Delaware Valley Moving Toward Being the Most Sustainable Region in the Country
The concept of sustainability has been creating a buzz recently in the Delaware Valley. Just last week, 10 organizations, companies, projects and individuals were recognized for leading the way to a more sustainable future, at the first-ever Greater Philadelphia Sustainability Awards. The ceremony officially recognized our region's progress towards becoming the most environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable in America.
Held on April 26 at the Academy of Natural Sciences, the awards were sponsored by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), and other Core Partners. Below are some of the top sustainable efforts in the region, as exemplified by the award winners:
- Liberty Property Trust builds environmentally responsible and economically efficient facilities, including the new Comcast Tower, which will be the tallest green building in the country.
- PhillyCarShare reduces automobile dependence in the region and so far, it has resulted in 2000 less vehicles in the City of Philadelphia, 10 million fewer miles driven overall, and 95% reductions in auto emissions from driving hybrids and driving less.
- The Food Trust connects regional farmers to markets in Philadelphia neighborhoods, increasing access to affordable, nutritious food.
- RecycleBank motivates recycling in participating neighborhoods by crediting household recyclables with "RecycleBank dollars," redeemable at local retailers.
- re:Vision Architecture educates developers, engineers, and architects about how to apply green design strategies and encourages them to build more green buildings.
- White Dog Café owner, Judy Wicks, is committed to sustainable business practices that include buying local food and purchasing renewable energy. She is a leader who cultivated a generation of activists who are committed to environment and social issues.
- Jackie O'Neil's Zero Energy Home is designed to produce as much energy as it consumed from clean, renewable energy. The house became the first LEED certified home in PA and the first GOLD rated home in the nation by producing 102% of its electricity needs.
- Upper Dublin Township serves as a model for suburban sustainability through clean energy sources, incentives for recycling and preserving open space.
- The Engineering and Design Institute at Philadelphia University provides support and education for the green building movement in the region and has brought four million dollars into the region for sustainable projects.
- The Philadelphia Police Forensic Science Center, a refurbished building located in a North Philadelphia neighborhood with high crime rages and low income levels, has breathed new life and established a sense of security for the community with a variety of green elements.
DVRPC Executive Director, Barry Seymour, who presented an award to PhillyCarShare at the event, says, "I am thrilled to see everyone coming together to recognize those with an outstanding commitment to the environment and to our region. We look forward to working with more and more partners to make the Delaware Valley known as a region that cares deeply about sustainability."
information about sustainability efforts in the region, visit
DVRPC serves as the official planning and review agency for the nine-county metropolitan region, which comprises Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties in New Jersey. Through data collection, research, coordination, and planning efforts, DVRPC sets a framework for governmental decisions affecting development within the Delaware Valley. For more information, visit www.dvrpc.org.
DVRPC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for a diverse nine-county region in two states: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer in New Jersey.
DVRPC's vision for the Greater Philadelphia Region is a prosperous, innovative, equitable, resilient, and sustainable region that increases mobility choices by investing in a safe and modern transportation system; that protects and preserves our natural resources while creating healthy communities; and that fosters greater opportunities for all.
DVRPC's mission is to achieve this vision by convening the widest array of partners to inform and facilitate data-driven decision-making. We are engaged across the region, and strive to be leaders and innovators, exploring new ideas and creating best practices.