PlaNYC describes a comprehensive list of initiatives the City government will undertake to create a greener, greater New York over the next 20 years. But our plan is also intended to enable individuals and civic organizations to take initiative as well.
The City plays many key roles: managing streets and water pipes, operating services such as solid waste collection and recycling, and enforcing regulations like the Building Code. While the City is making big choices about funding subway lines or improving parks, the countless choices that over 8 million New Yorkers make every day will determine whether New York truly becomes a greener and greater place. Individuals make decisions, large and small, that add up to big impacts: what type of car we drive; what we throw out or recycle; what appliances we purchase; and what types of fuels heat our homes.
When asked in a recent survey to identify who has the most potential for improving the city’s environment, the top two responses were “local government” and “people like me / ordinary residents.”
This response reinforces our commitment to educate, empower, and engage New Yorkers, support neighborhood-based sustainability efforts, link New Yorkers with volunteer opportunities, and integrate sustainability lessons into our public schools.