* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘british columbia’

5 Takes on Sustainable Local Economies

A significant component of sustainability is  developing and fostering strong local economies. Why? Well, people often conceptualize regional economies using economic base theory, of which one part is the idea of leakage. Basically, when people who live in a community spend money outside of their community or spend money with a business that takes money outside of their community, money “leaks” out of the area. Large retail chains and businesses owned by multi-national firms have high rates of leakage for local economies. Leakage also happens when people travel to another community and spend money there (i.e. tourism, but this helps bring in capital to the tourist destination). So, encouraging locally-owned businesses helps to stem leakage, keeps locally-earned dollars circulating within a community, and generally promotes prosperity and job-creation in the region. This is what makes it literally sustainable.

So what … Continue Reading

Upcoming: Food Systems Exhibit at Museum of Vancouver

Today’s post announces an exhibit and photography contest in British Columbia. Readers from other parts of the planet may find themselves inspired.

The Maple Street Community Garden in Vancouver is just one of many splashes of glorious greenery on the cityscape. Thanks to Donkeycart on Flickr for the Creative Commons photo!

This fall, the Museum of Vancouver will partner with local food non-profit FarmFolk/CityFolk to present an exhibit celebrating sustainable agriculture and local food systems. (August 26, 2010 to January 2, 2011)

Art, educational materials and public involvement opportunities will comprise programming exploring ecology, sustainable food systems and community development. The photography of Vancouver-based and internationally-recognized photographer Brian Harris will be a particular centrepiece, exploring Vancouver’s own urban agricultural scene.

While the exhibit’s opening day is … Continue Reading

Greening Small Home Renovations – The City of Vancouver may require Green Improvements to the Renovation of One and Two Family Homes

A small but important part of the ‘Greenest City Action Plan’, The City of Vancouver hopes to tackle the resource efficiency of existing buildings through a proposed amendment to our building by-law (VBBL) that would require green improvements along with the renovation of one and two family homes. Arguably, it might seem like this will have a small impact on the massive GHG goals taken on by the Province and City, however it is an essential step in any Green Building plan. Read more…

Upcoming Event – Planning Institute of BC Conference @ Sun Peaks


After COP15 Disappointment, Business Needs to ‘Just Get On With It’ – Globe 2010

The business community needs to ‘just get on with it’, and not wait for carbon emissions reduction policy and government to catch up, says a panel of international business leaders. This is especially true coming out of the COP15 global climate dialogues in Copenhagen last year, which failed to produce a fair, ambitious and binding agreement. Implications of the uneven and uninspired global regulatory climate for the business community were discussed by a Globe 2010 international panel of business representatives who are demonstrating sustainability leadership.

Panelists agreed that business are the actors who will deliver carbon reductions. Daniel Hendrix, President & CEO of the sustainable carpet company Interface, called out industry as the “one got us into the problem so industry needs to get us out of it.” Hendrix also pointed to the worlds’ top 50 companies as … Continue Reading

Food Policy Fail – British Columbia’s Meat Inspection Regulations (Editorial)

A mobile poultry processing unit slaughters hens on a farm in Massachusetts. Thanks to Chrisdat on Flickr for the great Creative Commons photo!

In tackling the subject of British Columbia’s meat inspection regulations, I must begin by admitting that I am not the likeliest author. For starters, I’m a vegetarian. Secondly, although someday I would love to keep urban chickens, my agricultural experience is pretty much limited to growing herbs and tomatoes on my apartment patio. However, the economic viability of BC farming affects everyone in the province who eats, including urbanites. Draconian provincial meat inspection regulations create a barrier to local economic development in BC’s small towns and rural places, and to food security throughout the province. Local food activists contend that … Continue Reading

Liveblogging the UBC Resilience Symposium: Uncertain Water Supplies

Drought-stricken farmland in Australia, between Melbourne and Sydney. Thanks to Beleobus on Flickr for the great Creative Commons photo.

Today, PlanningPool is coming to you live from the Symposium on Resilience at the University of British Columbia, where we just presented a lively panel discussion about Digital Media. (Our slides are online here.) Thanks to Karen Quinn Fung and Frances Bula for participating in the discussion!

An interdisciplinary panel of graduate students and professionals are currently discussing the critical planning issue of “Uncertain Water Supplies: Increasing the resiliency of development to water crises”. Planning graduate student Asrai Ord introduced the panel with the observation that a majority of Canadians believe in the “myth of abundance.” Unfortunately, frequent claims that Canada does not have to worry … Continue Reading

Green Infrastructure: Paying for Utopia (Feature)

The term ‘green infrastructure’ typically conjures up ideas of LEED-buildings, green roofs, grey-water recycling and emerging clean energy technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines. This type of ‘green infrastructure’ investment is sometimes heralded as an economic save-all, a way to meet the goals of the planning profession while investing in the world of tomorrow. Pundits suggest that investment in green infrastructure will create the backbone of future communities, places that are energy efficient, multi-modal, carbon-neutral and in harmony with natural systems.

However, “green infrastructure” could also have an entirely new meaning. Exploring this expanded definition is going to test our beliefs and will require keeping an open mind. Planners should be up for the task; as a profession we are open to idea exploration, we experiment with new technologies and we utilize our creative instincts when planning for communities … Continue Reading

The bark and bite of growth boundaries

With the recent release by Metro Vancouver (GVRD) of the draft 2040 Regional Growth Strategy, some are noticing conspicuous similarities to the policy tools of another northwestern metropolis.  In the South Fraser Blog, Nathan Pachal appropriately identifies the resemblance of the GVRD’s reshaped initiatives to those of Portland Metro (Portland). 

Portland has long been lauded (and, in some circles, jeered) for its strong measures to combat sprawl and manage growth.  I posted a video last month from the Big Look Task Force last that gives a good background on Oregon’s strong land-use regulations.  In Portland’s case, the regional government has control over the well-documented Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).  In his post, Pachal correctly states that the Green Zone of the Livable … Continue Reading