Early Morning Thought: Vancouver, Green City

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Looks like Mayor Gregor doesn’t have to work so hard after all as a recent study indicates that Vancouver is already the greenest city in North America. This makes Gregor Robertson’s job a bit easier in making Vancouver the greenest city in the world. I guess that justifies spending $250,000 on the  “unique” logo pictured above (who needs the petting zoo and conservatory) and going to Copenhagen for the mayors conference. The city could have given me $500 and I could have come up with something just as uninspiring as the logo seen above. As for the meeting, you would think a conference on climate change would avoid air travel and decide to go with video conferencing, or not.
In all seriousness, the majority of us do not know the whole truth when it comes to climate change, but the mere fact that Vancouver is at 1990 emissions levels is a great feat, especially since Vancouver has added an additional 150,000 residents in the last 20 years. The density initiatives adopted in the downtown core were know doubt a major contributor to lowering the city’s emission levels. In the future Vancouver will need to continue its push for higher density (especially around transit stations), embrace more rapid public transit projects (see SkyTrain to UBC) and build developments on par with the environmental standards of the  Olympic Village to further strenghten its green push.

I feel that this is a unique opportunity for Vancouver to exploit and attract more green businesses or any business for that matter. Whether or not we become the green capital of the world by 2020 as Mayor Gregor hopes is irrelevant as that means little if the city fails to attract the green businesses it so covets. Green business = $$$ that is what this is all about.

Update: A sign of things to come?

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is teaming-up with British billionaire Richard Branson to fight climate change.

The announcement was made Wednesday morning at the Climate Summit for Mayors in Copenhagen.

Branson will use the 2010 Olympics as the launch pad for the Carbon War Room, a program which will gather ideas from entrepreneurs on how to tackle climate change and make the city greener.

A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office says the program will allow local green entrepreneurs to access global financing. It’s expected the move will help Robertson achieve his goal of making Vancouver the world’s greenest city by the year 2020.[source]

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