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Getting Better in Greening the Big Apple: Sustainability Education in New York City

Pizmony-Levy, Oren

Similar to other large cities in the United States, New York City (NYC) has initiated a groundbreaking effort to address the City’s long-term challenges of climate change. The new initiative, which is titled PlaNYC 2030 and was released in 2007, has focused on issues of urban development such as rapid population growth, affordable housing, and transportation. Under this initiative all City agencies must make progress on twenty-nine sustainability indicators by 2030, including recycling, waste diversion, greenhouse emissions, water conservation, and energy efficiency. With regard to the education sector, this initiative is affecting schools in various ways, including the creation of the Office of Sustainability, Division of School Facilities in 2009. The main responsibility of the Office of Sustainability is to oversee the NYC Department of Education’s recycling, energy conservation, and green curriculum initiatives. Specifically, Chancellor’s Regulation A-850 on sustainability requires all facilities and schools under the DOE’s jurisdiction, including charter schools located in DOE buildings, to appoint Sustainability Coordinators, and to develop and monitor a site-specific sustainability plan. Data for this presentation come from a research partnership between the New York City Department Of education Office of Sustainability and Teachers College, Columbia University. The partnership was created in 2015 after the publication of the revised Chancellor’s Regulation A-850 on sustainability. Scholars at Teachers College joined with the leadership of the Office of Sustainability to form a research partnership with the imperative to study schools’ engagement with sustainability and the organizational factors that shape this work. Most importantly, the partnership seeks to support the continuing improvement of sustainability education in New York City by informing both policy and programing. The presentation was delivered the biannual meeting of the Office of Sustainability’s partners, July 19, 2018. A full report will be published in Fall 2018.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
International and Transcultural Studies
Published Here
July 25, 2018
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