This Issue

Committed to Sustainability and Resilience

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Mayor Kasim Reed

Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is the most vibrant, culturally significant and international city in the Southeast, the anchor of the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of 5.5 million, centered in the eighth biggest state in the union. We are an emerging global force with a GDP of more than $305 billion. We are also a city committed to innovation and progress, as well as an exporter of culture and change.

As a result, Atlanta is emerging as a national and international leader in sustainability and resilience. We recently implemented a special-purpose local option sales tax for transportation to generate approximately $300 million over a five-year period to fund significant and expansive transportation projects citywide.

We have conducted several infrastructure improvements under the $250 million Renew Atlanta bond program; hired the first-ever urban agriculture director, who works to bring local, healthy food within a half-mile of 75 percent of all Atlanta residents by year 2020; and adopted an affordable-housing ordinance that reserves a percentage of housing throughout the City for working families.

In addition, Atlanta is currently converting the former Bellwood Quarry, a 350-acre former mining site, into a 30-day water supply for residents and businesses.

For three consecutive years, the City of Atlanta has led the nation in total commercial property committed to energy and water efficiency through the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, with more than 110 million square feet of building space committed to conservation. The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge has a goal to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent in participating buildings across Atlanta by the year 2020. To date, the City of Atlanta has already achieved its 20 percent water reduction goal, and has reduced its energy consumption portfolio by 17 percent.

We currently have 720 LEED commercial projects in the state of Georgia totaling 118,659,393 square feet, with 512 of those projects within the metropolitan Atlanta area. In the metropolitan region, we have 247 projects comprising of 3,274 residential units, adding up to 3,856,321 square feet. LEED construction projects in the state of Georgia will contribute 99,000 jobs, $5.79 billion in labor earnings and $8.63 billion to the GDP between 2015 and 2018. We have 22 LEED certified schools and 13 LEED registered schools in the city limits. In addition, the City of Atlanta builds all new municipal properties to LEED standard, with our most recent project being the new International Terminal at the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International, which recently gained LEED Gold certification.

In 2016, these actions and accolades made Atlanta a successful candidate to join 100 Resilient Cities, an initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, to help cities around the world build resilience to their deepest social, physical, and economic challenges.

For these reasons and more, Atlanta is proud to host the 2017 Green Schools Conference and Expo. You have come to a city that shares your commitment to make the world a greener place.

I would like to thank the U.S. Green Building Council for working every day to help advance buildings that are better for the environment and healthier for us to live, work, and play in. Let’s continue to build a more resilient and more beloved community together for all.

LEED ON,

Mayor Kasim Reed