So you felt sluggish through the Summer heat because of the heat? Think again. A city Department of Health study on summer air quality released yesterday showed a troubling finding: Even quieter neighborhoods that don’t have New York’s infamous crowds, traffic and skyscrapers suffer from high levels of smog…..and this bad air quality contributes greatly to one’s feeling of well being besides the heat.
The report, which examined various types of air pollution, revealed that a variety of contamination occurs throughout the city, depending on the type of neighborhood. “The take-home message here is that the air quality just isn’t great anywhere in New York City. What’s surprising is just how variable the air quality is across the city,” Deputy Health Commissioner Daniel Kass said.
While cars, busses and trucks are a great cause of the pollution, buildings are equally offensive. So will this affect Manhattan real estate? Here is a list of where we think changes can be made to improve the air quality:
1) A greater reliance on hybrid and electric vehicles
2) Increased planting of trees, a tremendous asset in cleansing air.
3) More public transportation.
4) Heavier fines for heavy polluters to persuade them to clean up. What about all those retail stores that keep their front doors open in Summer blasting icy cold air onto the streets while doubling their consumption?
5) More pedestrian zones without traffic, especially Midtown.
6) Buildings wil have to clean up and LEED certification will become a pre-requisite for new construction.
7) Pre-war buildings especially will have to re-think those super-inefficient window units.
8) Existing buildings will have to retrofit with new, more efficient systems throughout, including more energy efficient windows and upgraded insulation.
9) Green roofs, wind and solar power will become more prevelant on building roofs. Think of the MILLIONS of square feet of roof space that could be utilized….
10) Energy efficient thermostats that modify AC use more efficiently.
11) Build smoke chambers on the streets for those pesky smokers who stand in front of buildings smoking up a storm: Maybe if they had to inhale 100% of the smoke they create, not the 10% they take in while puffing, they would re-consider this filthy habit that impacts us all.
“Maybe this is why Rush Limbaugh moved away from New York: For someone so anti-environmental causes, he probably saw how polluted the city was and continues to preach against cleaning up from a less polluted location so that he is not affected by it,” says Leonard Steinberg, leader of the LUXURYLOFT team, a broker specialized in the marketing of luxury New York real estate. “With evidence this clear, it must be extremely difficult to deny that something has to be done to clean up our air: Sitting in an air-conditioned studio, or the back of a Maybach of course does not help expose you to the realities of life.”