Model Mad, Mayors

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Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, left, and Mayor Ann Hidalgo, of Paris, are outspoken supporters of the Paris climate accord. Credit Justin Merriman for The New York Times (Peduto); Christophe Ena/Associated Press

She has been featured in these pages due to her creative approach to governance more than once. We are happy to see Ann Hidalgo again, this time providing another example of the “don’t just get angry–do something with creative ferocity” ethos implied in these constant observations of model mad. And we are especially grateful for the joint commentary with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who we hope to see more of:

…Though separated by an ocean and a language, we share a desire to do what is best for our citizens and our planet. That means putting aside parochial politics and embracing the global challenge of fighting climate change. In doing so, we can create a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous world for Parisians, Pittsburghers and everyone else on the planet.

As the sun sets each evening on the Allegheny River, Pittsburgh’s Rachel Carson Bridge lights up with 27,000 multi-colored bulbs. This nightly display downtown in the City of Bridges is powered entirely by 16 wind turbines attached to the arches of the bridge. It’s just one example of how a city once famous for its steel mills has emerged as a trailblazer in environmental innovation.

The experience of Pittsburgh in the three decades since the collapse of the steel industry reveals how a commitment to science, research and green technology can transform our cities. As late as the 1940s, the air hung heavy with pollution from steel mills. Streetlights were needed 24 hours a day to see through the smog. Today, 13,000 Pittsburghers are employed in the renewable energy industry. The city’s Phipps Conservatory is recognized as one of the world’s greenest buildings, generating all of its own energy and treating and reusing all water captured on site. Investments in smart infrastructure, bike sharing programs, new mass transit options and building efficiency means Pittsburgh is on track to meet our goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2023. While the majority of electricity in the state of Pennsylvania is still generated from fossil fuels, Pittsburgh will be 100 percent powered by renewable energy by 2035…

Read the whole editorial here.

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