In Manhattan with David Owen

Thanks to an invitation from the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the support of the Rick Hansen Institute Lynn and I headed out to Manhattan with a copy of David Owen’s new book Green Metropolis in hand. The Reeve Gala was spectacular thanks to Henry Stifel, Vice President of both the Christopher Reeve Foundation and Morgan Stanley Bank. It is not often we get to chat with Meryl Streep and get our picture in the New York Times.

After I had finished my duties we explored the streets of Manhattan and the ideas of David Owen. Owen is a staff writer with the New Yorker Magazine who scandalized many environmentalists by stating that the most environmentally sustainable place in North America is New York City. This is counter-intuitive to most people and it is only when you actually measure the real impact of people on the planet that you realize he is right. By every measure of environmental Impact per capita New Yorkers do less damage to the planet than anyone else on the continent — and by a long shot. It is not because they are more environmentally concerned that the rest of us. They are famous for being concerned with commerce, free-market and making money. I rather doubt New Yorkers spend much time at all worrying about the planet. There is only one reason they far exceed the rest of us in environmental stewardship and that is high density.

Final Results of UBC Transit Line Survey Released

Respondents favour a tunnel, and want the City to help protect businesses & residents along the route during construction
survey chart question 10

The final results are now available of an on-line survey (PDF) of local residents and businesses regarding the completion of the Millennium Rapid Transit Line to central Broadway and UBC.

I want to thank everyone who took time from their busy schedules to complete the survey and give us their ideas. The public consultation process we have initiated in partnership with the City of Vancouver and Translink will give residents, businesses and community organizations the opportunity to help shape the future of their communities for generations to come.

Mayor’s Communiqué: Vancouver Recognized for “Green” Initiatives

In this edition…

Lynn and I hope you are looking forward to Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family. We both want to thank you for all the support you have given us over the years. It does not go unnoticed. In this edition of the newsletter, I have focused the environment. As you know, ensuring the City of Vancouver does its share to protect the environment for future generations is one of the five goals we have established for our government.

Also, further to my commitment to keep you posted on developments related to the CUPE strike, please find a statement my office released earlier today – along with a news release from the City of Vancouver.

Mayor Supports Proposed Motion to Establish Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets

Resolutions support goal of environmental leadership

Mayor Sam Sullivan today announced he will support a proposed motion to establish greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets for the City of Vancouver. Councillor Peter Ladner is expected to introduce the motion at today’s City Council meeting.

“Enhancing Vancouver’s reputation for environmental leadership is one of the goals I have established for my government,” said Mayor Sullivan. “By fighting urban sprawl, Vancouver’s EcoDensity plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve our quality of life. I want to congratulate Councillor Ladner for his work on this file.”

Mayor Welcomes Positive Vancouver Rankings

Global & domestic reports reinforce city’s reputation as a great place to work and live: Sullivan

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan today welcomed the findings of two reports that will enhance Vancouver’s reputation as one of the best places in the world to work and live. The 2007 Cascadia Scorecard and 2007 MasterCard Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index have recognized Vancouver as a global and domestic leader in urban planning and ease of doing business.

“The five goals we have established for Vancouver are focused on improving our quality of life,” said Mayor Sullivan. “Over the past 18 months we have introduced measures to reduce urban sprawl and improve access to municipal services for local businesses. These reports suggest we are making progress.”

Grassroots take up the challenge

By Mary Teresa Bitti
National Post
Save the environment. Save the planet. From coast to coast, local governments and citizen groups are taking up the challenge to build sustainable communities and in the process taking environmental stewardship into their own hands to lessen the burden on the planet.
“It has historically always been municipalities that have led the way with programs and initiatives that have been very innovative and progressive,” says Jed Goldberg, president of Earth Day Canada.
“The federal government has been slow in reacting and so municipalities continue to carry the load.”
From introducing rural virtues into high-density urban centres to putting rainwater and wind power to work, cities are leading the way to a healthier planet.

EcoDensity: Vancouver city hall concerns shift dramatically

Regulators will be asking developers what their proposals will contribute to helping save the planet
By Bob Ransford
Vancouver Sun
Vancouver may not be leading the way in sustainable urban development, but the city is poised to make up ground in the race to sustainability at a rapid pace.
There’s a new era in urban development rapidly dawning in Vancouver. It’s one where our individualistic and hedonistic obsession with the lifestyle pleasures of our special natural setting will be replaced with a collective serious concern for sustaining the ecosystems that are at the heart of our natural environment. The “eco” part of Mayor Sam Sullivan’s nifty brand name for new urban growth — EcoDensity — is taking on a real meaning under the leadership of Brent Toderian, Vancouver’s new director of planning.

Mayor Welcomes EcoDensity Charter & Invites Public to Provide Input

Sullivan will discuss plan with California Governor next week
Mayor Sam Sullivan today welcomed the introduction of a draft EcoDensity Charter and invited local residents to provide input on this important sustainable development initiative.

Mayor Sullivan pointed out that EcoDensity has the potential to have a positive impact on the affordability of housing in Vancouver.

“The goal of EcoDensity is to reduce urban sprawl,” said Mayor Sullivan. “Becoming a world leader in environmental practices is one of the five goals I have established for my government. The City of Vancouver’s EcoDensity proposal helps deliver on this commitment.”