Bike Share kiosks in downtown. Electrical car seedbox stations in the supermarket. Over 15 kilometers of new rail lines being constructed. Wind generators and solar on roof tops. Solar-powered mini offices at parks and schools. E-cycling and polystyrene foam recycling. Urban landscapes surrounding office structures. LEED-accredited historic buildings. Complete Streets in urban neighborhoods. Obtainable and recreation-oriented bayous. |
What City is this you request? Houston, and not only is Houston going green, this remarkable city has become a technology mecca with a number of web hosting businesses developing strong relationships in town.
Observe the recommendations of a firm carefully, especially those featured on their site. Several hosting companies offer inexpensive plans on their website, but there are few that are situated within the great state of Texas, and maybe even less with a very long history in the City of Houston.
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The New Houston.
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Development, creativity along with a black gold-rush nature dominated industrial Houston in the turn of the past millennium - putting Houston on the map as an economical leader.
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Now, Houston is at a historical juncture. Choice - drivers for the city along with the region are now not only economic. There's an emerging recognition that the town has the blocks to really be one of the most livable, fair and sustainable places in the country, and direct another revolution: the green revolution.
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What are these blocks? Recently, Forbes Magazine set Houston as the top city for youthful experts. And youthful professionals drive innovation and use fresh thinking to resolve old issues. Houston features a business-friendly environment as well as a plethora of big corporations running business in fresh ways. Houston has high average earnings plus a concentration of graduates from elite colleges from throughout the nation. Additionally, for the very first time in thirty twelvemonths, the Safer Houston Region Research revealed a significant increase in the number of residents who support mass transportation and favor a less automobile-dependent, more urbanized life-style. And Mayor Annise Parker's forward thinking and innovative tactics and initiatives are placing Houston in the map as a national green leader.
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What's most fascinating about Houston is that few folks think it is going to lead the green revolution. Yet this sleeping giant is beginning to awaken. Houstonians want to save money and love a great challenge.
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At the turn of the past century, abundant resources made a nationwide financial leader to Houston. In the change of the century, rich assets can do exactly the same. Texas has, by far, the greatest installed wind energy capability of any U.S. express. The seventh biggest entire purchaser within the state and the Town of Houston capitalized on this and is recognized by the EPA as the number 1 municipal customer of green energy.
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The City has a strong partnership with all the University of Houston's Faculty of Architecture's Green Building Components Program. Their progressive teachers has developed the first removable solar powered office / generator, along with the Town, through a grant, has purchased 17 of these units for other uses and emergency preparedness. Houston also lately received two large grants to test out new kinds of rooftop solar technologies and lessen the cost of solar for occupiers.
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Houston doesn't just create ways to utilize electricity, Houston actually uses less electricity. The Town knows about energy efficiency: over 80 City facilities are likely to reach guaranteed energy use savings of 30% with paybacks of, on average, less-than a decade.
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The City also wants energy efficiency to become part of the city fabric of Houston. Through our Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP), led from the General Services Department, the City has helped 13k Houston citizens weatherize their homes, resulting in 12 20% kWh reduction and $60-125 savings each month. To the industrial side, the award-winning Houston Green Office Challenge and also the City's relationship in the DOE's Better Properties Challenge are encouraging building owners and property managers to find progressive means to decrease their power and water usage and reduce waste.
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We also understand that equally important to encouraging high performing buildings is taking a look at our requirements. In January 2012, the Town, with direction in the General Public Functions and Engineering Division, set the bar large by embracing the Houston Home Energy Code. This code makes Houston's standards 5% above the state code for residential energy performance standards, and in addition needs all new residential buildings to get solar ready. And Houston is set to adopt yet another 5% increase above state code this season.
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It isn't simply about energy efficiency. Houston also embraces green buildings. Presently Houston is number-four in the country in the total number of LEED certified structures with 186 certified projects. Which is up from #7 merely this past year.
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Some of the most impressive bits of the green revolution is the focus on new transport technologies and community transport. Under the direction of City, Houston will soon have three new railroad lines, including more than 15 miles to the system.
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Houston is right at the forefront of the electrical vehicle movement. Houston was clearly one of the first cities to get EV automobiles for a City fleet, which now comprises 40 Nissan Leafs and plug-in hybrids. And with partners for example NRG establishing the first personal investment in public EV charging infrastructure, Houston is leading in electrical vehicle readiness.
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Besides electrical, CNG is offering cleaner, cheaper energy for additional alternatives: In a partnership with Apache, the Airport's new parking shuttles at IAH are now being powered by natural gas.
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With the start of Houston B-cycle, the City's bike-share program is currently possible with 3 stations and 18 bicycles in downtown, with $1 million in dedicated funds to develop to 20 stations and 225 bikes by the fall of 2012. This plan provides a transport alternative for citizens and will help address pollution issues, traffic congestion, and rising petroleum costs.
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As well as the City, under the authority of the Houston Parks Board along with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, recently won a $15 thousand highly competitive U.S. Department of Transportation's 2012 TIGER grant. This undertaking may assist in removing gaps in Houston's bike grid: the project contains building 7.5 miles of off street shared-use paths, 2.8 miles of sidewalks, and 7.9 miles of on street bikeways.
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As well as the desire and vision supporting the Bayou Greenway project has become more of a truth. This proposed linear park system is unparalleled in its breadth and range.
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In The End, sustainability must include urban agriculture. The City Gardens and Farmers Market Effort supports city gardens and markets: the Town has grown numerous new plant gardens (some that are outlined in First Lady Michele Obama's new book, American Grown) and, with its partner Urban Harvest, has encouraged the sale and acquisition of local foods by beginning a weekly farmers market at City Hall, with over 40 vendors.
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Furthermore, the Mayor's Council on Health and also the Atmosphere created an obesity task force to check out the significance of healthful eating and exercise. The Healthy Houston initiative will review and enforce sustainable food policies for Houston to generate work, college, and community environments conducive to increased physical exercise and healthier eating. And under the direction of Councilmember Stephen Costello, Houston is attempting to increase food accessibility and decrease food deserts.
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These initiatives are helping make Houston a developing, booming, modern, green city for the future, a location for guests, a magnet for new citizens plus a city well positioned in the worldwide market.
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