Category Archives : Tools and Bylaws

Why carbon offsetting will not save the planet

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 .

Municipal Climate Declarations for Copenhagen

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

Toolkit to help small and mid-sized communities plan sustainable transportation

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

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

Focus on Citizens: Public Engagement for Better Policy and Services

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

Regional District of Nanaimo: Why Include GHG Reduction Targets in the Regional Growth Strategy?

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

Global Action Plan: Community Lifestyles Campaign

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 BC Climate Action Toolkit

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 .

BC Government Announces Green Games for Schools

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 to Mandate Businesses Promote Transit to Employees

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

International Local Government GHG Emissions Analysis Protocol

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

Plastic Bag Reduction Strategy in Fremantle, Australia

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

Food Secure Communities in BC: Resource Guide for Local Governments

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

Polis Project on Ecological Governance

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

Comprehensive Guide for Municipal Sustainability Planning

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

Indicators of Well-Being in Canada

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

Citizen Participation Toolkit

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

Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance

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

City of North Vancouver Greenhouse Gas Local Action Plan

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

Green Municipalities: A Guide to Green Infrastructure for Canadian Municipalities

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

Victoria – Mayor’s Task Force on on Breaking the Cycle of Mental Illness, Addictions and Homelessness

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

Healthy Communities, Sustainable Communities

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 at the Local Level

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

Partners for Climate Protection

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