Mainz deputy mayor's green Louisville tour brings him to UofL
Louisville and the Partnership for a Green City played host to Wolfgang Reichel, deputy mayor of Mainz, Germany, Feb. 24, to introduce him to the unique "green" initiatives in the city.
While in town, Reichel saw the University of Louisville's Clinical and Translational Research Building, which recently received LEEDS Gold certification for its energy-saving features; visited the UofL-based Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, which has received federal stimulus money this year to expand advisory services to schools and businesses; toured Ramsey Middle School, which incorporates several green features in its operation; and talked with city, Jefferson County Public Schools and UofL representatives.
Reichel is in the United States to attend the "Expert Meeting: Climate Change Solutions for U.S. and German Cities." The conference brings together representatives from German cities with those of their U.S. sister cities. Mainz and Louisville are sister cities.
The goal is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and the start of efforts to work toward joint solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"Partnerships are important, whether they are local or with our Sister Cities," said Brent Fryrear, director of the Partnership for a Green City. "Germany uses solar power more effectively than other countries, and they are certainly 'green,' so there are lessons we can learn for the Partnership for a Green City.
"We hope that our information exchange here could lead to program exchanges with Mainz," he said. "Public partners share their successes and recreate efforts to green our cities. It would be excellent if Mainz was able to do something that we started in Louisville, and visa versa."
The German Federal Agency for the Environment started the initiative, which also has German cities working with their sister cities in Japan. Estimates are that Germany, the United States and Japan cause about 30 percent of the worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.
The Partnership for a Green City is a joint effort among UofL, Louisville and JCPS.