What is your role at NYCHA?
I started at NYCHA more than a year ago. My first task was coordinating the development of the Sustainability Agenda, which was released last year on Earth Day. There are a lot of initiatives that came out of the Sustainability Agenda that are new to this agency that I’ve been helping to unfold since May, such as open data, call for innovations, and solar.
We want to train residents in green technology because the solar industry is a fast growing industry that could lead to long-term jobs for them.
Tell us more about the initiatives you are working on.
Open data is pretty simple; it’s complying with our commitment to be transparent about our energy data in terms of our buildings’ use of gas, electricity, and oil for heating, hot water and cooking purposes. With the Mayor’s NYC Open Data Portal, we put our data on the system so that people can access it whenever they want. The solar program will install solar panels on roofs to generate green energy. We have a huge asset in our buildings as most of them have flat roofs and not a lot of shading because of their height. We can’t put a solar installation on a roof that hasn’t been recently replaced, so we will roll out our program in parallel with the roof replacement program. We want to earn revenue from using our roofs for solar installations, but we also want to train residents in green technology because the solar industry is a fast growing industry that could lead to long-term jobs for them. Call for innovations is a new process we set up in partnership with the Mayor’s Office for Technology and Innovation as a way to, in full transparency, tell whatever industry that is concerned that we have an opportunity to test a pilot installation in one of our buildings, and we want to learn from the installation and, if it makes sense, procure it later.
How does your work relate to NextGeneration NYCHA?
I see my job as connecting NYCHA to the future and its challenges, including climate change. I work on new processes and technical projects. As a critical agency for New Yorkers, we need to keep up-to-date with the industry and future considerations, not lag behind.