Sustainable Cities Vancouver

“Evaluate one or more sustainable strategies designed to improve life in urban areas” (10 marks) Throughout this answer I shall be discussing and stating different strategies used by the Vancouver Mayor, whose actions have allowed the city Vancouver to be renowned as one of the greenest cities in the world, whilst improving the lives of the population. Firstly, a CityPlan was incorporated in 1995, which gives direction for developing sustainable communities.

Before that, there was the production of the “Clouds of Change” report in 1990; this is called for actions for reducing carbon emissions. The Vancouver Greenways Plan in 1995 was adopted, which supports the development of more walking and cycling opportunities, was then later created. The mayor then adopted a comprehensive transportation plan in 1997, which emphasised transit, cycling, and walking. Then the mayor formed the Cool Vancouver Task Force in 2002 to help create action plans to address climate change. The Climate-Friendly City,” a corporate climate change action plan for city operations, was made in 2005. This detailed plan was filled with information relating to changes that the Vancouver council was going to make in the present and the future. Plans included changes for the economy, transportation, green areas and waste. Then in 2008, EcoDensity was passed, which promotes more sustainable planning processes. It is an attempt to encourage a form of densification that is environmentally friendly and helps to reduce the city’s ecological footprint.

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EcoDensity has also encouraged the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, the development of secondary housing suites and the creation of new housing forms. The mayor passed the Green Rezoning Policy in 2010 requiring all new rezoning for buildings to include LEED standards. By doing so, the mayor has ensured that all new buildings that are made in Vancouver are greener and more energy efficient, emphasising their passion for keeping Vancouver’s reputation.

Secondly, the mayor revised the City’s building bylaw in 2008 to include new green home requirements for one- and two-family homes. Under the Green Homes Program, new one- and two-family homes are required to include a number of sustainable features that will help home owners save energy, water, and money, while providing an improved indoor environment. Targets were set to ensure a sustainable future for Vancouver. By 2020, all new homes will consume up to 33% less energy and by 2030, all new homes will be carbon neutral.

To conclude, I strongly believe that with the current strategies that the Vancouver Council have incorporated, such as the Corporate Climate Change Action Plan or the EcoDensity plan, they are well on their way to reaching their 2020 environmental targets which they set. I also believe that the quality of the populations lives have substantially increased due to the investments made in making homes more efficient and having large green spaces for leisure and recreational activities. Furthermore, plans to make homes more efficient will considerably help in the long term by saving homeowners and the Vancouver council large sums of money.