October 5, 2015 – Route Fifty, By Michael Grass
Ten percent of the city’s operating and capital budget spending will go toward flood management, infrastructure and facilities improvements needed to face climate change impacts.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Saturday announced that his city will commit at least 10 percent of municipal operating and capital budget spending on flood management, street and facilities improvement and other projects aimed to boost Pittsburgh’s resiliency in the face of future challenges like climate change.
With that pledge, announced as part of the 100 Resilient Cities summit in Bellagio, Italy, will come $5 million in technical and financial resources for the city over the next five years from The Rockefeller Foundation.
The foundation has previously included Pittsburgh in its 100 Resilient Cities network, which aims to help city governments around the world plan and prepare for future impacts from climate change and other challenges. The funding from Peduto’s new fiscal planning pledge will come on top of Rockefeller Foundation money and technical assistance already committed to Pittsburgh as part of the city’s resiliency efforts.
“This pledge builds on our already fiscally-sound budgeting practices, and allows us to further target city resources toward making our neighborhoods and financial structures even more resilient,” Peduto said in an announcement from the city. “We’re looking at how we allocate our expenditures to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment, while at the same time improving the services and efficiency of local government.”
According to the city’s announcement:
The City can invest the new funding into those current projects as well as new ones including plans for green solutions to combined sewer overflow issues; the historic agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to create the largest sustainable district energy system in the country; and the goal of having 100% LED streetlights citywide.
The City will seek similar spending earmarks by its authorities. The Pittsburgh Parking Authority and the Sports & Exhibition Authority have already taken part is successful efforts to reduce electricity usage by converting to LED lighting at garages; the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Housing Authority are working on plans to support affordable housing needs that will grow in the future; and the City has been working with Allegheny County, the Port Authority and other stakeholders on transit-oriented development planning in the Uptown EcoInnovation District; Alcosan and the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority are studying green solutions to wet weather plans; and the city-county Pittsburgh Allegheny Thermal recently is partnering with NRG to improve the city’s existing district energy infrastructure and possibly build out a new, 21st Century energy microgrid that will be a model for cities around the world. Furthermore city Public Safety officials are working with the Region 13 All Hazards and Counter Terrorism Task Force to undertake a Threats and Hazards Assessment and Hazard Mitigation Plan, which would be a first for the City.
The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.