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. Cycling for Everyone: Develop a complete cycling network that feels safe and attractive to all

    Studies show that most people are open to the idea of cycling, but are discouraged by routes that don't feel safe enough. Vancouver should build a complete network of cycling routes that feel safe and attractive to all, including children, seniors, and novice cyclists. On arterials and other busy streets, bike routes should be physically separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or other barriers (the Carrall Street Greenway and new Dunsmuir bike lanes are good examples). Quieter neighbourhood routes can be made safer through improved traffic calming including reduced motor vehicle speed limits.

    Links: http://vancouver.ca/cycling (City of Vancouver), …

    1,002 votes
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    An ongoing process. Many of the City’s recent initiatives (e.g. downtown separated bike lane trial, additional traffic calming on existing routes) work towards this vision. The draft Greenest City action plan will support this idea, and include directions to help inform the upcoming transportation plan update and new active transportation plan.

  2. Encourage urban food production

    Urban vegetable gardens and container planting can go a long way towards reducing our food miles and our dependence on imports.

    Successful projects in Mexico and Cuba show us that we can produce a lot of food in the city proper, so why don't we?

    669 votes
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    23 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. Build complete, walkable neighbourhoods interconnected by great transit and cycling routes.

    Transportation and land use go hand in hand. Good land use can reduce the distance people travel and support more sustainable choices like walking and cycling by bringing people closer to their daily destinations.

    The city should provide an appropriate mix of land uses and a high quality pedestrian-oriented public realm. Most services and amenities--such as grocery stores, schools, daycare, parks, community centres, and transit--should be within a safe, enjoyable 5 or 10 minute walk from where people live. Longer trips should be easily served by high quality transit and cycling options.

    Links: http://www.vtpi.org/landtravel.pdf, http://vancouver.ca/planning/

    599 votes
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    18 comments  ·  Encourage shorter vehicle trips  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    This is an evolutionary process. The City of Vancouver is already considered a North American leader in this regard. Current and future plans and projects (e.g. Cambie Corridor Planning Program) will continue to embrace this ideal.

  4. Drinking water fountains + bottled water ban

    Ban bottled water. Install public fountains instead! Make sure they're designed so you can fit a tall Sigg steel water bottle underneath to fill it.

    Many restaurants and cafes are nice enough to provide water taps/pitchers and glasses - encourage the rest to do so.

    426 votes
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    started  ·  26 comments  ·  Use less water  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. Develop a city-supported urban farming program

    Community gardens and farmers markets are on the rise in Vancouver, but there remains a need for more productive farms (market gardens) to produce significant amounts of local food.

    There are more and more people interested in getting into farming as a livelihood, but barriers such as high land values and low profit margins in traditional farming make entry difficult.

    The City could develop a municipally-supported urban farming program where city-owned land would be affodably leased to prospective farmers for a season to gain experience, earn an income, and produce food for local residents. This could be coupled with a…

    240 votes
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    10 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. Create more community gardens

    Provide more opportunities for the creation of community gardens. Existing community gardens should be preserved and enhanced. Encourage community gardens on school grounds for educational and aesthetic purposes.

    227 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    City has already moved beyond the 2,010 (garden plots) by 2010 challenge. Three new gardens were created in the summer of 2010 and others are currently in the planning stage. This is an idea included in the Draft Greenest City Action Plan.

  7. Support Urban Farming Entrepeneurship

    Urban farming from an entrepreneurial approach holds one of the most exciting possibilities for urban food production. Urban farming is a great way for Vancouver to achieve “worldwide entrepreneurial recognition” and create sustainable urban jobs.

    Other successful urban farming systems (i.e., Havana, Cuba; Detroit, Michigan) have developed out of necessity and urgency. Such conditions do not yet exist in Vancouver. Yet urban farming, which is now a multi-million dollar “industry” in North America, holds the potential to create economic opportunities for those wanting to engage in urban food production; provide the most local food possible to Vancouver residents (and visitors);…

    215 votes
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    7 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Organic, Fair Trade and Low carbon agricultural products

    Promotion of Fair Trade, organic and low carbon imports. Why not take social and environmental responsibility for your consumption? People will always want an avocado, mango, a cup of coffee or tea on their tables. There are agricultural products that can not been grown locally, so why not import them but making sure they are low carbon, and that they are not harming our planet and its producers?

