77th Annual Meeting

ENCOURAGING GREEN COMMUNITIES

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has previously adopted strong policy resolutions for cities, communities, and the federal government to take actions to revitalize neighborhoods and stabilize property values; and

WHEREAS, cleaning and greening vacant lots stabilizes property values and reverses property value declines suffered by neighboring residents; and

WHEREAS, neighborhood greening can change people's perceptions of their neighborhoods, promote social connectivity, and result in safer communities; and

WHEREAS, trees and landscaping are mentally restorative, reducing symptoms of irritability, fatigue, and physiological stress in urban residents; and

WHEREAS, shared green spaces, particularly those having trees, help strengthen social ties among neighbors; and

WHEREAS, communities that have greening programs may be more resilient and empowered to solve problems; and

WHEREAS, in Philadelphia, neighborhood commercial corridors with green streetscapes provide a boost of 23% in value to nearby residential properties; and

WHEREAS, consumers are willing to pay up to 12% more for goods and services in business districts having mature tree canopy; and

WHEREAS, tree canopy and pervious soils are green stormwater infrastructure that use natural processes to infiltrate, evapotranspirate, and reuse stormwater on site where it occurs rather than transporting the water to a stream or treatment facility; and

WHEREAS, sustained urban forest planting, care and management ensures environmental, economic and social benefits for residents,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to pass and fully fund legislation that encourages both cities and non-profit partners to implement greening initiatives to improve the environment, economy and stability of neighborhoods such as:

  • Revitalizing municipal parks and public spaces;

  • Landscaping community gateways and key corridors;

  • Tree plantings and urban forestry projects;

  • Comprehensive planning for open space preservation;

  • Education, training and volunteer management concerning community green initiatives;

  • Green roof construction;

  • Green storm water infrastructure;

  • Vacant and abandoned property management and other greening initiatives; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors desires an increase in federal funding to enhance the quality of life of city residents through investment in greening projects that engage the public in hands-on neighborhood stewardship of urban natural resources.