Vancouver - Greenest City 2020

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Vancouver - Greenest City 2020

Vancouver is attempting to become the world's greenest city by 2020. In order to achieve this, the city formed GCAT (Greenest City Action Team) from their city staff. The goals for GCAT are:

·       by 2020, create 20,000 new green jobs and become a center for green business

·       by 2020, reduce carbon emissions by 33% compared to 2007, and become a leading city in fighting climate change

·        by 2020, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce the demand for energy (over 90% of the city’s energy already is r.e., mostly hydroelectricity)

·        by 2020, all new industrial/ municipal construction to be carbon-neutral, improve efficiency of existing buildings by 20%

·        by 2020, over 50% of commutes by walking, biking or public transport

·        by 2020, reduce waste heading to landfills or incinerator by 40%

·       by 2020, plant an additional 150,000 trees so every resident lives within 5 minutes of a beach, park, greenbelt or other open space

·        by 2020, reduce per-capita ecological footprint by 33%

·        by 2020, beat WHO's (World Health Organization) drinking water standards

·        by 2020, beat WHO's clean air standards

·        by 2020, reduce carbon footprint of food production by 33% - focus on organic, local food product

--     Although the majority of power supplied to Vancouver is from hydroelectricity, wind and solar farms also are energy sources to be used in the plan - through clean energy, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 1/3 by 2020

  • The priorities for implementing what are termed as “quick start actions” (initial actions to ensure Vancouver reaches the “greenest city” goal) are to reduce fossil fuel dependency and to create green jobs. Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emission targets are to get to 33% below 2007 by 2020 and 80% below 1990 by 2050. GCAT has begun to create their Green Economic Development Strategy(GEDS), implement a green jobs pilot project and begun to seek funding from the federal government and provincial governments for the new green economy.

GCAT is planning comprehensive strategies to help increase the use of public transport, cycling, and walking. GCAT aims to make the streets safer for cycling and pedestrians as well as creating a public bike sharing system. Vancouver metro's mass transit network, TransLink, has a 10 year plan which will help ensure GCAT meets its GHG reduction and increased public transportation goals. The TransLink system includes the bus system, SkyTrain and other light rail commuter trains, heavy rail, the SeaBus and a connected netwwork of roads, cyclcing and pedestrian paths. Modes of sustainable mass transit in Vancouver include:

  •      Trolley buses serve the downtown area with zero-emission buses
  •  SkyTrain – world’s longest automated light rapid transit system

  •  West Coast Express – heavy commuter train

  •        SeaBus – passenger-only ferry connecting downtown Vancouver and   North Vancouver
  •      Cycling – over 400 km of bike routes, downtown, walking and cycling is the preferred mode of transportation for about 5% of the population