MIAMI BEACH, FL - Miami Beach goes even more Green with a unique Sustainability Plan that's been recognized by President Obama's administration for its innovative solutions to Miami Beach-specific environmental concerns, while relying on proven methods of conservation, such as innovative transportation ideas and city-wide recycling programs.
"Miami Beach is like no other place on earth," Says Jorge Gonzalez, City Manager, Miami Beach, "so our solutions to sustainability need to be as innovative and diverse as our City is – being sensitive to our needs to protect our island environment for both our residents and our visitors.”
Minimizing traffic pollution is a top priority for the City of Miami Beach, and the City has blazed the trail on two programs that do just that. Miami Beach now offers an alternative, easy to use, multi-tiered transportation network to decrease traffic and support fitness and community access. Deco Bike, the U.S.'s first Green city-wide public transit network, is a revolutionary public bicycle sharing program. "It's a Green commuter network that gets you from point A to point B, replacing short trips normally made by car. It's fast, fun, easy and affordable," says Miami Beach City Commissioner Michael Gongora, creator of the Sustainability Committee. "The Deco Bike program is just another way to show that the City is on the right track in living up to our new motto in Miami Beach: blue skies, white sands, green city."
A car share program, in partnership with Hertz, kicked off last month, offering the same quick convenience to residents and visitors, without the need to own a car. In addition to the bike and car sharing programs, the city offers a Hybrid/Low emission vehicle incentive program for vehicles with an EPA Smartway rating of 6 or greater, as well as street legal electric vehicles; electric car charging stations in public garages; and mandatory citywide recycling.
The City is also putting its money where its mouth is, investing in a citywide energy audit with partner Ameresco to identify green practices that will save the City money in the long run. A geo-thermal chiller system is already underway to provide energy-efficient service to City buildings. And the City’s approach to new projects includes sustainable initiatives, such as the use of saltwater-tolerant paspallum sod on the City’s world-class golf courses, and ensuring that the tennis courts at the new Flamingo Park Tennis Center use the latest in eco-friendly technology. The new Fast-Dry courts will decrease water conservation by 50% on an annual basis by using a patented advance subsurface irrigation system instead of the traditional system currently in place.
“The city’s green initiatives offer a higher quality of life for residents and guests, keeping the city’s main draw -- its natural resources and pristine ecosystem lush and healthy,” says Grisette Marcos, Executive Director of the Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Center. “From work to play, Miami Beach is a leader in urban environmental management and future-forward Green programs and technology. We love where we live and want to make sure it’s sustained for generations to come.”
With an average year-round temperature of 75 degrees, Miami Beach has an unrivaled reputation for culinary offerings, nightlife, culture, fashion, and luxurious hotels. Also a popular destination among travelers, Miami Beach was recently ranked by Trip Advisor as number one on its Top Winter Sun Vacation Rental Getaway Destinations for 2011 list and was included on both the Top 25 Beaches in the World and Top 25 Destinations in the U.S. lists. Boasting seven miles of breathtaking beaches, Miami Beach is easily accessible from the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. The City of Miami Beach has just been named one of the top cities worldwide for 'walkability' and is equally easy to navigate by bike or by boat. Home to unique museums, to the New World Symphony and Miami City Ballet, to over 17,000 luxury, boutique and resort hotel rooms, 12 public parks and to the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach is a destination for all seasons. Miami Beach is like no other place in the world!