Vision Long Island's 10th Annual Smart Growth Summit - EmPower Solar

Vision Long Island’s 10th Annual Smart Growth Summit

EmPower Solar was excited to participate in Vision Long Island’s 10th Annual Smart Growth Summit on Friday November 18th, an event focused on promoting Smart Growth opportunities in the Long Island area.

“The issue’s we are dealing with today are similar to a man walking blindfolded toward the edge of a cliff”, says Senator Schumer during the event’s luncheon, “if we don’t stop and change our path soon, we will fall fast”. The Senator shares a similar concern with many of the stakeholders in the Long Island area. In tough economic times, many wonder about the most effective ways to revitalize their communities.

Vision Long Island is a not-for-profit organization working to build economically and environmentally sustainable communities through so called “Smart Growth”initiatives. EmPower Solar has supported and sponsored Vision Long Island for 3 years.

Smart growth means building urban, suburban and rural communities with housing and transportation choices near jobs, shops and schools. This approach supports local economies and protects the environment. Keynote speaker, John Norquist (former Mayor of Milwaukee, WI) spoke passionately about the importance of New Urbanism which focuses on the restoration of urban community. He says there is a demand for compact neighborhoods with mixed use buildings that are sustainable and convenient. If people can work where they live this will cut down on commuting expenses and improve quality of life.

A recurring theme throughout the event was the general idea of innovation, or establishing change in the community. Many believe that we must first understand the root of the problems we face today in order to generate real change.

EmPower CEO, David Schieren, spoke on the Energy & Smart Growth panel. This panel was moderated by Richie Kessel (former President of NYPA and Chairman of LIPA Board of Trustees). The discussion focused on introducing innovative alternative energy and energy efficiency solutions to communities.

EmPower Solar’s commitment to more innovative and sustainable means of energy is an important piece to this bigger picture. We share many of the same goals and philosophies as Vision Long Island and see solar energy as part of the solution to a better future in New York and around the world.

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