nine-lane freeway from Boston to Los Angeles (APTA, 2002). According to Maryland Department of 18
  19. 19. Transportation (DOT), public transportation has greatly reduced the amount of cars on their state roads. For example, a full bus clears 60 cars from roads, 12 cars for a full van, and up to 200 cars for a full commuter rail car (APTA, 2002). In St. Louis, a full light rail train removed 125 cars from roads, and an entire system removed 12,500 cars from daily rush-hour traffic (APTA, 2002). Public transportation also benefits businesses and industry. Businesses look to invest in cities with a well organized transit infrastructure. Public transportation is an essential element for maintaining a vibrant business community and economic climate. Reason being is that public transportation expands labor pool, job accessibility, and reliability within the region. Moreover, business leaders can be the driving force to increase transit investment and use. Every $10 million invest in transit capital projects yields $30 million in business sales, and the same investment in transit operations generates $32 million (APTA, 2002). In St. Louis, a 25 year transit modernization plan is expected to generate a $2.3 billion return in business sales (APTA, 2002). Every dollar of public funds invested in transit returns up to $6 in benefits (APTA, 2002). Furthermore, businesses tied to public transit are experiencing more employee reliability and less absenteeism and turnover. As a result, business are saving money and earning profit due to the reliance of a public transit system. In 2000, 23.8 million accidents involved auto vehicles which resulted in a loss of $71.5 billion in wages and productivity (APTA, 2002). Without solving traffic congestions, businesses can face an annual loss of $40 billion, and of all public transportation commuters drove, loss will be increased by over 37% (APTA, 2002). Newark as a commuter city Newark may be a regional hub but the city must make connections to outer neighborhoods and surrounding towns. By enhancing its transportation network to the 19
  20. 20. surrounding towns, Newark can alleviate the congestion issue caused by the city’s major highways. Major road corridors should not just accommodate vehicles but also transit, pedestrians, bicycles, trees and infrastructure, dotted with transit nodes that serve as focal points of development and community activities (Regional Plan Association, 2006). Perhaps the single most effective way to make Newark greener, more accessible, more equitable and prosperous is to facilitate mixed-use development near the transit nodes and highly-traveled corridors (i.e. Newark Penn Station, Broad Street Station, and Orange Street Station). An example of a mixed-use development is a transit-oriented development (TOD), which is a mixed-use residential or commercial area designed to maximize access to public transport, and often incorporates features to encourage transit ridership (NJ Transit, 2008). A TOD neighborhood normally has a center with a train station, metro station, tram stop, or bus station, surrounded by relatively high-density development with progressively lower-density development spreading outwards from the center. The benefits of a TOD is that it provides an opportunity for a community to grow and prosper economically, increase area of commercial activity, increased transit ridership, provide a sustainable and green city, and attract businesses located along freeways by moving to the city’s business district. In a NJ Transit report, TOD generate less vehicular trips and requires less parking, reduces congestion by 10% to 25% in peak periods and about 10% to 15% daily (NJ Transit, 2008). There are a number of solutions to relieve congestion within Newark’s road network. One method is a signal coordination system such as ramp metering system. The purpose for this system is that it installs traffic signals at freeway on-ramps to control the rate of vehicles entering the freeway, which can be set at different metering rates to optimize freeway flow and minimize congestion (Pearson, et al., 2009). Another method is to exert control over the large volumes of 20
  21. 21. truck traffic that flow through the city. Specific truck routes should be identified with community input as well as input from the trucking industry and regional entities and implementing street signs saying “No Trucks” to indicate truck routes within areas of heavy truck traffic (Plan Association, 2006). The most important step is to create a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) within the city but outside towns. A BRT is distinguished from local bus services by providing express service, stopping only every half mile, and by receiving signal preemption, which allows the vehicles to move more quickly than auto traffic (Plan Association, 2006). A BRT functions with vehicles typically stopping at transit nodes with raised platforms, fare machines, and shelters. The stations create a sense of permanence that would form the basis for nodes of activity and the creation of transit oriental corridors. A BRT operates much like a light rail but without the high cost of laying rail and hanging overhead wires, and can be deployed quickly. In addition, a BRT can be a best practice for Newark because of the low light rail ridership which is mostly operating in the downtown district. The BRT service has been employed in Curitiba, Brazil and Oakland, California with dramatically successful results. Building Energy Establishing and enforcing increasingly strict building energy codes and encouraging LEED certificated green building for large commercial building. Building codes are one of the main reasons for substantial decrease of energy consumption in buildings, in which government plays a key role to ensure a rigorous building energy code and it is strictly followed. It is also important for the city government to encourage an integrated design of buildings that meet LEED green building standards. An example of best practice is the Hearst Tower in New York City. This building provides a good blueprint for commercial buildings to achieve great energy efficiency through integrated design. It is most 21
