The main focus of the Commission’s work during 2009-2011 was the challenge of how Vancouver can evolve into a sustainable city in ways that meet neighbourhood needs while advancing city-wide goals. Direct links to reports and materials can be found here.
This work started as an exploration of how we can adopt sustainable practices in a context shaped by urgent global challenges. However, the initiative quickly focused on neighbourhoods as essential partners. This resulted in an exploration of the theme:
A sustainable city of sustainable neighbourhoods
The idea of a City of Neighbourhoods emerged from the 1990s CityPlan process and has been at the heart of many planning initiatives. As a “broad vision,” CityPlan set directions for the next 20 to 30 years. It has provided the foundation for a broad web of city-wide policies in areas including transportation, economy, downtown development and corporate planning. It also provides a neighbourhood-based vision and implementation program.
In reviewing CityPlan’s directions, we noted that efforts to carry out policies to enhance sustainability are sometimes met with resistance at the neighbourhood level. This often is due claims that the impacts conflict with CityPlan directions and undermine sustainability. Recent examples of such conflicts include HEAT shelters and STIR.
During our initial research, we found many Council-adopted policies that support sustainability goals. These policies relate to transportation, social sustainability, green buildings, parks and many other areas. Some are at the leading edge of urban sustainability policies. However, these policies are not organized in a manner readily accessible to citizens.
If the City is to meet ambitious sustainability goals, many elements will need to be co-ordinated and aligned – policies, regulations, resources and the City’s organizational capacity. The passion, energy and creativity of Vancouver’s citizens are among those elements.More Information
More information on the Sustainable Neighbourhoods project: