Vancouver ahead of schedule in bid to become world's greenest city

Jul 15 2016, 12:28 am

The City of Vancouver is raking in the awards and hitting its targets early, in its quest to become the greenest city in the world by 2020.

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The latest implementation update to its Greenest City Action Plan shows the City has already met several goals relating to greenhouse gases and vehicle use.

In a release, Mayor Gregor Robertson said Vancouver’s effort to become the greenest city had “excellent momentum.”

“Cities are in a key position to lead meaningful action on climate change,” said Robertson. “Vancouver is showing that environmental sustainability and economic growth are a powerful combo for success in achieving a diverse, resilient and inclusive economy.”

According to the latest update, the City has already achieved the following targets:

  • Lowered greenhouse gases from buildings by 20% since 2007
  • Decreased the number of kilometres driven per person in the city by 27% since 2007
  • Increased the number of trips in the city made by bike, walking or transit to 50%

Vancouver wins 10 awards

Vancouver has also won 10 awards relating to quality of life and environmental efforts over the last year:

  • World Wildlife Fund Earth Hour – City Challenge: Canadian Earth Hour Capital
  • Economist Intelligence Unit Global Livability Index – 3rd globally, 1st in North America
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Building Better Cities Survey – Top Three Cities
  • C40 Cities Awards – Carbon Measurement & Planning
  • CDP- One of 10 Top Cities for Climate Reporting and Disclosure
  • Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Metro Vancouver Chapter – Advocates of Architecture Award
  • Mercer Quality of Living Survey – 5th globally, 1st in North America
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities Award – Transportation
  • Mediacorp Canada Inc. – Canada’s Greenest Employers
  • TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards – Top Destination in Canada

Meanwhile, in other target areas, the City’s update shows the amount of community greenhouse gases emitted and solid waste sent to landfill or incinerator have both fallen.

In turn, the number of “community food assets,” such as garden plots and orchards, farmers’ markets and community composting facilities is up, by 38% since 2010.

And taking the greenest city goal quite literally, the City says nearly 49,000 new trees have been planted since 2010.

By 2050, hopes Robertson, Vancouver will transition to a 100% renewably-powered city.

To read the full report and learn more about the Greenest City Action Plan, check the City of Vancouver website at

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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