Greater Cincinnati has exceeded yet another environmental sustainability goal by being recognized as the nation’s top metro area in sustainability. A new and improved index highlights the leading metro areas, states, and countries in sustainability, with the Cincinnati metro area ranking #1 in the US. Of the sustainability goals set for the region by Green Umbrella, the leading alliance working to maximize the environmental sustainability of Greater Cincinnati, this represents the third goal achieved before its 2020 deadline.
“Green Umbrella is thrilled that Greater Cincinnati is being recognized for its sustainability efforts by such a data-driven and rigorous index. This news accompanies other sustainability accolades for Cincinnati, including ranking top 10 in The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore® Index, and as #2 in the nation for green jobs,” says Kristin Weiss, executive director of Green Umbrella. The two other 2020 sustainability goals exceeded to date relate to greenspace (with over 101,000 acres, 96% of our regional population lives within 2 miles of protected greenspace) and outdoor recreation and nature awareness (our region continues to excel in engaging residents and visitors in outdoor experiences).
“This data-rich, one-of-a-kind index balances a number of factors comprising cleantech and green industry activity and potential, energy awareness, the built environment, redevelopment of polluted sites, policy, and human well-being and quality of life,” reports Adam Brunes of Site Selection’s 2017 Sustainability Rankings. Green Umbrella members Proctor & Gamble and the University of Cincinnati are also featured in the article for their innovative waste reduction and green building initiatives, respectively.
“We can look forward to more regional sustainability achievements in the future too, such as improved walkable and bike-friendly communities, thanks to OKI’s inclusion of $191 million in prioritized bike and pedestrian related infrastructure projects in the region’s 2040 Transportation Plan. We also expect to see a surge in sales of locally grown food, thanks to a USDA Local Food Promotion Program grant awarded to increase sales for local producers through our region’s largest food hubs by 65% by 2020,” says Weiss.
“The Green Cincinnati Plan has helped establish Cincinnati as a national leader in sustainability and an attractive destination for businesses and individuals. The City of Cincinnati has begun a major update of the Green Cincinnati Plan to advance the sustainability, equity, and resilience of our city for the next five years,” says Oliver Kroner, sustainability coordinator for the City of Cincinnati. The City’s Office of Environment & Sustainability hired Green Umbrella to help with the 2018 update. A kickoff event, attended by 300 people to begin developing recommendations for the plan, was held in September at the Cincinnati Zoo – the greenest zoo in America. At the event, city officials announced plans to build the largest municipal solar array in the country as part of its recent pledge to fully transition the city to 100% renewable energy by 2035.
“Our region has demonstrated that we value environmental sustainability, and with continued investment, we will continue to push ahead,” remarks Weiss.
PHOTO: People biking along the Canal Bikeway - part of the Tri-State Trails vision for CROWN Cincinnati to connect 49 neighborhoods to major destinations through this active transportation network (photo credit: Jack Martin)