Lupardo Convenes Green Economy Summit

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) today convened a Green Economy Summit with over 60 invited community leaders to discuss opportunities in the Southern Tier. The summit featured Susan Christopherson, Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, and Gay Nicholson, Program Coordinator, Sustainable Tompkins.

Susan Christopherson, Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, spoke about “Enhancing the Economic Development Impact of an Energy Transformation in New York.” Gay Nicholson, Program Coordinator, Sustainable Tompkins, spoke about “A Systems approach to Creating Green Jobs.”

Local economies that use “green” principles:

  • invest in research and development of clean, renewable energy for economic growth;
  • are actively developing a “green collar” workforce;
  • understand that agriculture is a major economic driver, with vast potential in terms of the production of local foods and for renewable fuels; and
  • are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

The good news is that here in Broome County and in the Southern Tier we are already leading the way in many of these areas. Our university and community college, county and local governments, manufacturers, homebuilders, engineers, architects, farmers, energy consultants, environmentalists, policy makers, etc. have all played an important role in advancing these “green” ideas.

“We have many of the elements of a green economy here in Southern Tier. The one thing we have yet to do is incorporate all of our ‘green’ efforts into a unified economic strategy,” said Lupardo. “Bringing together local community leaders is the first step in developing a cohesive approach. My goal for this summit is to produce concrete steps and a comprehensive vision for growing our green economy.”

According to a recent editorial in the Press & Sun-Bulletin (March 25, 2008), “The Southern Tier region really needs to develop a business and residential environment that’s as attractive as its natural environment.” A unified effort to develop and promote a local green economy could very well make our region unique in Upstate New York; making the Southern Tier more attractive to investors, young professionals and residents of all ages.