Category Archives : Sustainability Planning


Municipalities stake a claim for more balanced mining rules in BC

Mining in BC is booming. But with outdated regulatory legislation, that boom is presenting challenges for local governments, and at this week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention, councillors from across BC called for the legislation to be updated. The 2011 BC Jobs Plan foreshadowed eight new mines and nine mining expansions operational by 2015. READ MORE


Local Improvement Charges Regulation Amendments

On June 22, 2012, the Columbia Institute made a submission to the Municipal Finance Policy Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a response for public feedback on proposal number 11-MAH011 – Local Improvement Charges Regulation Amendments Under the Municipal Act and the City of Toronto Act.  The submission focused specifically on the role municipalities READ MORE


Turning Rubble into Roads

The City of Edmonton Aggregate Recycling Programs recycles concrete, asphalt and other similar materials from reconstruction projects, private demolition and household renovations free of charge. The program provides an economical source of recycled material Edmonton then uses to construct and maintain streets and sidewalks, saving the city more than $15 million.  Read more at the Municipal Information Network.


City of Surrey tracks progress towards Sustainability

The City of Surrey is launching a dashboard that allows the community to track the City’s progress towards sustainability. Some of the indicators tracked include: proximity of homes to amenities like schools and parks median income for immigrants amount of farmland in food production daily household water consumption Read more at the city’s website.


Resilient Communities: Cool Ideas for Locally Elected Leaders

Our annual governance forum in Harrison Hot Springs explores the idea of resiliency and the bold and creative ways in which leaders and communities are responding to the major environmnetal challenges of our time. Presentations: Bill Rees – The Big Picture: The Jekyll and Hyde of Resilience Juan Torres – Children and Cities: Planning to Grow Together Briony Penn – Conservation Offsets: Stretching Funds for Greenspace, Watersheds and Community Forests


Edmonton embarks on ambitious green plan

A comprehensive sustainable growth plan for Edmonton was approved by city council on July 20th. “The Way We Green describes a future Edmonton that is carbon-neutral, generates zero waste, is significantly less dependent on fossil fuels, has clean air and water, is able to withstand and bounce back intact from a range of possible environmental READ MORE


Collaborating on Carbon Commitments – A Training Ground for Gaining Ground

This all-day workshop focused on the tools that the public sector can use to reduce GHG emissions in buildings and operations, and tactics that can successfully be used to overcome resistance to climate action within your community. This workshop is aimed towards local elected officials and staff, school trustees and facilities managers, as well as READ MORE


Victoria, BC Latest Transition Town

Victoria is taking the Transition Initiative by working to address peak oil and climate change issues, in an effort to enhance community sustainability and resiliency. To date the Victoria Region Transition Initiative (VRTI) has participated in public forums, given presentations, provided film screenings, and completed a Strategic Plan. Get more information on the VRTI here READ MORE


Building a new economy

Author David Korten believes that the economic recession provides North Americans with the opportunity to rebuild the economy to value people and the planet. The current economy puts money and business above all else, fostering an environment where corruption and competition are rampant. Switching to a values-based operating system will support social and environmental justice READ MORE


‘Greenest city’ plan touts economic growth

Key environmentalists are criticizing Mayor Gregor Robertson’s goal to unite economic growth with green technologies, and make Vancouver the “greenest city in the world”. U.B.C. professor Bill Rees, developer of the “ecological footprint” concept, argues that economic growth and environmentalism cannot happen in tandem, an idea that opposes the basic tenets of western capitalism. Read READ MORE


Smart Growth BC

Smart Growth is a set of principles that encourages socially, fiscally and environmentally responsible land use and growth. Smart Growth BC is a non-governmental organization that works to put these principles into practice. Smart Growth BC runs a number of programs including SmartGrowth on the Ground, the Community Assistance Program, Agricultural Land Reserve Protection and READ MORE