In a small area in downtown New York, 92 acres, close to the Finanical District, you'll find more green buildings per square foot than anywhere else in the US.
As you look at this modern green riverside community with sleek, energy efficient buildings, lush, pesticide-free parks, excellent schools, clean streets, cooperative composting programs, and sustainable systems everywhere you turn, you might think you're in Norway.
Nope -- it's overcrowded, cutthroat, dirty, impersonal New York City. Battery Park City began as a landfill neighborhood jutting into the Hudson on the southern-most tip of the island. Over the past decade, starting long before sustainable communities were being planned or even thought about elsewhere, this plot of property has developed into a model of urban sustainability.
It's all thanks to the Battery Park City Authority, a partnership between New York City and State, which has put its authority to good use by forging relationships with commercial and residential developers under one condition: that every new structure implement the highest level of sustainable technology.
Now, Battery Park City boasts the highest concentration of green buildings of any neighborhood anywhere. In this video, we meet Battery Park City’s activist leaders and learn about the neighborhood's famous buildings, including the Solaire, the nation's first sustainable high-rise residential structure, as well as its beautiful parks (maintained with neighborhood compost, chemical-free), green schools, and program that gives surplus revenue back to the city to fund affordable housing.
These buildings go way beyond solar panels and green roofs -- though they have those, too. They reclaim and recycle water, have geothermall wells, use certified wood, and even have their own sewage treatment plants in the basement of one building.
We also learn how something called a heliostat can make it sunny even when you're in the shade. Next to a skyscraper. In New York City. Who Knew?
See more cool RiverWired videos on a wide range of Eco-Friendly Topics.
running time: 06:08