The City of Atlanta is one of seven local governments recognized by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) for leadership in implementing policies and practices that contribute to efficient and sustainable use of resources in metro Atlanta.

The city was honored for upgrading to a Silver Certified Green Community at ARC’s January Board meeting, according to a media release.

“The City of Atlanta is proud to renew its commitment to sustainability through the ARC’s Green Communities Program. As we strive to make Atlanta one of the country’s top tier cities for sustainability, the work we’ve done locally through the Green Communities Program over the past four years is a reflection of our concern for the environment and the preservation of our natural resources,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Today, we also celebrate the achievements of our neighboring cities and counties who are working to make this region a greener and more economically vibrant place to live, play and conduct business.”

Atlanta was one of the first communities to be certified in 2009 and reaffirmed its commitment to being green in 2013 by re-certifying, this time at the Silver level. Among the city’s 2013 sustainability achievements:

• In response to solicitations by leading automotive manufacturers seeking markets for the new generation of electric passenger vehicles, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability created the Metro Atlanta Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness Task Force. Its focus is to build comprehensive infrastructure for consumers who become electric vehicle owners in Atlanta. The permitting process for electric vehicle supply equipment has been streamlined to aid residents who want to install charging equipment.
• The R.M. Clayton Wastewater Treatment Plant is now equipped with a combustion engine that can convert waste biogas into nearly 13 million kWh of useful energy annually.
• More than 1,100 acres of brownfields exist within the 6,500 acre BeltLine planning area, and the Atlanta BeltLine is working to transform these areas into parks, trails and transit. On the BeltLine Eastside Trail alone, 1,700 tons of contaminated soil were removed over 2.25 miles. The Historic Fourth Ward Park was 17 acres of industrial wasteland until it was converted into the functional and recreational greenspace that it is today. These projects are representative of the work that will take place on the rest of the Atlanta BeltLine corridor.
• The Department of Watershed Management recently updated its Post-Development Stormwater Management Ordinance to promote the use of green infrastructure on new and redevelopment projects in the city.

For more about the program, visit atlantaregional.com/greencommunities.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.