|October 21, 2009|
The Greening of Vancouver
|GLOBE-Net - The City of Vancouver has released its long-term action plan for becoming the greenest city in the world. |
The report, Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future outlines a broad long-term vision for the City, as well as ten specific goals that need to be achieved by 2020 in order to become the global leader in progress toward an environmentally sustainable future.
As outlined by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, a green economy, green jobs, greener communities, and human health are the key facets of the plan.
The Top Ten Goals for 2010 are:
The plan seeks to eliminate Vancouver’s dependence on fossil fuels and in doing so reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent from 2007 levels. Vancouver produces just less than five tonnes per capita with only a few cities in Europe bettering that said Mayor Robertson.
To make Vancouver a world leader in the design and construction of green buildings all new construction in the city will be required to be carbon-neutral and existing buildings will have to improve their energy efficiency by 20 per cent.
A keen cyclist himself, Robertson wants to encourage greener mobility by having more than 50 per cent of residents walking, cycling or using public transit to move around the city. Green travel now comprises 37 per cent of trips, Robertson said, and that "could be helped along by the price of oil in the near future."
The goal of reducing the amount of solid waste per capita that goes to landfills or is incinerated by 40 per cent may prove a contentious. There is considerable debate at the moment in Metro Vancouver over proposals to build a number of waste incinerators to reduce the volume of waste ending up in landfills and to generate energy.
Giving every Vancouver citizen easy access to nature by providing access to green spaces is likely to be well received. Vancouver already is noted for its large amount of green space - and in particular for the spectacular Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America. The City proposes another 150,000 trees to be planted in the city within the next 10 years.
Robertson said the city now has a "four-planet" level of consumption and waste, and the goal is to reduce this footprint from seven hectares to 1.8 hectares per person.
To make Vancouver a global leader in urban food systems and reducing the carbon footprint of food production by 33 per cent opens the possibility of urban farming in the city. Several innovative designs have been proposed elsewhere in the world, and it is possible one or more of these ideas will take root in Vancouver.
The full Green Plan for Vancouver is available here.For More Information: Vancouver Economic Development Commission