The polluted land of our industrial past is being transformed into a greener, more sustainable future. From PlaNYC 2030 to Mayor de Blasio's OneNYC development plan, New York City has been on the path to sustainability for some time. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations have further expanded the city's sustainability-oriented policies. We can see the results in the growing number of bicycle lanes, Citibike's shared bike stations, and the rehabilitation of unused spaces to turn them into parks.
The OneNYC plan for the future development of New York City focuses on growth, sustainability, resilience and equity to ensure that social justice and climate change are managed together. New Yorkers' lifestyles are oriented around urban density, which means that most do not own a car and travel around the city on foot or by public transport. This is beneficial for the environment, as New York City is responsible for 3% of U. S.
greenhouse gas emissions and only 1% of its energy consumption. The stakes are high, as New York City is vulnerable to the effects of climate change in several ways, such as rising sea levels, extreme storms and heat waves. Urban gardens are one of the biggest contributors to New York's new sustainability drive. They combat the urban heat island effect and purify the air New Yorkers breathe on a daily basis.
In addition, New York is home to more than 19,000 acres of natural areas, from forests to salt marshes, freshwater wetlands and streams. The fact that the city's most disadvantaged populations tend to be the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change has prompted New York to take steps to address the connection between climate change and social justice through OneNYC. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the state Department of Health have been working together to institutionalize and update policies aimed at protecting the state's largest freshwater sources. The Department of Urban Planning (DCP) works to reduce New York City's energy consumption and its contribution to climate change by developing growth plans around public transportation, designing walkable urban landscapes and facilitating the design of energy efficient buildings.
As more homeowners seek sustainable options, it is expected that the New York real estate landscape will shift its focus and incorporate more greener options in the near future. New York City is setting an example in demonstrating that viable sustainability can be achieved through specific public policies. With its commitment to green initiatives, it is clear that New York City will remain a leader in sustainability for years to come.