Greening A City Creates Economic Rewards

San Jose, California is a town with a strong history of innovation and environmental leadership. After 2001’s infamous dot.com bust, the city experienced a severe economic downturn. Since then, they’ve essentially re-invented themselves, uniquely marrying their economic development with bold environmental programs.

They have created programs and policies they hope will be emulated world-wide.

“If we’re going to transform where we work and play, we have to transform the way our economy works,” said Collin O’Mara, Clean Technical Strategist for the City of San Jose.

The city has had sustainability as a principal tenet for twenty years. Going beyond your average recycling program, in 2007 the City Council adopted their 15-year Green Vision Program. This ambitious sustainability program encompasses 10 major goals, including creating 25,000 “green” jobs, utilizing only recycled water city-wide and mandating all public vehicles ran on alternative fuel.

For more on these goals and their economic resurgence, see Part 2.