CP photo by Rebecca Addison
Tim Beatley (right) presents Mayor Bill Peduto with a Biophilic City certificate
In May, Pittsburgh officials announced the city's Public Works Department would be eliminating the use of chemical pesticides.
"A lot of people thought there would be pushback from workers who would now have to pull weeds by hand," Mayor Peduto said at a press conference today highlighting the city's environmental efforts. "But the workers were carrying 40-gallon jugs of poison on their backs, and they were breathing it and spraying it and going home and hugging their daughter with it."
Efforts like the pesticide policy have improved Pittsburgh's reputation in the environmental community. And today, the city added another feather to its cap when it was designated as a Biophilic City
"[Biophillia] refers to innate connections to nature," Tim Beatley, Biophilic Cities project director said at today's press conference at Phipps Conservatory. "We believe this is absolutely essential to living a healthy life, to being productive, to having a meaningful existence."
According to Beatley, Biophilic Cities are defined as those that "contain abundant nature ... care about, seek to protect, restore and grow this nature, and strive to foster deep connections and daily contact with the natural world."
"Being part of the Biophilic Cities network means the attention we're going to be placing toward major issues such as air quality, the quality of our water and how we use our land will be central to the decisions city government makes," Peduto said.
The Phipps Conservatory partnered with the city on the application for Biophilic City designation and also plans to dedicate resources to helping the city obtain its goals toward being more biophilic as outlined in the application.