Cross Pollinating Ideas- NYC Hires New Sustainability Director from Portland


David Bragdon is headed to NYC photo: Daily Journal of Commerce

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg announced that David Bragdon will take over as NYC's new Director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, the office responsible for the creation and implementation of PlaNYC, the City's twenty year vision for a more sustainable, more populated New York City. Bragdon was most recently the president of the Portland, Oregon Metro Council, an elected body that oversees regional planning, protection of natural areas, handling of solid waste and recycling, and management of regional facilities for over one and a half million people in the Portland metro region. Bragdon will replace Rit Aggarwala, who led the administration's PlaNYC 2030 sustainability agenda. Aggarwala left in June to follow his bride to the West coast and Bragdon will now be heading East to bring his ideas to NYC. Bragdon will have big shoes to fill. Rit has been the backbone of the administration's environmental policy and 127 PlaNYC initiatives. Bragdon brings with him ten years of experience coordinating Portland's land use and transportation planning. Much of this role involved long term planning that will come in handy in his new position. Bragdon was termed out of being Metro Council President again because of term limits. Bragdon credits the City of Portland for giving him the experience of being at the forefront of green buildings, bicycles, and protecting open space. While President at Metro Council, Bragdon helped acquire more than 10,000 acres through two voter-approved bond measures, including a $227 million bond to protect natural areas and stream corridors. The Portland region also has an impressive 56.7% solid waste recycling rate.

Bragdon is also credited with improving the Portland Region Metro Council's financial performance and bringing stakeholders together including local government agencies, businesses, and NGOs. Here is to hoping both these cities benefit from lessons learned through a productive, cross-pollination of ideas!

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