Under Kasim’s leadership, the City of Atlanta emerged as a national and international leader in sustainability, including major expansions of public greenspace. We can pick the mantle up and continue our forward progress. Here’s how:
- Continue to expand and improve Atlanta’s parks, community farms and greenspace.
- Reduce the number of gas-powered vehicles in the city’s fleet.
- Update the City’s building code to require sustainable electric infrastructure and passive solar design techniques.
- Partner with the City’s restaurants and food banks to divert food waste away from landfills.
- Add more charging stations at Hartsfield-Jackson and other appropriate locations.
- Encourage more green office space.
- Continue flood mitigation efforts in affected locations.
While Kasim was Mayor, the Department of Parks and Recreation acquired an additional 171 acres of land in the City of Atlanta, including 15 new parks, serving as the largest greenspace accessibility percentage jump in more than 40 years, and Atlanta emerged as a national and international leader in sustainability. Atlanta was the first city in Georgia to pass a Climate Action Plan and was ranked first in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge with over 100 million square feet of space in over 550 buildings.
Perhaps most significantly for Atlanta’s future sustainability and resilience, Kasim led the effort that invested $321 million dollars into creating the Bellwood Quarry Reservoir in what will soon open as Westside Park, Atlanta’s largest park. This massive infrastructure project allows water from the Chattahoochee River to be channeled to the quarry site providing Atlanta a 30-day supply of drinking water.
Sustainability is critical to Atlanta’s future. Kasim understood that in 2016 when Atlanta became a member of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Initiative (100RC), and when he appointed the city’s first Chief Resilience Officer and created the Resilient Atlanta strategy. Although some progress has been made, there is much to do. Kasim will re-energize the Office of Resilience and move with urgency on the recommendations in our report.