What do you think of when you think about Houston? Maybe your first thought is “oil and gas”—you wouldn’t be the only one! And then maybe you would think about NASA, or our amazing medical research and treatment centers; our proximity to Galveston; all of the great food, from barbeque to Tex-Mex, and more. Houston is a great city, with a lot to offer—after all, we are the fourth-largest city in the U.S. We all know that the city of Houston has it all, with a growing economy, a great arts, music, and culture scene, amazing restaurants, and wonderful universities.
But did you know that Houston is also committed to a greener future?
In 2010 Mayor Annise Parker hired Laura Spanjian to become Director of Sustainability for the city of Houston, kicking off an effort to position Houston as a leader not just in energy, but in green initiatives and sustainability. The Houston Chronicle recently reported that the U.S. Conference of Mayors named Mayor Parker the winner of the Mayors’ Climate Protection Award last year; the award was given for green building initiatives that incentivize conservation and energy-efficient design features. Among the green initiatives cited in the Houston Chronicle article: an ever-expanding bike share program; wind turbines; retrofitting city buildings to reduce energy use by 30 percent; federal grant disbursement of more than $27 million for sustainability efforts in many sectors.
You can learn more about Houston’s commitment to sustainability at the Green Houston website. Find information on:
• Green City Projects like Discovery Green downtown, the Green Office Challenge, and the Houston Bikeways Program
• The Citizens’ Guide, which will direct you to tools like an environmental calculator, “fact or fiction” and FAQ lists, and a green city map
• Links to news, events, and reports relating to sustainability in and around Houston to help you stay informed and get involved
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