Barrett Creates “Milwaukee Green Team”

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants to improve the environment in the city, but he says he wants to do so in a business-friendly manner.

Earlier this year, Barrett created the Milwaukee Green Team, comprised of 11 business, community and environmental leaders, whose mission will be to create a plan to make the city’s environment cleaner.

One of the Green Team’s workgroups will determine if the city should require private developers to include green technology in their projects when public financing is provided.

"We will set a Milwaukee Green Standard that provides leadership and practical solutions to help keep our water and air clean, our resources conserved and our people prosperous," Barrett said. "I’ve asked the Milwaukee Green Team to seek opportunities to make us a greener, cleaner city without putting us or the private sector in the red."

The members of the Green Team are: City Planner and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Architecture School Dean Robert Greenstreet; Sixteenth Street Community Health Center environmental health director Peter McAvoy; Cross Development Group Inc. owner Carla Cross; Alterra Coffee owner Lincoln Fowler; Alderman Ashanti Hamilton; Legacy Redevelopment Corp. president Sally Peltz; former mayoral senior aide James Rowen; Greater Milwaukee Committee president Julia Taylor; The Brico Fund president Lynde Uihlein; UWM associate professor of architecture James Wasley; and Milwaukee Department of Public Works environmental services superintendent Preston Cole.

"The Milwaukee Green Team will not only look at what’s going on in the public sector, they will take inventory of all of the innovative green products taking place in the private sector," Greenstreet said. "We want this group to serve as a resource to help promote the best green ideas."

The city is setting an example to promote green building construction with the Highland Gardens public housing facility at 1818 W. Juneau Ave. The building has a green roof, with plants on top of the roof that will absorb stormwater, reducing runoff into the city’s sewer system which has been overburdened during some storms, forcing overflows. Green roofs save energy costs by reducing the heat absorbed by the roof.

In addition, the city’s Department of Public Works building under construction at the former Tower Automotive site features several energy efficient design elements.

Barrett said his vision for the Milwaukee Green Team is to find innovative solutions that conserve resources and improve the quality of life for residents, yet are financially beneficial for the building owners.

"I’m asking the Milwaukee Green Team to show me the money," Barrett said. "Show me how businesses can save money in the long run using green technology and show me how more city residents can earn money by taking jobs in the environmental field. Studies show this is a fast-growing job sector in the rust belt."

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