Light Rail and “green living” just fit. While not every light rail rider considers himself a “tree hugger,” it does allow many to feel like they are reducing their carbon footprint. I found yesterday’s article about stimulus funds and the Green Rail Corridor Project pretty interesting.
According to Dr. Wong at the Republic, there has been more recent talk of the Green Rail Corridor Project in Phoenix as part of the Mayor’s 17 point effort to make Phoenix more sustainable. Scott Wong wrote “Additional stimulus funds eyed for Phoenix,” which discusses the fact that “city officials will ask the Energy Department for $53 million to begin implementing the first phase of Mayor Phil Gordon’s plan to make Phoenix the greenest city in the country.” In making the city more green, our light rail corridor is a big focus. While the funds don’t appear to be a slam dunk and most of the projects will be done in phases, we understand that “Phase I targets areas along the light-rail line that cuts through downtown and central Phoenix. It calls for installing solar panels, making public buildings more energy-efficient and constructing shade structures and cooling systems at light-rail stations.”
If you are not familiar with the Green Phoenix Initiative, Mayor Gordon discussed the “Green Rail Corridor Project” during a speech at April’s US Green Building Council Luncheon and mentioned these details:
“our Green Rail Corridor Demonstration Project – a project developed in partnership with ASU that will take a 10-mile stretch of the light rail corridor through the heart of the city – and turn it completely “Green”. This 6 square mile area will become a place where old buildings are weatherized and retrofitted, where new buildings produce more energy than they consume, where we will measurably reduce our carbon footprint and offset the current use of non-renewable energy.”
The speech also mentioned other green projects like Sky Train at the airport and the city’s proposed Green Phoenix Learning Campus in conjunction with Rio Salado College which is focused on green-collar jobs.
Said Mayor Gordon, “That means, over time, even as commercial and residential density in this corridor dramatically increases, our carbon output and energy use will actually decline. And that’s a big deal. It will become a model that can be expanded throughout Phoenix.”
This will be interesting to watch… I’ll keep an eye out for more updates in the future.