Since taking office, Mayor Liccardo has proposed building on the San José's decade-old “Green Vision” with a new Sustainability Plan that will sharpen its focus and broaden its reach. Rather than merely greening municipal operations or city vehicle fleets, the new Sustainability Plan will engage our entire community in this effort, because sustainability is everybody’s work. Research, analysis and outreach is already underway to develop a proposed framework that will allow San José to set a new standard for sustainability, with the goal of adopting a final Sustainability Plan by Fall 2017. Learn more about, and provide input towards, the development of San José's Environmental Sustainability Plan.
California has suffered from a severe drought and, despite seasonal rains, these dry periods threaten to become a recurring threat. Cities have the opportunity, however, to use advanced filtration technologies in order to turn wastewater into potable water that is more pure than California’s drinking water standards. Mayor Liccardo has championed the use of highly purified recycled water to help augment our mainstream potable water supply and replenish our depleted groundwater system. In particular, he has pursued partnerships with Santa Clara Valley Water District to significantly expand the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility's water purification capacity and help create a more sustainable water supply for our residents. Read more about recycled water projects on the Environmental Services Department website.
For decades, San José has served as the sprawling and suburban bedroom community for the Bay Area, hampering both its fiscal and environmental aspirations. Mayor Liccardo has worked aggressively to adopt and implement sustainable "smart growth" policies that will help reduce sprawl, traffic congestion and greenhouse gases, and help preserve San Jose's hillsides and open spaces. For example, he has sought to prioritize infill projects and high-density development along key transit corridors. In addition, as the former chair of the General Plan 2040 task force, he has supported the vision of creating vibrant, mixed-use urban villages that promote transit use, bicycle facilities and walkability. Read more about the City's sustainable development and growth initiatives on the Planning Department's website.
Approximately 78 percent of the electricity used in San José homes and businesses comes from nonrenewable sources, generating 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. As part of the City's goal to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy sources, Mayor Liccardo successfully pushed the City Council to adopt a Community Choice Energy program, which provides San Jose residents and businesses with the option to purchase a more renewable source of electricity, including a 100% GHG-free option. Read more about the City's Community Choice Energy initiative.