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According to the Atlanta business website, the Saportareport.com, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, last month reasserted his commitment to making the city as green as it can be during the monthly Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable meeting.
Reed said his goal for Atlanta is consistent — he wants it to be in the Top 10 sustainable cities in the United States. In the last national ranking, Atlanta was No. 18.
Reed credited his predecessor, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, for improving the city’s sustainable ranking from No. 38 to No. 18.
“Mayor Franklin did an incredible job in starting this,” Reed said at the SART meeting Friday morning. “The next place to go is from No. 18 to being in the Top 10.”
“I’m really focused on speed,” Reed said. “I really don’t have time to persuade a big entity to do that…. I would rather work in partnership with people who understand this, people in this room. If you don’t believe in sustainability, I don’t think you believe in modernity.”
Specifically, the mayor mentioned several efforts that the city has underway to help it become more sustainable. A big initiative is the Better Buildings Challenge — an effort to get building owners to retrofit their properties and make them more energy efficient. It’s part a national effort where different cities have taken the challenge.The city has included the Atlanta Civic Center, a 150,000-square-foot structure, as part of that challenge.
Reed also said he’s exploring ways to get the private sector to help provide loans to property owners that want to green their buildings. He also said he already has been talking to private equity funds, some backed with union funds, about setting up as much as a $1 billion fund for major cities to implement green building programs that would hire skilled labor.
“The place for us to be is a leading city in the world,” Reed said. “We really can’t be a leading city without a full-steam commitment to sustainability.”