The Communities Matrix is a free one page graphic representation of four phases of community development. It has been used on every continent (except Antarctica) as a starting place in communities.
Dr. Steffen Böhm and Siddhartha Dabhi’s new book, “Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets”, challenges claims about carbon markets and carbon offsetting schemes. The authors argue that these schemes haven’t significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and have actually worsened the problem. Download the book here .
The Centre for Civic Governance is pleased to provide this list of municipalites who’ve passed resolutions declaring their support for strong commitments to climate actions at Copenhagen this December. Please check back frequently to see who’s been added and do let us know if your municipality is preparing a similar resolution. Municipal Climate Change READ MORE
Portland, Oregon is the only city in North America that has managed to reduce emissions below 1990 levels, despite an 18% population growth. The city recently passed the Climate Change Action Plan (CAP), which commits the city to reducing overall emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. A notable element of CAP is that READ MORE
Zero GHG has a simple and easy-to-use emissions calculator. Click here to calculate GHG emissions from your home.
The Fraser Basin Council’s Transportation Demand Management toolkit offers advice on how to expand sustainble transportation options and reduce vehicle use in small to mid-size communities. It includes 10 case studies that show how bicycle programs, intercommunity transit, carpooling, car-sharing and parking strategies are successfully implemented in communities in B.C. Find the full toolkit here READ MORE
The T’Sou-ke First Nation in Sooke has become the largest solar energy producing community in B.C. Solar energy will power a large portion of the community’s infrastructure and provide hot water tanks to a nearby village. The band aims to adopt more green initiatives in the future, and are looking at wind power and organic READ MORE
The Local Government Operations (LGO) Protocol is a set of program-neutral greenhouse gas protocol designed to allow local governments to quantify and report emissions. It helps local governments to provide standardized information regarding emissions rates, and allows for better scientific observations to be made. Find the full set of protocol here .
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
Carbon footprint calculations are based on emissions from daily activities, such as travel and energy consumption, over the past 12 months. Find out what your carbon footprint is at this calculator .
This book, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlights the important role that the public plays in ensuring that high-quality public services are provided and shared public policy goals are achieved. It provides guidance of how to ensure public participation and putting open and includsive policy making into practice, and includes READ MORE
The District of Nanaimo has included greenhouse gas emissions targets in its Regional Growth Strategy. This decision is ideal because reducing emissions requires collaboration and cooperation, two key aspects of any Regional Growth Strategy. This move is important as it will allow for more effective, standardized management of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Read READ MORE
Toronto city councillors have approved a new bylaw that will require green roof coverage on all multi-unit buildings and residential dwellings. On a similar note, councillors also approved the development of bike lanes on Jarvis Street. Read the full details of these decisions at Treehugger .
The Community Lifestyles Campagin targets the household and community level, and aims at establishing “EcoTeams” to work through the “EcoTeam Workbook”. EcoTeams are give the opportunity to become informed on topics such as waste reduction, energy efficiency and empowerment, and gain the tools necessary to act as sustainable community leaders. Read more about the campaign READ MORE
The campaign has been produced for The Municipal District of Aalborg in Denmark in association with the North Jutland Police and The Danish Cyclists Federation. Watch the video here.
Climate Solutions. Better Communities. A climate action resource for local government by local government in collaboration with UBCM, Smart Planning for Communities, and the Province of BC. You can find reports and guidles, information about funding and training programs, plans, policies and projects, and success stories. You can find the full website here .
A study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) concludes that Canadians enjoy a high quality of life because of public services funded by tax money. In most cases Canadians are better off with the public services the taxes fund than they are with tax cuts. Read the full article at CCPA . Use the READ MORE
The Canadian Cancer Society is asking the B.C. government to implement a provincial-wide ban on the sale of cosmetic pesticides. Cosmetic pesticides, used to kill weeds and pests, have been linked to cancer. Many B.C. municipalites have already banned the use of these chemicals, however provincial action is required to ban selling them. Read more READ MORE
Vancouver’s new mayor has pledged to end homelessness by 2015, a considerable challenge that will require solutions that go beyond asking the federal governmnet and the province for more money to address the issue. Megaphone Magazine , Vancouver’s street paper has republished an article from the Tyee listing 50 ways to help the homeless.
Shirly Bond, BC’s minister of education has just announced a new environmental school initiative. Individual students or groups of students are being offered prize money if they can design and implement school-based brojects that benefit the environment. The Government has so far commited $160,000 to the Green Games .The prizes are available to grades k-12 and are READ MORE
San Francisco is considering a proposal that would require businesses with more than 20 employees to provide commuting alternatives to the personal vehicle. The move is an attempt to reduce air pollution in San Francisco as well as reduce GHG emissions in the city. Under the new law, businesses would be given three options to READ MORE
On July 14, 2008 Port Coquitlam launched its composting program . Single-family homes are being asked to divert vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and fresh fruit scraps from the garbage to their lawn trimmings bin, to be collected at the curbside. The City is hoping to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills by 16-26% per year, READ MORE
Since November 2007, ICLEI has been working with many organizations including the UN Environmental Program, the International Energy Agency, FCM and ICLE cities and stakeholders, to develop an easily implemented set of guidelines to assist local governments in quantifying GHG emissions from their internal operations and from their community as a whole. The document consists 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 .
