New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has backed the City of Sydney’s efforts to cut green house gas emissions and future plans.
In a video message played last week at a Sustainable Sydney 2030 event, Mr Bloomberg praised the City’s greenhouse gas reduction target- one of the most ambitious of any government in Australia- to slash emissions by 70 per cent by the year 2030.
“We all need to improve the environmental performance of our cities, maintain global city status and competitiveness and improve sustainable transport including cycleways,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
“What the City of Sydney is doing through its Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan is exactly what every global city that is seriously contemplating its future is doing,” he said.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP has deemed the Sustainable Sydney 2030 program as the boldest and most wide-ranging program the Council has ever undertaken.
“Reducing emissions is just one of the many projects we are working on to make Sydney greener, cleaner and more sustainable,” the Lord Mayor said.
At last Wednesday’s public event Council’s CEO Monica Barone called for the confidence of Sydney residents to deliver their green-house gas reductions.
“Every aspect of the Sustainable Sydney plan now has an implementation plan including the financial plan to support it,” she said.
“These report back days are very important to us, because we want our residents and stakeholders to have confidence in their local government to deliver the projects.”
One major project includes the transformation of Sydney into a more cycle friendly city.
This involves the construction of a 200 kilometre bicycle network, which includes the completed Bourke Street cycleway from Woolloomooloo to Waterloo, otherwise known as “The Woop” by cyclists.
While the cycle network is still in its infancy stages, David Borella of BIKESydney believes Sydney is headed in the right direction, with already a 60 per cent growth in the number of cyclists.
“It is the cycleways that are making the difference to Sydney’s cycling population,” he said.
“They make people feel much safer and are encouraging those that may consider cycling but don’t take it up on account of reasons of safety and accessibility.”
However, according to the Lord Mayor, the successful transformation of Sydney into a cycling city requires an attitude change, where there is more harmony between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
“Our streets don’t belong to any one group, not to cyclists, motorists, or pedestrians but to us all and we aim to encourage respect for all groups,” said the Lord Mayor.
By Kristie Beattie