How can we reach our 2020
Greenest City Targets?

GC 2020

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  1. 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 →
  2. Installing a 50 kw Wind Turbine @ Vanier Park to power the MoV, PSC & MM to showcase wind energy

    Vanier Park's ideal location for wind and reducing the GHG's for Vancouver's 3 major museums would not only be beneficial environmentally but would be a major attraction to the public.

    17 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. Provide online tools to help people educate their friends, family, and networks about green actions

    The Sierra Club develop presentation tools for Ottawa's curbside organics collection program. People can use these to give 10-minute presentations in their community to educate others to "do the right thing". Similar tools could be developed for backyard composting, waste reduction, commuter cycling, energy conservation, , etc. Think Toastmasters with a mission.

    2 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Lighter Footprint  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Granville bike/walking corridor

    Granville street was happily car free for years. Cars fluidly use Seymore and Howe for accessing the Granville St. bridge. Let's eliminate the road and parking on Granville St. and replace it with a two way bike path, gardens/parks, public gathering areas and outdoor eating. Having an alternative transportation area in the core of our city will be a strong symbol of our goals.

    5 votes
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    The Rediscover Granville program was a big success in 2009, and the City will be looking to continue and build upon this work in future years. More broadly, the draft Greenest City plan will include directions to explore pedestrian-only and pedestrian-priority streets in the downtown core. Potential locations will be identified at a later date (e.g. as part of the transportation plan update).

  5. Label local/green building materials.

    I would choose local/green building materials if there were some system of assurance. I would prefer to buy BC wood/materials for my house.

    7 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Build carbon neutral new buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. Develop a directory and/or application that helps consumers choose sustainable products and services

    Imagine just selecting the 'green directory' app and being able to find sustainable businesses in the local area? Or finding a product in store and being able to look it up immediately to find out what it's sustainable qualifications are? There are a lot of people out there actively seeking out sustainable products and services, but there are a lot more who are engaged and interested - but just not sure where to start. People are creatures of habit, to motivate them to make changes you need to make it EASY for them to do so! I'm not saying it's…

    11 votes
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    4 comments  ·  Create green jobs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  7. Host an sustainability ideas series (e.g. films, lectures, how to sessions)

    Sustainability is a complex and difficult topic. Many people get a sense about what it is, some don't get it at all and many others think green consumerism (e.g. cloth bags, CFL lightbulbs) is all that's required to build a friendly and safe global future. A multimedia ideas series, perhaps at community centres, would be a great tool to inform people about what is actually required (e.g. reducing overall consumption) for us to build a sustainable global civilization.

    10 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Lighter Footprint  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Develop a Vancouver Food Action Plan

    An Action Plan would provide an overall strategy to guide the City’s response to urban agriculture and food system issues.

    177 votes
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    6 comments  ·  Encourage local food  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. Separate organic matter out of the waste stream and convert it to biogas

    When food scraps and organic matter decompose in landfills, methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is created. If captured properly, methane can be used as a fuel source (known as biogas). Biogas is considered carbon neutral since, unlike natural gas, it does not add any new carbon to the atmosphere. Separating organic matter out of the waste stream and converting it to biogas lowers the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our waste, creates a new fuel source, and makes recycling easier.

    29 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    The City has already started a food scraps collection program for neighbourhoods where yard trimmings are collected. These materials are currently composted. With more organic waste diversion, the City will explore opportunties to implement technolgies that produce biogas like gassifiers and anaerobic digesters.

  10. Extend food waste collection program to include apartments and condos

    While the curbside food waste program is terrific, detached homeowners already have the option of composting in their yards. Extending the program to include apartments dramatically reduce municipal waste and will finally make composting available to the growing number of Vancouverites living in high-density buildings (which is also great for the environment).

    770 votes
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    25 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    The City supports Metro Vancouver’s plans to ban food scraps from the incinerator and landfills by 2015. The City will collaborate with Metro Vancouver to develop and implement a plan to ensure apartments, condos, businesses and institutions have access to food scraps collection programs before the ban comes into effect.

  11. Encourage deconstruction to recover used building materials & reduce construction waste

    Construction waste accounts for a huge proportion of waste in our landfills. The majority of materials can be reused, recycled or repurposed. Deconstruction offers job creation opportunities and supports a new market for used building materials

    202 votes
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    10 comments  ·  Reduce waste  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    The Draft Greenest City Action Plan includes an action to develop a building deconstruction policy. The City is piloting a building deconstruction project and is exploring options for an incentive program to encourage deconstruction.

