Vancouver The Greenest City In The World by 2020
They say it takes a village to raise a child – well, it takes an urban community to become the “Greenest City in the World”. Vancouver, British Columbia seems to come up often when we talk about livable and sustainable cities.
After visiting Vancouver for the CanWest Horticulture Show we saw firsthand the initiatives that are being implemented to do just that. As shown in our Eco-Office and Eco Fashion Brands articles, being green starts at home – with you and your friends. It only takes starting with small steps to become more aware of the lifestyle choices we make and to have a big impact.
The City of Vancouver
Vancouverites have made it their goal to be the greenest city by 2020 and have put together an action plan so that residents can take part as well. They are looking for a city that is healthy, happy, and secure.
It will take both individuals and communities leaders to attain this bold initiative. This requires cooperation from residents and businesses starting with city council “walking the talk” when it comes to the City of Vancouver’s operations and facilities. There are three major areas of focus; carbon, waste, and ecosystems. By providing regular progress reports, the public can not only continue to hold council accountable to this initiative, but it will also attract further buy-in from residents as the successes are continually benchmarked.
The environmentally sound practices of the City – which will also save money over time – include clean water, air, local food, green economy, green transportation, and green building initiatives. The green goal will also have positive impacts on the local economy as businesses can leverage green initiatives to become more competitive, grow their market share, adjust to municipal regulations, and position their businesses via their strong environmental conscience.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Vancouver and feel the fresh ocean and mountain air directly from the city itself then we encourage you to make the trip. In Vancouver, visitors will be awed by LEED buildings, walking trails, bike lanes, and plenty of urban garden space including lush, green trees. Visitors will also notice the heavy promotion of community-sustained agriculture through community gardens, composting facilities, produce stands, and kitchens, as well as farmers markets and urban farms.
The Vancouver Convention Centre
The most elite member of the City of Vancouver’s green development goal is the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre; a 220,500 square-foot architecturally sound, Platinum LEED building with a six-acre living roof.
By using seawater heating and cooling, treating water on-site, and housing an entire fish habitat in its foundation, the Vancouver Convention Centre has become known as one of the greenest convention centers in the world. Not to mention their impressive recycling program which recycles an estimated 180,000 kilograms of materials each year, as well as their scratch kitchen which uses only fresh, locally-grown ingredients. Hosting over 300 events annually, the Convention Centre’s green practices are vital to the sustainability of the city and their leadership is making a tremendous long-term difference. Click here for the Convention Centre’s Image Gallery.
What is your city doing? What position do they see for your collective future? Send us an email and tell us what makes your city environmentally valuable at [email protected].
To learn more about how to green up your life check out the 3 part growing in small spaces.
Photo Credit: The City of Vancouver Convention Centre, CVent Supplier Network, 19 September 2013