How can we reach our 2020
Greenest City Targets?

GC 2020

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  1. Reduce peak electricity demand

    Vancouver can be a model of a community that works together to reduce its peak electricity demand and thus the generation capacity needed to sustain it. It can do this through proper monitoring of usage in both residential and commercial buildings and financial incentives to reduce beyond savings on the bill. Make Vancouver a model, and once shown successful, this model can be expanded to other BC cities and beyond.

    10 votes
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    started  ·  0 comments  ·  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. Solidify Laneway Housing Through Ownership Incentives

    Developing a process that will facilitate homes with lanes to be able to subdivide back to front would solidify and incentivize the production of laneway houses, effectively doubling the density in parts of the city without breaking the small scale character of neighbourhoods. The current program allows for lane way houses to be produced with an incentive from rental income, but with current development costs and real estate market the process is not readily viable at a city-wide scale and many home owners do not see enough benefit to warrant financing such a project. However, with the incentive of being…

    9 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. Green Events Guide for all city and community events

    Many cities have green guides for all events that take place within their boundaries. Some have embedded it into policy and groups running events must abide by the city requirements. Let's follow suit and get to zero waste.

    1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  Lighter Footprint  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Re-Utilizing the heat from potable water ( Dishwasher, Shower, ... )

    We could use the potential heat from our shower, dishwasher and other source of hot water that we utilize everyday and utilize the energy to heat the hot water again ( Re-use it for a thermal recovery )

    13 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. More car diverters on busy bike routes

    Add more car diverters to busy bike routes: they work!

    15 votes
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    The City implemented several new trial diverters on various bike routes in the summer of 2010. This is part of a program to reduce non-local traffic volumes on those bikeways and to make the bikeways more comfortable for cyclists for all ages and abilities. The pending active transportation plan will explore opportunities for further traffic calming on our bikeways.

  6. Awnings

    Encourage Awnings - Connected dry cover improve pedestrian traffic in a rainy city. @ More bus shelters that really shelter.

    20 votes
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    Weather protection will be highlighted as an important design consideration for the pedestrian realm. Many parts of the city (e.g. most of the downtown, most commercial areas) already include design guidelines for weather protection and design guidelines (including requirements for awnings). However, there may be more opportunities to encourage existing buildings to add awnings (and similar weather protection) through renovation and building facade improvement programs.

  7. 12 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. 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 →
  9. 9 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. Improve Neighbourhood Roundabouts to provide for safe pedestrian crossing

    Neighbourhood roundabouts are being developed across the city. These roundabouts serve to maintain a comfortable traffic flow for cars and cyclists on residential streets. Unfortunately, due to their design, these roundabouts fail to provide security for pedestrians since there are no visual cues to suggest that pedestrians even have a right to cross the street. In a local classroom survey, grade 4’s exclaimed that they feel unsafe crossing at these roundabouts and I regularly see uncertainty in the eyes and actions of pedestrians crossing at roundabouts.

    There are a number of ways to improve this situation. Here are two examples:

    6 votes
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  11. 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 →
  12. 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 →
  13. 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 →
  14. Celebrate water! Rain water, river water, ocean water -- let's treat it like we love it!

    Some ideas for celebrating water might include...


    • Making beautiful rain-powered water sculptures as public art

    • "Daylighting" our lost creeks

    • Creating new "creeks" (swales) and ponds to manage our stormwater

    • Making sure our rivers and ponds and coastlines stay/get clean enough to swim in and fish in and play in again

    What are your ideas?

    16 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Improve water quality  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. 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 →
  16. Encourage smaller, denser housing

    Many people around the world live in smaller housing units in denser neighbourhoods. In Toronto, many freehold lots are between 15-20 feet wide. The typical Vancouver lot is 33 feet wide. We could double the density in the City by encouraging the development of smaller, attached homes on freehold lots that are 15-16 feet wide. Density alone is not enough to create a livable city, but density will help to reduce emissions as well as helping to improve the affordability of housing in Vancouver.

    39 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Require all properties to capture rainwater/manage rainwater runoff on-site

    In a city like ours, we should not be letting valuable rainwater sheet off the sidewalks and streets all winter, while we use drinking water to flush our toilets!

    While this ventures into the territory of the provincial building code, the City of Vancouver can show leadership in requiring all buildings to capture and manage rainwater run-off on-site (e.g. through rainwater cisterns, stormwater planters, rain gardens, bioswales, etc.). There are many policy precedents for this in Germany, and excellent examples of beautiful rainwater management in Portland.

    Reducing stormwater runoff will reduce incidents of sewage overflow (combined sewer overflow events) into…

    19 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Build carbon neutral new buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. 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 →
  19. Poonergy

    Have city staff invent a machine to capture/burn the heat from your poo and transfer to hot water tank, or sell it into the city grid I mentioned earlier, exploiting a very domestic source of energy.

    1 vote
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    2 comments  ·  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    The Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) in Southeast False Creek provides space heating and domestic hot water to new buildings in the area. The system uses sewage heat recovery to supply most of the annual energy demand (70%). This approach is being considered in other areas. Read more here: http://vancouver.ca/sustainability/building_neu.htm

    Metro Vancouver is also exploring opportunities to generate energy from liquid waste. See also: http://www.metrovancouver.org/about/publications/Publications/ILWRMP.pdf

  20. Backyard Oil Tankers

    Prior to late 1950's, thousands of Vancouver homes were heated with furnace oil, which was stored underground in 300 to 1000 gallon tanks.

    Tanks today are in various corroded states, and present risk of oil leaching into soil and groundwater. Expense of removal and threat of neighbourly litigation create disincentive for dealing with the problem.

    A time-limited window of opportunity should be provided by city for homeownerrs to access 0-interest loans and matching funds to mitigate all kinds of nasty contamination threats.

    Added bonus of creating a few 'green' jobs, and ensuring those backyard gardens won't be growing petrotatoes and…

    7 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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