Urban Green

Support New York City's leading advocate for urban sustainability.


Events Calendar

From the Blog

Search this site

Urban Green Council Advocacy

 Driving Progressive Green Building Policies Locally and Nationally

Urban Green Council is a change agent, driving some of the most progressive urban green building policies in the country. As one of the few nonprofit organizations with deep technical building expertise, our input and assistance is sought on major policies and legislation in New York City and New York State. Our staff’s combined 80 years of experience in environmental policy, architecture and engineering is supplemented by a dedicated network of pro bono consultants in those fields in addition to construction management, real estate ownership, and other areas.

In November 2012, after post-tropical cyclone Sandy struck New York, Urban Green Council was requested by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to convene a special Building Resiliency Task Force of leaders in the NYC real estate community. The charge of the Task Force was to take an in-depth look at how to better prepare our buildings for future storms and infrastructure failures. Work began immediately, and recommendations were released in June, 2013. See the Summary Report for details.

In February 2010, the NYC Green Codes Task Force - led by Urban Green Council - released the most sophisticated and wide-ranging analysis of building and other codes ever conducted by a municipality anywhere. As of November 2013, 45 of the Task Force’s 111 recommendations have already been implemented or are under development. We continue to work with the city and industry to enact the remaining Task Force proposals, as well as share this critical work with municipalities nationwide. See our Legislative Tracker for our progress to date.

Urban Green Council also shaped and helped enact the 2009 Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, the most comprehensive program in the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings. At the request of the Mayor’s Office, we’re now in the process of launching a customized Education and Outreach Program for owners and managers of the 24,592 private sector buildings impacted by the laws.

Urban Green Council board members and staff actively participated in the development of PlaNYC, an ambitious green blueprint for the city, announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in April 2007. We are now advising the city on a 2011 update to the plan.


We also successfully advocated for the passage of Local Law 86 in 2005. This milestone green building law will result in an estimated $12 billion in municipal construction being built to LEED standards by 2017.


But Urban Green Council’s work doesn’t stop at the enactment of a new law. We help ensure laws are fully implemented—and their environmental goals are being met—by assisting in the development of regulations and educating people affected by new laws.