  12. Work with existing district steam heating systems to switch to renewable energy sources

    Half of Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emissions come from burning natural gas to heat our buildings. The large district steam heating systems found at the hospitals and downtown are significant users of natural gas. Converting these existing systems to renewable energy sources would reduce reliance on natural gas and help to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.

    11 votes
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    under review  ·  1 comment  ·  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. Change the Building Code to require water efficient fixtures in a wider range of house renovations

    The building code specifies the kinds of efficiencies required by water fixtures in all buildings. Currently a home owner has to be undertaking a significant renovation ($95 000 value) before permits are required. The code could be changed to lower that threshold (to $50,000), thereby increasing the number of homes that would be required by law to install fixtures with a high degree of water efficiency.

    12 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Use less water  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. Change the Building Code to require rainwater collection & water efficient irrigation systems

    Outdoor water consumption represents a significant portion of residential water use. In particular, the watering of lawns and gardens is one of the more water intensive of outdoor water activities. Requiring installation of rainwater harvesting devices for irrigation purposes would decrease the dependence on treated water for irrigation purposes. In addition, specifying the installation of water efficient irrigation systems would further reduce water demand.

    314 votes
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    11 comments  ·  Use less water  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. Introduce water conservation rebates to encourage purchase of water-saving fixtures and appliances

    The City could introduce water conservation rebates to encourage the purchase of appliances and fixtures that use innovative water-saving technology. High efficiency toilets and fixtures, rain sensors, rainwater harvesting, water efficient appliances among other initiatives are proven to reduce water consumption.

    Water efficient rebate programs would be targeted towards homes and businesses built before 1995 when the City Plumbing Code began to mandate high efficiency fixtures. Since this time, the City Plumbing Code has required low flow toilets, showerheads, and aerating faucets in all new construction. The industry standard for new toilet installations is now to use six litres of…

    33 votes
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    6 comments  ·  Use less water  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. Require residential water metering

    The City of Vancouver could expect to achieve about a 20 % reduction in water use if residential meters were installed. However, the average water bill for single and two family homes would increase by about 30 %. These costs are related to the installation and maintenance of the meters and to the fact that the majority of the cost of water is related to the filtering and distribution infrastructure - the cost of which remains the same regardless of how much water is used.

    In other cities where water meters are used for billing, people have a better understanding…

    196 votes
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    12 comments  ·  Use less water  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Enforce lawn sprinkling restrictions during summer months

    In the summer months, water use can double, with most of this water being used on lawns. Sprinkling restrictions have been in place since 1998 without strict enforcement. By implementing an education and enforcement strategy, Vancouver could expect to achieve a 15 % reduction in outdoor water use.

    The cost of an education and enforcement program would be off-set by the revenue from the ticketing program. Additional revenues could be reinvested into other conservation measures, like incentives for low flow toilets and shower heads.

    32 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Use less water  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. Work with rail yards to encourage them to reduce rail engine idling and other pollution

    Rail traffic can contribute to local air pollution, specifically when idling in Vancouver rail yards. Should expand the idling by-law to rail traffic and work with rail yards to explore voluntary options to reduce idling.

    10 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Improve air quality  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  19. Regulate non-road emission sources like diesel generators, lawn mowers and leaf blowers

    Diesel particulate matter (PM) is one of the biggest air quality threats to human health in the city. Its health impacts include lung cancer, heart and respiratory disease, and even premature death.

    Non-road emissions, which are a significant source of diesel PM, come from a broad range of sectors including industrial, construction, recreational, lawn and garden, agricultural and other sectors. Their emissions often occur close to ground level and close to where people live, work and play. While emission standards for new non-road engines are already in place, older equipment will continue to be used for decades.

    The city should…

    82 votes
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    4 comments  ·  Improve air quality  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  20. Ban woodstoves through by-laws

    Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves can emit substantial amounts of air pollutants (mostly particulate matter). Health Canada reports that the health-impacts of wood smoke include: eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches, nausea and dizziness; and it can cause or worsen symptoms for people with asthma or respiratory problems. The CIty could update its building code so that woodstoves are not allowed in new home construction or limit permitted appliances to advanced combustion technologies only.

    58 votes
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    11 comments  ·  Improve air quality  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

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