Sustainability in Albany

Albany E&SThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a guiding force in providing valuable insight about the realities of climate change.  Albany is taking initiative to mitigate adverse climate-related effects in the Capital Region, one of the most significant challenges of our community.  In coordination with Albany 2030, the City's Climate Action Plan and Climate Vulnerability Assessment & Adaptation Plan provide information about the environmental challenges we face, and the resources to help us become a sustainable City.

Albany: Partnering in Regional Sustainability

In 2005, Albany signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement strategies to become more sustainable.  Beginning with the creation of the Mayor's Office of Energy & Sustainability, Albany set out to reduce energy use, protect its air and water quality, and conserve resources.

In 2011, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) completed ClimAID (see Responding to Climate Change in New York State) summarizing the potential impacts of climate change across New York State and providing recommendations for adaptation strategies. Building off of the ClimAID momentum, Albany completed its own vulnerability assessment, an investigation into how climate change will likely affect the City, its infrastructure and natural resources.  Learn more about climate impacts in Albany, and how we can respond to current and future changing weather patterns, public health threats and environmental risks in the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Adaptation Plan.

Also in 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched the Cleaner, Greener Communities Program (CGCP) to create more sustainable communities by funding smart growth practices.  Under CGCP, New York State was divided into regions— a coalition of municipalities and organizations, which received funding from NYSERDA to create a regional comprehensive plan for healthy, safe and efficient development with sustainable goals. Albany took the lead in partnering with public and private experts, community residents and other interested parties to develop a Regional Sustainability Plan to significantly improve the economic and environmental health of the Capital Region (participants included Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington Counties).  Read the Capital Regional Sustainability Plan.

Improving our Local Environmental Health

  • Albany's Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) provides guidance on how to preserve and protect the water quality of the Hudson River.  Efforts to update the 1991 LWRP will be coordinated with the City's Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Step 2 Nomination Studyan environmental and market analysis for the Warehouse District and along the South End waterfront, and will provide strategies to address the impacts of flood hazards, redevelopment, and Brownfields.

  • Patroon Creek Daylighting.  Daylighting the Patroon Creek is a green infrastructure project to address intense water flow, flood hazards and other damaging issues at the Tivoli Lake Preserve.

  • Quail Street, Midtown Neighborhood  This "green street" project will utilize bioretention, permeable pavement, and other green infrastructure methods to reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality.  
  • State Street, Downtown Albany  This green infrastructure project includes retrofitting portions of sidewalk with bioretention  for stormwater runoff. The bioretention areas will treat stormwater from sidewalk and roadways before discharging back into the existing City system and ultimately, the Hudson River.
  • North Swan Street Park, Arbor Hill  North Swan Street Park is a revitalization initiative for Arbor Hill and another implemention project from their neighborhood plan.
  • Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) includes creative development that aims to reduce urban sprawl, reduce traffic emissions and create a viable integrated mixed-use community.

Regional Sustainability Planning    NYSDEC Smart Communities



From The Mayor's Office