    100 votes
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    7 comments  ·  Lighter Footprint  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. Indoor farmer's markets and community garden spaces for winter months.

    Create indoor farmer's markets and community garden spaces for winter months in order to support healthy eco-living and eating.

    94 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. make food not lawns

    Stop planting grass and instead plant food that people can eat. The big living roof on the convention centre has grass right now but it, and other roofs and lawns could have edible plants living on them.

    74 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  11. Prioritize cycling infrastructure and policy

    Vancouver will not convince anyone of being the 'greenest' city without a huge modal shift towards cycling, walking, and public transit.

    Cycling infrastructure is already improving (e.g., new Dunsmuir two-way bike lane), but policy needs to improve (e.g., a transportation hierarchy, with pedestrians followed by cyclists at the top).

    Also, we will NEVER get the general population cycling daily without repealing mandatory helmet legislation. It just won't happen -- it's too inconvenient.

    73 votes
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  12. Bring community gardeners together with those who have extra yard space

    Create a program for homeowners & community gardeners to work together. For example, elderly people who want to stay in their homes but can no longer maintain their yards, would have their yards maintained by gardeners, in exchange for garden space in the home owner's yard to grow food.

    69 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. Zero waste

    Create a Zero Waste Plan as has been done in other cities to reduce waste on a timeline of progress

    64 votes
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    12 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. 62 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Build carbon neutral new buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. Materials Reuse/ Exchange Program

    Similar to the Industrial Materials Exchange Program, small businesses and the public will be able to log into a database to list materials (such as packing paper, bubble wrap, shelving units, etc.) that they would like to give away for free before they are forced to throw it away. Using this principle of community-resource-exchange, our company was able to reduce their waste dramatically. The success of such a program will dependent on the promotion of it to the public and small businesses. Maybe a database and already popular site such as craigslist would be interested in a collaborative effort in…

    57 votes
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    started  ·  3 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. 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 →
  17. install many many more public washrooms

    Install Many Many More Public Washrooms ... no this idea is not off topic! There are so few public washrooms in Vancouver that it’s a barrier to walking, biking and taking transit even for people with mature, healthy bladders, let alone when one considers the needs of Seniors and parents with young children. With the the paltry offering of public washrooms, who can reasonably view this City as transit and alt. car friendly? The ready access to washrooms is one reason people plan car trips to Shopping Malls and Big Box retailers rather than walk, bike or take transit to…

    49 votes
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    Good idea! In the past few years, the City has installed 8 of 16 self-cleaning toilets as part of its street furniture contract with CBS-Decaux, and is looking for additional locations. (As an aside, locating them can be challenging due to limited public sidewalk space, a lack of utility connections, and concerns from adjacent businesses.) New public restrooms have also been installed as part of recent park upgrades. There is also a huge opportunity and need at transit interchanges, but this is outside the City’s jurisdiction — Vancouver has repeatedly requested (and will continue to ask) that TransLink install restrooms in its rapid transit stations.

  18. Urban Orchards

    Create urban orchards in every neighbourhood ( cherry, apple, fig, berries, plums, apricots and peaches). Employ staff to maintain these and to teach people how to preserve and use the harvest. Graft producing branches to existing cherry, plum, apple root stock.

    48 votes
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    6 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  19. 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 →
  20. A Call to Town Hall - Plant Veggies, not Flowers

    A Call to Town Hall - Plant Veggies, not Flowers
    Poverty Reduction, Environment Protection and Community Building

    Goal
    Reduce poverty, involve community, promote healthy lifestyles, reduce personal and city spending, create a well connected and safer community, add natural nutrients back to top soil, and educate about healthy living and healthy food.

    Most cities and towns have multiple flower gardens that are taken care of by city workers. Call your local city hall, ask them to plant hardy vegetables in garden spots instead of the usual flowers. Vegetable plants produce very beautiful flowers that turn into edible veggies like Squash,…

    41 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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