Ideas to Action: Page 5 of 16

Wed, 2015-10-28 22:58 -- Jon DeKeles
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Mobilizing 35,000 Vancoverites to build an action plan
In 2009, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson put together a Greenest City Action Team. Its job was to construct a plan to transform Vancouver into the greenest city on earth. Although only part of the plan references digital technology, all of it represents a sterling example of engendering citizen involvement.

More than 35,000 people participated in the process in one way or another. Many of them monitored progress online via social media (and continue to do so). Others took part in face-to-face workshops and events. More than five dozen city staff, 120 different organizations and 9,500 individuals actively contributed ideas and feedback.

Those contributors had a strong preference to create opportunities immediately as they worked for long-term success – to build a strong local economy and vibrant neighborhoods while creating a city that meets the needs of generations to come.

The resulting Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Action Plan was adopted by the Vancouver City Council in July 2011. The plan addresses three overarching areas of focus: carbon, waste and ecosystems. It is divided into 10 smaller plans, each with a long-term goal for 2050 and a shorter-term target for 2020.

The No. 1 goal of Vancouver B.C.’s 2020 Action Plan was to secure the city’s international reputation as a mecca
of green enterprise by doubling the number of green jobs and doubling the number of companies actively engaged in green operations.

The Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Action Plan includes 10 “sub-plans,” each with a long-term goal plus metrics to measure success.



The Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Action Plan includes 10 "sub-plans," each with a long-term goal plus metrics to measure success.

  Goal Targets
1. Green Economy Secure Vancouver's international reputation as a mecca of green enterprise
  • Double the number of green jobs
  • Double the number of companies actively engaged in greening operations
2. Climate Leadership Eliminate Vancouver's dependence on fossil fuels
  • Reduce community-based greenhouse gas emissions by 33% from 2007 levels
3. Green Buildings Lead the world in green building design and construction
  • Require all buildings constructed from 2020 onward to be carbon neutral in operations
  • Reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing buildings by 20% over 2007 levels
4. Green Transportation Make walking, cycling and public transit preferred transportation options
  • Make the majority (over 50%) of trips by foot, bicycle and public transit
  • Reduce the average distance driven per resident by 20% from 2007 levels
5. Zero Waste Create zero waste
  • Reduce solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 50% from 2008 levels
6. Access to Nature Vancouver residents will enjoy incomparable access to green spaces, including the world's most spectacular urban forest
  • All Vancouver residents live within a five-minute walk of a park, greenway or other green space by 2020
  • Plant 150,000 new trees by 2020
7. Lighter Footprint Achieve a "one-planet" ecological footprint
  • Reduce Vancouver's ecological footprint by 33% over 2006 goals
8. Clean Water Clean Water Vancouver will have the best drinking water of any city in the world
  • Meet or beat the strongest of provincial and federal drinking water quality standards and guidelines
9. Clean Air Breathe the cleanest air of any major city in the world
  • Always meet or beat the most stringent air quality guidelines from Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and the World Health Organization
10. Local Food Vancouver will become a global leader in urban food systems
  • Increase citywide and neighborhood food assets by a minimum of 50% over 2010 levels