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
For information about the BC Smart Planning for Communities Initiative, including funding, tools, and resources, check out the Fraser Basin Council’s Smart Planning website .
The Polis Project on Ecological Governance is an initiative of the University of Victoria which aims to understand the structure and dynamics of urban water use. The project includes several objectives relevant to local government, including developing innovative governance options that promote sustainable water management, developing water law and policy decision-making tools, and examining urban and emerging water issues in Canada. READ MORE
This new tool-kit from Smart Growth BC looks at eight tools and strategies local governments can use to deliver market and non-market affordable housing in their communities. It also features examples of best practices across BC.
Bill 28, Local Government (Green Communities) Statutes Amendments Act will require local governments to set GHG reduction targets in their Official Community Plans and Regional Growth Strategies. Read the backgrounder to the Bill .
According to an article published by Reuter’s UK, London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone, is urging citizens to boycott bottled water. On February 26th, 2008, the mayor launched his ‘London on Tap’ campaign. Read the article here .
Whistler 2020 is Whistler’s long-term sustainability plan and integrated community sustainability plan. It outlines the goals and vision of the communities and lays out the strategies for getting there. Check out the website here . Also check out the Whistler 2020 Explorer which reports on key indicator trends in Whistler and is part of their monitoring program.
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association published the Comprehensive Guide for Municipal Sustainability Planning which could be used by any community undertaking their Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. The guidebook provides information on five phases of sustainability planning: structuring the process; creating a shared understanding of sustainable community success; determining and analyzing strategy areas for success; action READ MORE
The Clinton Climate Initiative Large Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) has a website dedicated to what cities can do to fight climate change. The site features best practice case studies in a number of different areas such as waste, energy, green buildings, transport, etc. from all over the world as well as a climate solutions READ MORE
The government of Canada has created a website of statistical measures of well-being in Canada. The data are organized around 10 indicator areas such as learning, housing, family life, leisure, health, and the environment. Each indicator area includes an overview section highlighting the most important trends and statistics as well as a complete listing of READ MORE
The Community Energy Association has just released its 2008 funding guide. Funding Your Community Energy Initiatives is a guide to funding and resources for local governments. Click here to see the guide.
The Citizen Participation Toolkit offers various types of information on citizen participation in local governance and maintains a database of cases from all over the world of participatory governance, including tools used and lessons learned. In this way, local authorities and civil society organisations can learn from each others’ experiences. The database is searchable by region, scale, focus, and READ MORE
The Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto looks at municipal finance and governance issues of Canada’s large cities and city-regions. This site is chock-full of presentations, articles and papers relating to municipal finance. For example, check out The Impact of Municipal Finance and Governance on Urban READ MORE
The City of North Vancouver released its Greenhouse Gas Local Action Plan in February 2005. The Plan outlines how to reach the City’s interm target of a 20% corporate emissions reduction and a 6% community-wide emissions reduction by 2010. Focusing on building retrofits, new building design guidelines, Smart Growth land use planning, and transportation demand management, the City hopes to READ MORE
This guide, prepared by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Sheltair Group, lays out a vision of what ‘green infrastructure’ looks like. Green infrastructure means systems that are distributed, clustered, interconnected, integrated, service-oriented, responsive, renewable, low-imapct, appropriate, multi-purpose and finally, adaptable. The guide also explains the social, economic and environmental benefits of green infrastructure READ MORE
On October 19, 2007 the Mayor’s Task Force on Breaking the Cycle of Mental Illness, Addictions and Homelesness released its findings. The report calls for a supported Housing First approach and makes a number of important recommendations, including a target of 1550 new supported housing units over the next five years. Click here for more READ MORE
The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) has released a new report that links poor land use planning to public health issues. The report emphasizes good urban design, active transportation, and green infrastructure as keys to healthier communities. Go to the OPPI website for the summary, backgrounder, press release, and full report.
Future Visioning of Climate Change is a website from the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) at UBC. The project involves developing new approaches to community engagement through future visioning, using “virtual reality” techniques based on digital mappings and scientific data. The goal of the project is to specialize, localize, and visualize climate change effects at the neighborhood or community READ MORE
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities Partners for Climate Protection is a framework developed for muncipalities to use as they undertake initiatives to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. When municipalities sign on to the PCP they voluntarily agree to complete five milestones. Milestone One: Create a GHG Emissions Inventory and Forecast Milestone Two: Set an Emissions READ MORE
A 2 minute video clip from CBC News about a great initiative in Vancouver – an affordable housing project for artists over age 55. View the clip here .
This detailed report from Smart Growth BC includes policies and programs for affordable housing, strategies, non-governmental models, projects, and case studies from around Canada and the U.S. Download it here .
From the BC Ministry of the Environment, this webpage contains documents on best management practices and guidelines for urban and rural land development, raptor conservation, tourism and recreation, and more. Click here to visit the website.
A lesson guide developed by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness, the BC Federation of Teachers, SPARC BC and the Vancouver Art Gallery, this guide is designed to engage teachers and students in learning and activities related to Homelessness Action Week. Download the guide here .
From the Sightline Institute comes a handy page with a breakdown of various greenhouse gas emission reduction policies, including carbon trading and ‘cap and auction’. Each policy is broken down into a bulleted pros and cons list and includes a brief paragraph about organizations and governments that support it. Check it out here . Also check READ MORE