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Reducing Building Emissions in NYC

How Academics Inform Policy

In a recent case study, Lisan DiBartolomeo tells the story of how the Bloomberg administration helped New York City reach its cleanest air quality in 50 years.

Black plumes of smoke billowing into the sky above New York City. Hundreds of New Yorkers suffering premature deaths annually, with many more visiting emergency rooms or being hospitalized each year. The culprit? Air pollution. To address this environmental and public health threat, the Mayor of New York City launched a visionary effort to improve the city’s air quality. As the focus of that effort narrowed to address a major source of locally generated air pollution -- building emissions  -- government officials engaged a wide range of stakeholders. Those stakeholders included environmental and health advocates, the real estate and business communities, unions, community-based organizations and academics, who often find themselves isolated from policymaking processes because of time and resource constraints. With environmental and health advocates differing from the real estate and business communities on the best solution to reduce building emissions, academics from New York University shared an important quantitative analysis of an emerging policy proposal with stakeholders. That timely analysis, delivered at a critical juncture in the process, helped inform the outlook of some stakeholders. 

Read DiBartolomeo's full case study here.

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