  22. 22. notable for its environmentally friendly technical innovations such as using advanced material and locally sourced, recycled materials and a bundle of technological and programmatic efficiencies. New commercial buildings in Newark are encouraged to use such new technology, material, and design. Retrofitting existing buildings to reach energy efficiency Updating and retrofitting existing buildings in Newark can generate a more environmentally friendly community. Reduction of carbon emissions can be achieved by appliance efficiency improvements and various energy-saving designs in the buildings. The major challenges when improving old building energy efficiency are technology and financial constraint, the policies here need to address these two key problems. A comprehensive energy evaluation program on all buildings is needed to audit energy consumption. For buildings that meet appliance replacement requirement, city government will follow New Jersey State Energy Master Plan (NJSEMP) to cooperate with appliance manufacturers, distributors and retailers by providing incentives such as rebates or co-promotion to increase higher energy standards appliance penetration in existing buildings (Energy Master Plan Implementation Strategy). Moreover, city government can go further to make the retrofitting affordable to the owners by utilizing incentives to pay part of the incremental cost of more expensive energy efficiency equipment (Energy Master Plan Implementation Strategy). By creating the building efficient appliance fund to cover the up-front cost and let the owners pay the rest of the cost with the money saved from the energy bill (One city, one future). For the other buildings that are not covered by the appliance replacement program, a whole building approach focusing on equipment tune-up will be implemented (Energy Master Plan Implementation Strategy). 22
  23. 23. Utilizing massive incentives to spur use of renewable energy appliance Governments will need to provide tax incentives and subsidies to enable investment on renewable energy appliance, such as solar panels. Solar panel is a clean energy appliance that can be used for water heating and lighting. New Jersey is the second largest state that has the most solar panels; however, solar panels used in Newark are behind the state number. A forge partnership with PSEG can improve solar panel implementation in Newark by installing neighborhood, government building, commercial, community and affordable housing solar panels. To start the solar program within Newark central area that includes the city hall, business center, and University Heights will be the foundation that eventually branchs out to the community. Weatherization for low income homes A weatherization program is greatly demanded in Newark due to the large population in poverty. It can serve Newark’s neediest citizens to improve their quality of life and benefit the city by reducing the energy consumption. This program will enhance the environment and stimulate economic development within low –income communities. It will be achieved by stressing the financial assistance and efficiency that can measure insulation, air sealing, windows, lighting, heating and air conditioning improvement. Public outreach program Majority of building energy is wasted because of poor design, inadequate technology, and inappropriate human behavior. Reduction of energy consumption can’t be accomplished only by technological improvement, but fundamentally by behavior change. Since the previous recommendations are made to address poor building design of old buildings with inadequate energy efficiency. This public outreach program addresses people’s behavior. The program focus 23
  24. 24. group concentrates only on individuals in the city but also building stakeholders. The best practice of Energy efficiency in the buildings: transforming the market by World Business Council for Sustainable Development, recommends that government authorities must establish sustained campaigns to promote behavior change and to increase awareness of the impact of energy use in buildings. It is essential to demonstrate their commitment to addressing this urgent challenge by cutting the energy consumption of their own buildings (Energy efficiency in the buildings). Newark government needs to take advantage of the universities in the city and work with them to introduce various workshops and trainings on energy efficiency for “motivating behavior change by owners, project developers, tenants and reinforce the message to fully establish a change in behavior. Educate and train developers, architects, engineers and the building trades to improve understanding of code requirements, illustrate the advantages of integrated design and alleviate concerns for higher costs (Energy efficiency in the buildings). CONCLUSION Global warming has become an inevitable phenomenon of the world today and transportation has taken a predominant role in enhancing its effects. It is evident that this is man- made and through certain interventions, the process, although cannot be reversed, can eliminate the incidence of the holistic effect it is seen to cause. Consumerism and a technologically affiliated life-style can still exist by altering certain individual behaviors. Economic development is dependent on various factors like brownfields, transportation and building energy. Implementation on these grounds can greatly influence economic development and head in the direction of a green future. 24
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