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Mayor Nutter spoke to Mark Alan Hughes class Credit: Mordechai Treiger

“I would suggest one word for your generation: green,” Philadelphia Mayor and Penn alumnus Michael Nutter told Penn students Tuesday.

Nutter delivered an address to professor Mark Hughes’ “Sustainability in Action” class Tuesday morning in Meyerson Hall. Nutter’s speech was the first in a series of nine addresses to be made by professionals across various departments.

Offered for the first time this semester, “Sustainability in Action” is an effort to bring both students and teachers together and compare different perspectives on the issue of sustainability. Over the semester, students will be encouraged to “connect the dots” to find a solution to a “generation-defining challenge.”

In his speech, Nutter elaborated on his city-wide initiative — Greenworks Philadelphia — which is essentially a framework to enable Philadelphia to become the number-one green city in America by 2015. The program brings together various departments and groups in the city to achieve its goal. Of 169 planned initiatives, 80 percent have already been implemented, Nutter claimed.

“There is an individual, community, corporate and civic component,” Nutter said. “Anyone who wants to can get involved, and we encourage them to challenge existing ideas.”

“Sustainability is inherently collaborative, and we have to deal with challenges in practical ways,” Hughes said.

His class has both a local and a global component to discourage the wrong assumption that all practices happen in the U.S. “For instance,” he said, “the best water management ideas come from Bangladesh.”

College senior Elise Harrington, an environmental studies major and member of the “Sustainability in Action” class, said she believes Mayor Nutter’s address provided “the opportunity to re-examine our campus and its different initiatives as part of the larger Philadelphia framework.”

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