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St. Louis Mayor Krewson Touts Development Projects And Climate Change Efforts

Mayor Lyda Krewson at St. Louis City Hall On April 17, 2019.
Andy Field | St. Louis Public Radio
Mayor Lyda Krewson at St. Louis City Hall On April 17.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson presented a two-year report at City Hall Wednesday touting the city’s completed and ongoing development projects. She also highlighted the city’s efforts to tackle climate change.

The report says that $8 billion in projects have been recently completed or are underway. These include the Gateway Arch Park and Museum, the Soldiers Memorial and Ballpark Village.

In 2018, the city issued more than $1.22 billion in building permits, which the report said is $500 million more than the previous year. The permits translate into nearly 4,000 new jobs, more than 6,000 residential units, 2.2 million square feet in new commercial space and more than 2,000 new hotel rooms, according to the report.

The report also says that the design for the 97-acre National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency western headquarters has commenced. The report reads that this $1.7 billion project will lead to 3,100 permanent and 1,500 construction jobs.

Tackling Climate Change

“This is the 30th year of Earth Day. So I think it’s important to take stock of that, especially when in our country we are thankfully talking more and more about our environment,” Krewson said.

Earth Day is April 22.

The city was declared a winner of Mike Bloomberg’s“American Cities Climate Challenge” in October. Krewson said that as part of the two-year program, the city will receive around $2.5 million in technical support to reduce air pollution and citywide emissions.

During the event at City Hall, Krewson said the city’s program application stated its goals “to improve energy efficiency in public and private buildings, execute a comprehensive solar action strategy and to accelerate the availability of electric-vehicle infrastructure.”

“We are very excited about it, and we hope our participation in it will really help us meet our challenges,” she said.

The city’s goal is to transition into 100% clean energy by 2035.

"In line with that goal, we are beginning to explore a variety of ways to use solar energy, not only to help the environment but to create local green jobs and support workforce development,” said Krewson.

The mayor also mentioned the city’s Recycle Responsibly educational campaign, which is spreading awareness of the detrimental effects of plastic bags in recycling.

“They clog up the equipment, they shut down the line and break the equipment. And they also force items which would otherwise be recyclable,” Krewson said. “But if you put that in a plastic bag, and that in a dumpster, then they are not recyclable, they go to the landfill. None of us want that.”

Krewson also presented a map of the Wells Goodfellow Neighborhood Green Space project. The plan will convert nine acres of vacant parcels in the Wells Goodfellow Neighborhood to community green space.

“To create this green space is going to result in new recreation space, new open space, low-lying native grasses, flowers, fruit trees, walking trails and improved lighting in this neighborhood,” Krewson said. “It’s a great example, I think, of transforming vacant properties into an asset for the neighborhood.”

Follow Andy Tsubasa Field on Twitter @AndyTsubasaF

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