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PlaNYC: Where's the Green Manufacturing?

by Worldchanging NYC local blogger, Mark Castera:

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Even if you've read the Mayor's amazing Sustainability Plan for New York City, you may have missed the section about creating greener jobs and manufacturing zones. That's because there is no plan to create greener jobs and manufacturing zones. You'll find sections about housing, trees, parks, global warming and reducing traffic, but nothing about the growing green economy.

It's really a shame. Sure, the city needs more affordable housing, and luxury condos are good for our tax base. But people also need places to work for decent pay. The truth is that the city's manufacturing jobs pay an average of $41,000 annually, which is about $10,000 more than comparable jobs in retail or restaurants ( see this entry on Wikipedia). There are still over 118,600 manufacturing jobs in the city, but that number shrinks every year, as our manufacturing districts disappear under a rising sea of hipster lofts and glass towers. And even where these two land uses co-exist, housing usually wins out in the end -- a result of skyrocketing rents and complaints from new residents who don't like the noise and pollution of industry.

But there's hope for a revitalized manufacturing base in the city, and one that provides work while working for a sustainable future. If you're in New York next week, drop by the Brooklyn Designs show in DUMBO, where you'll get a look at the amazing creations of the city's best furniture designers and manufacturers -- many with spectacular green credentials.

In addition, groups like the New York Industrial Retention Network are striving to protect and increase our manufacturing base. IRN recently launched a great site called Made in New York. which highlights the work of more than 7,000 manufacturing firms in the city. The site also highlights the city's green companies, which can be searched for using specific environmental criteria.

This is all great, but with no consideration for manufacturing in all of PlaNYC's hundred-plus proposals for the city's next 25 years, more proactive effort will be needed to keep these jobs in the city. We need a plan that creates space for green manufacturers, and provides incentives for current manufacturers to make less noise and generate less pollution.

After all, what kind of sustainability plan makes it more difficult to buy local, or find work in New York City that pays a living wage?

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Comments

Hello,

First allow me introduce myself. My name is sonam tashi gyaltsen and I am an Industrial designer by profession and currently working in the himalayan state of sikkim. I agree that we need a plan to create greener jobs and manufacturing zones.
I have been making proposals to do so in the state regarding this issue by making prposals to replace all wood craft products and applications with bamboo as it has been found to be a sustainable material for a sustainable lifelihood in the hills, where the villages are turning into towns and the towns into cities, this is because the industrial revolution has just started in india and in sikkim, where we are tryin to copy or imitate a western model rather than learning from the mistake the west has made, we are repeating the same thing. It has become a dangerous situation for sikkim in particular and the world at large because we are losing out on our natural resources in such blinding speed that we have no idea of what is going on.
I would love to be a part of the world changing team in whatever way I can so that we can keeping exchanging ideas as to finding out innovative and sutainable solutions of tackling the new challeges we are facing and we will be facing in the future.

warm regards,
sonam tashi gyaltsen,
industial designer,
sikkim-india.


Posted by: S.T.Gyaltsen on 13 May 07



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