A Couple of Philly Schools Among the Greenest in the Nation

If recent awards and recognition are any indication of a city’s character, Philadelphia might be considered a leading American municipality in terms of sustainability and culture.

In addition to Old City being named one of America’s top art places for 2013 by ArtPlace America, Philadelphia was named as the nation’s fifth most walkable city this year by America Walks. And in University City, where major institutions are spearheading development like that part of town was just recently mapped out, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University were named to the 2013 list of Top 20 College and University Green Power Users.

Landscaping in Penn Park

Penn topped the list, with Drexel coming in at ninth. Green power accounts for forty-eight percent of power used by Penn, and Drexel uses 100 percent green energy. Just last year Penn was recognized as the nation’s largest non-governmental purchaser of wind power. And it’s not just about renewable energy sourcing; Penn also has reduced its peak energy needs by about 18% over the past few years.

New Shoemaker Green at Penn

The world of academia serves as a place for experimenting with innovative technologies. In Philadelphia, our innovations in stormwater management are an international model, and such improvements will help set the course for this city’s shape in the twenty-first century. As Penn continues to contribute to the neighborhood with improvements like Spruce Street Plaza and Drexel intrigues us with its ideas like Chestnut Square, a new gateway to University City, we can only envision how Philadelphia, in each of its neighborhoods will improve.

32nd Street Espanade, planned for Drexel's campus

Students who graduated from Penn or Drexel as recently as the 1990s may not recognize their old campuses today, or the surrounding neighborhoods. With the continuing growth of these educational giants, we imagine they will continue to be leaders in the green energy realm, hopefully helping to improve accessability and affordability for individuals in the near future.

–Lou Mancinelli