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Vision plan for making Vancouver a green zone

October 21st, 2009 · 22 Comments

Mayor Gregor Robertson launched the city’s green plan at the Resilient Cities conference yesterday, plus it got presented at council. You’re welcome to peruse the multiple pages and post your thoughts.

I have to say, I am still confused by some parts of it. Perhaps I need to do more homework, but it’s not intuitive or obvious what a low-carbon economic zone is or how green jobs are different from the jobs that many people are already doing with companies that are taking a more environmental approach in general.

I am also surprised that the whole question of land use doesn’t seem to factor into the main goals. Land use is the absolute, number-one thing that cities control and is usually where they can have the most impact. As well, as many environmentalists are observing, the planet isn’t going to be saved by building more energy-efficient buildings or driving more energy-efficient cars. (In fact, those kinds of green measures can deceive people into thinking they can continue on their merry way, not having to change anything about their lifestyles, just their lightbulbs.)

But if people actually start making fewer or shorter trips, because they live close to schools, community centres, shopping, and work, that will make a difference. EcoDensity can be criticized on many fronts, but Sam Sullivan’s program — yes, something of a rebranding of existing city efforts but also a push forward — did focus on that very important land-use issue.

Anyway, enough from me. Fire away.

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