The Conference Board of Canada has released its Summer 2008 Metropolitan Outlook, a ranking of the economies of small and mid-sized census metropolitan areas (CMAs). The report finds that all small and mid-sized CMAs except Thunder Bay and Saguenay will experience slower growth this year. The cause for the economic slowdown is blamed on the READ MORE
In 2004, the City of Fremantle, Australia (population 26,000) adopted a strategy aimed at drastically reducing the use of plastic bags, which the city has made available on its website. The Strategy to Achieve a Plastic Bag Free City includes a timeline, tools to achieve its goals (ie. education programs, reusable bag alternatives, branding of the campaign), plan of action, and budget. A useful READ MORE
This article , originally published in the Columbia Institute’s June 2008 publication Innovative Strategies, details how Leaf Rapids, Manitoba became the first municipality in North America to ban plastic bags. For more information on the Innovative Strategies publication, click here .
Due to rapid growth in Langley that is causing tremendous strain on aquifers, Langley has developed a draft water management plan that is currently going through a public consultation process. The draft plan is the first comprehensive groundwater planning document in BC and aims at reducing water demand by 30% over the next decade. BC READ MORE
The BC Provincial Health Services Authority has just released this new guide , designed to help local governments create more food secure communities. According to the guide, improving food security involves integrating health, economic, ecological, and social factors. The guide includes such topics as community gardens, farmers’ markets, making food access easy through neighbourhood planning, supporting local food READ MORE
In 1999 Rocky Anderson was elected mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, the capital city of America’s most conservative state. Within 8 years he had instituted some of the western world’s most progressive policies on environmental sustainability, social inclusion and youth justice. In the process, he earned a World Leadership Award, exceeded Salt Lake City’s READ MORE
The Toronto Cyclists’ Union, which started in May 2008 has hundreds of card carrying members. Modeled on AAA, the Union offers insurance, roadside assistance, cycling advocacy, and plans to even offer a dating service for $24 a year. Read more here .
City council in London, Ontario has voted in principle to stop selling bottled water in city offices, cafeterias, and parks, in an effort to try to reduce waste. A December 2007 report revealed that many plastic bottles are not being recycled and are contributing to landfill waste. The city will promote alternatives to bottled water READ MORE
A new study released by the UBC Design Centre for Sustainability shows that for the cost of a single subway line to UBC, an extensive tram system could be built instead. Read a story in the Tyee about the study or a CTV news article .
Last December, Moshe Safdie, the world-renowned architect made headlines when he resigned from the McGill University Health Centre hospital project. Safdie cited the government’s decision to move ahead with the project as a P3 as a main factor in his decision stating that in his experience P3s restrict innovation. This story gave us a glimpse into some READ MORE
On June 2, 2008 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities released findings from its latest study which looks at the impact of infrastructure spending on the economy and on government tax revenues. The study concludes that property taxes discourage consumer spending more than equivalent sales or income taxes and leads to the stifling of job creation. When the federal government cuts READ MORE
The new Ontario provincial strategy to curb the growth of suburban sprawl is discussed in this article from the Toronto Star . The strategy includes protecting the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Greenbelt from future development, intensification targets for existing built-up areas, and a requirement that 40% of all new growth in the GTA must occur within the existing urban boundary. READ MORE
This New York Times article reports on how the number of green jobs (those that relate in some way to fighting environmental challenges) is expected to increase in the U.S., as state governments mandate that more energy come from renewables. The article discusses the characteristics of green jobs as well as the upsides and possible downsides of a more green READ MORE