This installment of the Local Government Leading blog series highlights the City of Los Angeles, California.
In addition to being a Better Buildings Challenge Partner, Los Angeles was recently selected as a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge. Los Angeles was selected because of its ambitious sustainability goals and robust plans to achieve those goals. The foundation for this work is the Sustainable City pLAn. This roadmap is intended to steer the City of Los Angeles toward the goal of becoming more environmentally healthy, economically prosperous, and equitable. Los Angeles plans to use the technical assistance provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, valued at up to $2.5 million dollars, to support a range of sustainability initiatives, including activities that focus on implementing building efficiency:
- Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency (EBEWE) ordinance – a set of ambitious and comprehensive energy and water efficiency benchmarking requirements for existing buildings;
- Green Retrofit and Workforce Program – the nation’s largest municipal green-building program, which requires all public buildings be retrofitted to LEED Silver or better and has resulted in the retrofitting of 160,000 streetlights to energy-efficient LED lights.
The City of Los Angeles already boasts more EPA-certified ENERGY STAR buildings than any other U.S. city, and it does not plan on stopping there. Through a separate, voluntary commitment to the Better Buildings Challenge, Los Angeles has also committed to a 20% energy reduction across its 30 million-square-foot building portfolio. The city has established itself as a leader by fostering a network of public-private partnerships and achieving greater building energy efficiency improvements via the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC).
Los Angeles also plans to utilize Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support to accelerate the development of a set of energy-saving transportation initiatives:
- C40’s Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration – a pledge to develop fossil fuel-free zones in the city by 2030, purchase only zero-emission buses by 2025, and realize a 100% zero emission bus fleet by 2030;
- Twenty-Eight by ’28 Initiative – a public transportation initiative with the objective to complete 28 major metro projects in time for hosting the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games;
- NextGen Bus Restructuring Study – a research study intended to catalyze improvements to the city’s bus system and numerous other transit and walkability initiatives.
Through its innovative sustainability plans and determined goal-setting, Los Angeles continues to demonstrate leadership on its journey to secure a better, more sustainable environment and economy for its citizens.