Green Urban Efforts Series Part 3 – Fort Worth, TX

By John Rose, August 7, 2015, Green

Green Urban Efforts Series Part 3: Fort Worth, TXWelcome to our Green Urban Efforts Series! With each installment, we’ll showcase how major cities in our service area can help you go green. If you live in or near these locales, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities provided. And if you live outside these areas, we recommend you bringing these ideas to your local government. It’s easy to make a difference in our world when we all do our part!

It’s a common misconception that Texas hasn’t embraced a green state of mind, but cities and counties across the Lone Star State are working hard to change notion, and Fort Worth is no exception. Public and private entities throughout the city are not only going green, they are also working together to promote lasting results. Here are a few of the green initiatives and activities that are helping to change how you see Fort Worth.

Let’s start with one of the crown jewels of Fort Worth: TCU.  From academics to athletics, Texas Christian University has a lot to boast about, yet one of thing that we do not hear much about is its success in going green. While the environmental studies faculty has contributed countless hours to impressive green initiatives both in Fort Worth and abroad, TCU itself has quietly worked to be a clean and responsible member of the Fort Worth community. A few examples include the deconstruction and recycling of old buildings, active energy use monitoring, the use of chiller plants, and CO2 sensor controlled automated temperature systems.

Green Urban Efforts Series Part 3: Fort Worth, TXThe City of Fort Worth is also getting involved in some interesting and innovative ways. First, the city actively promotes the concept of complete streets, which involves pedestrian and cycle friendly roadways. In addition to complete streets, the city is championing the multi-use development paradigm by creating live/work/shop urban village areas throughout the city. Together, these two urban planning concepts help to reduce both urban sprawl and automobile use within the city.

After several years of crippling drought, there is little debate regarding the need to cut back on landscape watering. In an effort to tackle this issue, the City of Fort Worth has teamed up with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) for another green initiative: the EcoScape Residential Summer Landscape Contest. In its third year, applicants are judged on their ability to create aesthetically pleasing water-efficient landscape designs, which serves to educate the local community that drought-friendly landscaping is not only beneficial, but also beautiful.

Another effort undertaken by the City of Fort Worth has garnered praise from the U.S. Department of Energy. Fort Worth’s Village Creek Water Reclamation Facility has engineered its wastewater treatment plant to utilize methane, a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process, to provide 75% of its operating power. With future upgrades, the facility hopes to bring that number to 100%.

Fort Worth is known for its rich history and tradition, but that hasn’t kept this city from innovating in surprising and exciting ways. Over the last 6 years, I have been astonished at the growth and change in this city, and I’m excited to see what it is going to do next! Please share your green Fort Worth stories with us in the comments section!

Want to read past installments of the series? Check out Part 1 and Part 2!

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