Authors: yvonne Congratulations to John Moore, a Green for All Academy Fellow, who was featured in the New York Times on Tuesday for the work he's done to rebuild his hometown of New Orleans, and rebuild it green. Excerpt cross-posted from the New York Times.
14 Jul 2009 Author: Katie HowellNEW ORLEANS -- People here are finally seeing a bright side to the catastrophic damage done four years ago by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The city is being rebuilt slowly as what many hope will be a clean, green model for the nation. "After the storm events happened, now everybody is interested in the environment," said Wynecta Fisher, director of the city's Office of Environmental Affairs. "I hate to say that it came at a good time, but because of the storm, we've been able to build on that momentum." There is a big push in the Big Easy for dramatically improving energy efficiency in homes and public buildings. The city has purchased a fleet of hybrid buses and has plans to install solar-powered LED streetlights. And the renewable energy sector is drawing up grandiose plans for using hydrokinetic turbines to tap powerful currents in the Mississippi River to generate electricity. Among the foot soldiers in the sustainability movement is fourth-generation New Orleanian John Moore, who left for college in Atlanta several years ago, with no plans of returning. But as floodwaters receded and his family struggled to patch up their lives, Moore returned as part of the "green" recovery effort. "I'd seen the chaos," he said, "and I knew something needed to change." Working first for the nonprofit, Global Green USA, Moore helped start redevelopment certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program in the Lower 9th Ward, a thriving working-class neighborhood that Katrina turned into a ghost town. Then Moore, a certified energy rater with a background in architecture, moved to city government to work on "GreeNOLA," a plan drafted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology students. The step-by-step GreeNOLA guide is aimed at boosting the city's existing sustainability policies and environmental leadership. It also sets longer-term goals and milestones, such as boosting the use of renewable energy produced in the region, re-establishing a citywide recycling program, conducting a greenhouse gas emissions study and revamping city transit. Excerpt courtesy of the New York Times. Yvonne Yeh is an online intern at Green for All.