Catalyzing Investment in Urban Sustainability
U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on
Urban Sustainability


Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is increasingly recognized as a global leader in urban sustainability. Guided by Greenworks Philadelphia, the City is embarking on impressive efforts to manage stormwater with investments in green infrastructure, reduce the energy consumption of government, businesses and homes with energy efficiency programs and make Philadelphia a great place to live, work and play.

"Green City, Clean Waters" is the Philadelphia Water Department's 25 year, $1.2B plan to improve Philadelphia's two great rivers by managing the water that flows into them after storms. At the close of this 25 year implementation period, PWD will have invested approximately $2.4 billion ($1.2 billion in 2009 dollars) to initiate the largest green stormwater infrastructure program ever envisioned in this country. The private sector will make a significant contribution by ensuring that all new development and significant redevelopment manages the first inch of rain water, reducing the impact on the public sewer system.

The City has established a target of reducing government use of electricity by 30% by 2015. During the summer of 2012 the City will make significant energy efficiency upgrades to City Hall and three government office towers. The project will generate a positive cash flow for the City from the first year, in addition to using its savings to back the initial costs of efficiency investments over a 15 year term. The City is also helping businesses and homeowners save energy. In 2010, the City established the EnergyWorks program to support owners of commercial and residential properties who seek to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings. The program offers low interest loans which are funded with competitive dollars awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings program. The revolving commercial fund is co-managed through a public private partnership.

Letter from Michael A. Nutter (English and Portuguese)

Philadelphia "Green City, Clean Waters"

"Green City, Clean Waters" is Philadelphia's 25-year plan to protect and enhance the City's watersheds by managing stormwater primarily with innovative green infrastructure.

Green Streets and Alleys

Green streets and alleys can help local governments green their transportation network by managing stormwater runoff within transportation rights-of-way.

Philadelphia Sustainability Plan—Greenworks

In Mayor Michael Nutter's January 2008 inaugural address, he pledged to make Philadelphia the number one green city in America.

SEPTAinable Transit Sustainability Plan

"SEPTAinable The Route to Regional Sustainability " is the sustainability plan for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which provides public transit for 5 Pennsylvania Counties, including Philadelphia.

Stormwater Utility Rate Structuring

As Philadelphia's stormwater management costs increase, it has become more important to the City to receive payment for providing stormwater service.

Transparency Policies and Public Reporting

Transparency policies and public reporting are considered essential to responsive and participatory governing structures.