How can we reach our 2020
Greenest City Targets?

GC 2020

How can we reach our 2020 Greenest City targets?

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  1. Bring Life to our Rooftops

    The roofs of Vancouver are an un-tapped resource from both a social and biodiversity perspective. The City could initiate a program to encourage the conversion of existing flat, inaccessible roofs to useable, productive greenspace. This could include omitting rooftop access points (stairs & elevators) from height restrictions, providing tax breaks to buildings that eliminate rainwater runoff to the sewer system, or establishing financing mechanisms and consultation to support stratas and individuals undertaking renovations.

    The scale of conversion could range from installing standard green-roof systems to rooftop decks with planter boxes to full scale rooftop agriculture. This would help bring back…

    148 votes
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      9 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Ease the bureaucracy for laneway homes in Van. Dense living where we work, play, shop! Less sprawl!

      Laneway homes are beautiful, sustainably designed, detached family or single life dwellings. They fit into areas with houses and neighbourhoods that already exist. They take the place of old poorly used garages or unused back gardens. Less freeway traffic to get to the city; less pressure on our agricultural land reserve; less urban sprawl out into the valley.

      51 votes
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        7 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Energy Retrofit Financing

        Provide low-cost financing for building and home owners to retrofit our built environment with energy efficient measures and technologies. Look towards PACE & On-bill structures and incorporate energy management software to database and report the savings to all invovled parties.

        44 votes
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          2 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Empower apartment residents to hang their laundry to dry

          Many strata and co-op buildings prohibit drying laundry on balconies or outside. Hanging to dry uses far less energy than using a dryer. Pass a by-law: prohibit the prohibition!

          43 votes
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            3 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Require Timer Light Swtiches & Motion Sensors for Lights in Building Code / Existing Bldg Retrofits

            It boggles the mind why in North America we light up our interior corridors, parkades and other common areas in buildings 24/7. Motion sensored lights in large parkades and common areas, and light switches on times in corridors and stairwells would keep people just as safe and give them light when it was needed, stopping the energy waste of having lights on all the time. It would also reinforce the conservation mentality that people might then bring into their homes as well.

            39 votes
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              0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Green roofs and Living walls

              Make green roofs and living walls mandatory or at least implementing a city bylaw forcing people (at least commercial and industrial buildings) to have a minimum of their walls and roofs covered with plants.

              39 votes
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                1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Develop a restoration economy

                Promote preservation and redevelopment rather than new development whenever possible in order to minimize destruction of natural and cultural heritage. Capitalize on underutilized and abandoned infrastructure. Revitalize places that have already been developed. Create incentives for the preservation and restoration of buildings rather than tearing them down. This could include incentives for improvements in energy efficiency; community access to services; and improvement or creation of habitat around buildings, for instance.

                27 votes
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                  1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Laneway Mini-Lots

                  Laneway houses are a great trend, but being able to subdivide lots from typical 122 x 33 to, for example, 90 x 33 and 32 x 33 would create much more affordable housing stock to purchase by enabling actual sale of laneway houses, and spur more compact, dense residential dev't.

                  25 votes
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                    0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Mandatory Lighting Controls for Commercial buildings

                    Why are there so many office lights on in commercial office buildings, when nobody is occupying those areas. Mandate the use of green lighting controls (Daylight Harvesting, Absence/Presence detection etc.)

                    25 votes
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                      2 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Encourage renovation of existing housing stock rather than demo and rebuild.

                      require new construction to be NET zero and help reduce single family house demolition. The greenest building is one that is already standing.

                      22 votes
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                        8 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Create program for low-income individuals to weatherize existing buildings

                        Create incentives as well as training program for low income / marginalized individuals to weatherize existing buildings.

                        Weatherizing (caulking and weather stripping gaps in walls, win­dows, doors, roof, and floors) is a simple and affordable energy conservation solution that makes a HUGE difference, often with a payback of less than year. There are many existing buildings in Vancouver that are poorly performing due to a lack of weather-proofing.

                        Think of all the green jobs we could create if people were trained in how to do this, and there were incentives make it easier to implement.

                        22 votes
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                          4 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • rain water toilets

                          rainwater can be collected from eco-roofs or rain gutters use in toilets.

                          19 votes
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                            0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Enable home and building owners to retrofit existing buildings for energy efficiency

                            Instead of building it all from scratch, let's fix what we already have... Low hanging fruit here. Maybe we need to tie retrofits to property tax bills to create the right incentives.

                            18 votes
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                              1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Cool roofs to combat the "heat island" impact, and save energy and reduce emissions

                              From July 22 "Science News" (everything old SHOULD be new again...)

                              Global model confirms: Cool roofs can offset carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate global warming

                              Light-colored roofs and pavements would help in 2 ways. First, the "urban heat island" effect would be mitigated. Second, by reflecting incoming solar radiation back into space, the whole globe would, on average, become a bit cooler. In terms of CO2 emissions, an offset of two years worth of emissions could be attained. Provided of course, such a huge amount of light-colored stuff can be produced and installed in a carbon-neutral manner.

                              Can light-colored rooftops…

                              16 votes
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                                2 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Cash and tax incentives for the sale of excess power generated from the installation of solar power.

                                If you want people to follow more than dancing with the stars....wave the green in their face and the city will change. Tie into the grid and allow people the choice of where their excess power goes. If you are paid for the power but it's capped at a monthly amount the rest can be credited to shelters for the homeless and lower income housing. All as a taxable write off of course. The ideas are endless and so is the power!

                                15 votes
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                                  0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Reduce light pollution

                                  Relatively easy to correct and largely the result of bad design, light pollution is a common problem throughout the city. Make sure that lights are designed to focus light downwards and not allowed up into the night sky where it disrupts the diurnal patterns of many species (including people).

                                  14 votes
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                                    1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • City of Vancouver Eco bonds to help home and business owners with green upgrades.

                                    ECO bonds are helping cities throughout the US with renewable energy and efficiency upgrades to their homes and businesses. By leveraging the lower borrowing rates of the city, Vancouver can help citizens get over the high up-front costs of green retrofits by deducting an additional amount from property taxes over a long term - say 20 years - period.

                                    14 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Allow interest free loans for home renos--collect via the property tax over life of home

                                      It is fair, in that, all future homeowners would pay equally for the benefits, rather than asking the current homeowner to carry the burden of paying for 100% of the renos.

                                      13 votes
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                                        2 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • 12 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Free Door to Door Efficiency Upgrades!

                                          Let's have teams of semi-skilled energy and water efficiency technicians provide at-your-door, free upgrade services. It's easy to be lazy when it comes to making our homes more energy and water efficient. Sometime we just need a kick in the pants!

                                          The City could partner with BC Hydro, Terasen Gas, the water utility, and other utilities and energy providers to establish teams of people that take energy/water efficiency information and products door-to-door. The neighbourhood visit schedules would be advertized and specific visits could be requested by citizens.

                                          Citizens would have a choice between products or could choose not to upgrade.…

                                          11 votes
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                                            1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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