03 Jul Downtown Tampa’s Green Initiatives Propel Tampa Into the Future
Tampa is known as one of the cleanest cities in America thanks to a concerted effort to foster an environmentally-conscious culture. During recent years, the city has evolved into a progressive metropolis that now boasts sprawling green lawns and reimagined waterfront parks and trails.Tampa is confronting environmental and wellness concerns with a clearly defined pathway forward to prop up sustainability, making it increasingly attractive to those who want to live a downtown lifestyle without sacrificing the picturesque neighborhoods of the suburbs.
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, a non-profit organization, seeks to promote a culture of environmental stewardship, which has contributed immensely to downtown Tampa’s beautification projects in the last few years. Volunteers are often seen cleaning up litter in parks and waterways, and planting gardens and trees throughout the city.
The City of Tampa, recognizing that environmental oversight is the key to maintaining the city’s reputation as an enviable coastal locale, augments these volunteer efforts with clearly defined sustainability programs, organized into three key areas:
1. Clean Energy
Tampa continuously evaluates building codes to ensure that all designs are compliant with energy conservation efforts. All traffic signals have been converted to LED lighting which has resulted in a 70-80 percent drop in electricity usage. Parking garages and city buildings have also been updated to make their energy usage more efficient.
2. Tree–Planting Initiatives
More than 782 indigenous trees, including Southern Red Cedar, Chickasaw Plum and Sabal Palms have been planted in and around downtown since 2013. An additional 100 have been planted to shade pedestrian areas. The increase in the amount of fresh oxygen downtown makes the air feel cleaner to breathe. They also help reduce the amount of storm water runoff which helps reduce pollution in our waterways and minimizes the effect of flooding during the rainy summer season.
3. Water Conservation
Tampa’s water conservation initiative promotes responsible stewardship of Tampa’s water supplyand limits reliance on the regional water resources to support water needs during dry seasons.The effort includes an outline of business practices that safeguard and retain water–use efficiencies.
As a coastal city whose economy depends heavily on environmental preservation, downtown Tampa has taken the lead in implementing practices that promote sustainability. The benefits of these initiatives are also visible throughout downtown where city dwellers are encouraged to enjoy green spaces and waterfront activities. The collaborative efforts of non-profits, volunteers and the city play a large role in the city’s consistent ranking on national best places to live lists.
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