Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that Katherine Gajewski has been appointed as the new Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia.  Ms. Gajewski replaces Mark Alan Hughes, the City’s first Director of Sustainability, who left the City last month.

“With the Greenworks Philadelphia framework in place, we now turn to its implementation and Katherine is the perfect person to lead this next phase,” said Mayor Nutter.  “She has a proven track record of working across government, collaborating with outside partners, and implementing major initiatives in a wide range of policy areas.  These are exactly the skills that will help us meet our Greenworks targets.”

Ms. Gajewski will be responsible for the implementation of Greenworks Philadelphia, the City’s sustainability framework unveiled by Mayor Nutter in April 2009.  The framework sets goals in five areas — energy, environment, equity, economy and engagement — and encompasses more than 150 achievable, measurable initiatives.  Implementation of these initiatives will reduce the city’s vulnerability to rising energy prices, limit its environmental footprint, and reposition its workforce and job development strategies to build upon Philadelphia’s competitive advantages in the emerging green economy.

“It is a great privilege to take on this challenge at a time when environmental conservation, energy security, and the creation of new jobs and technologies have rightly become national priorities,” said Katherine Gajewski.  “Achieving Philadelphia’s sustainability goals will require a team effort across government, the Sustainability Advisory Board, the business community, outside organizations, and citizens.  We have made incredible progress over the last 18 months and I look forward to helping Philadelphia move to the next level as a leader in sustainability.”

Katherine has experience of working across city departments on a wide range of issues and has led a number of Mayor Nutter’s major projects.  She has served as Special Assistant to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff since January 2008 having worked on Mayor Nutter’s election campaign and transition.  She was responsible for organizing the annual citywide clean-up, with the first event in April 2008 recognized as the largest single day citywide clean-up in U.S. history.

Former Director of Sustainability Mark Alan Hughes said: “The Mayor has made the perfect choice in Katherine to lead Greenworks where he wants it to be. She will be a steady hand in the hard work of achieving the fifteen ambitious targets the Mayor has set for Philadelphia to great national acclaim. Personally, I could not ask for a better successor.”

At the press conference Mayor Nutter praised the work done by the Sustainability Working Group, a group of city employees throughout city departments working on sustainability issues, and the Sustainability Advisory Board, a group of outside experts co-chaired by Joe Manko and Anne Papageorge, that provides advice and guidance to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Katherine during the mayoral campaign on developing environmental policy,” said Joe Manko.  “Anne and I look forward to working with her to implement the measures contained within Greenworks Philadelphia.”

“With the release of Greenworks Philadelphia, the Director of Sustainability will play a critical role in both coordinating the efforts of city departments to implement the goals set forth, and to engage the public,” said Christine Knapp, a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board and coordinator of the Next Great City initiative.  “The Next Great City looks forward to working with Katherine to help make the next great city the greenest city.”

The position of Director of Sustainability is a Cabinet position.

For more information on Greenworks Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia’s sustainability goals please visit


Katherine Gajewski has served as Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s Office since January 2008.

In this role she managed a number of major citywide projects including the Philly Spring Cleanup which, in its first year, was recognized as the largest citywide clean-up in U.S. history.  She worked closely with Mayor Nutter to appoint many Boards and Commissions, identifying candidates, making recommendations to the Mayor, and setting the direction and focus for these entities.

Katherine has also led a number of the Nutter Administration’s community outreach efforts, playing a major role in the public engagement during this year’s budget process.  She worked with community organizations across the city to organize eight town hall meetings last year that were attended by thousands of people.

She has served as an advisor to Mayor Nutter, Chief of Staff Clay Armbrister, and senior members of the Nutter Administration on a wide range of policy issues, with a particular focus on sustainability.

Prior to joining the Administration, Katherine worked on the Nutter for Mayor campaign coordinating the sustainability and planning policy teams.  She played a key role in Nutter’s transition, coordinating transition teams and searches for senior personnel.  

From 2004-2006, Katherine was the Campaign Coordinator for the Breathe Free Philadelphia Alliance, the coalition that led the successful grassroots campaign to pass smoke-free legislation in Philadelphia.  She later consulted for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to oversee the implementation of the law – including a comprehensive business outreach and public education campaign – which resulted in compliance levels well exceeding expectations.  She also worked as an aide in then Councilman Nutter’s office during 2006.

Before arriving in Philadelphia, Katherine worked for land conservation organizations in Vermont and Seattle.  She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Director of Sustainability Announcement Event

Please join Mayor Michael Nutter tomorrow at 2pm to announce the appointment of the new Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia. The announcement event will take place in the Mayor’s Reception Room in City Hall. Enter City Hall at the NE corner, located at JFK Boulevard and Juniper Street, and sign in with security before heading up to the second floor.

Director of Sustainability Announcement Event
Friday, July 17th – 2pm
Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall Room 202

Please feel free to share this invitation with anyone whom you think may be interested in attending. RSVPs are not required.

We hope to see you tomorrow.

Recycling Rates at All-Time Record

This is from a press release sent out from the Mayor’s Office this morning:

“Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that residential recycling in Philadelphia has reached an all time record with a 46 percent increase in household recycling over the last year. For fiscal year 2009 (July 2008 – June 2009) the Streets Department collected 75,060 tons of waste from Philadelphia households, a 23,734 ton increase from last year. The average household with City collection recycled 278 pounds of their waste last year, 88 pounds more than in the previous year. The diversion rate, the amount of residential waste that ends up in recycling compared to trash, reached a record 12.4 percent, an increase of 5.3 percent since Mayor Nutter took office in January 2008. This amounts to saving of $4.8 million in avoided landfill costs.”

Way to go Philadelphia!

Full Press Release

East-West Bike Corridor

Recently there has been some major progress towards opening an east-west bike corridor through the city. The Street Department in partnership with the Bicycle Coalition recently announced that Pine Street and Spruce Street will have one lane converted into a dedicated bike lane.  While this has been talked about for some time, the City is planning on beginning construction as soon as August. 

Once the lanes are dedicated the City will have a trial period of approximately nine months to see how the change affects traffic patterns and whether it proves popular among bike riders.

Greenworks Philadelphia strongly supports the east-west bike route and hopes that the city’s cyclists get out and show their support by riding on Spruce and Pine.

Green Economy Editorial by Mayor Nutter & Rep. Schwartz

Today the Daily News published an editorial by Mayor Nutter & Rep. Schwartz about Greenworks Philadelphia and the Green Communities Act and how each contributes to both economic growth and sustainable, livable communities. Please read about how the goals and strategy laid out in Greenworks Philadelphia is helping set the tone for a national legislative push led by Rep. Schwartz.