Green News

Some green news stories have been crossing my desk so I thought I’d make a little post.  BOB and the Green Inner-city Cluster are working on stuff, more news when it becomes official and for public consumption.

Here are some other stories until then:

Urban Strategies for Transition Times

That is the subtitle for the upcoming Resilient Cities conference.  Building Opportunities with Business is one of many official sponsors (we may yet have an official shoulder event, I will bring it up at the next Green Inner-city Cluster meeting, which is on September 9th, contact andrew.mckay@bobics.org if you’re interested in learning more).  The conference continues to secure speakers and coordinate sessions and the organizers sent out the following message today which I’m passing on to our readership:

You could hardly attend a more timely conference than Gaining Ground/Resilient Cities.

What is driving this conference is the conviction of the organizers that cities have a unique and special leadership role in the sustainability agenda: to implement urban strategies for a green world and to spread knowledge city-to-city.

Yes, state/provincial governments and nations are also charged with these responsibilities, but the more abstract and political these concerns become, the more challenging it is to deliver effective policy or to leverage inter-jurisdictional agreements.

Cities and city-regions are where the rubber hits the road-literally and figuratively. Their scale is right and the culture of local interaction is direct and immediate. Collectively, cities are where most of us live, consume and produce.

Because of this immediacy, the conference hopes to play a meaningful role as a platform for Vancouver’s emergence as a green city. The timing is right, and the city is poised.

Some take the view that cities must become resilient to respond adaptively to imminent ecological changes and to energy and other imperatives. We’re not denying that need-and the conference will have much to say about these matters. But in using the word “resilient,’ the conference title implies something else, too: that cities as social and economic units are nimble; can hold meaningful local conversations; can work with constituent interests in productive collaborations; and can do this quickly.

In Vancouver, this is being expressed in part through a plan for a green economy. We believe that this is an intuitive approach, as opportunity will drive more things faster than paralyzing worry or issues that divide interests and force people to take sides.

We hope that this is a conference that will make-or more accurately help you to make-history. Vancouver needs the green economy and a deep sustainability plan for its own sake, but North American cities need an urban exemplar. We will never know the extent of Vancouver’s recent influence on other cities in Canada, the US and elsewhere, but “Vancouverism”-the city’s branded urban planning and design miracle-has powerfully influenced politicians, planners, architects, developers, writers, and advocates from other cities. And in the process, Vancouver has developed a critical piece often missing in other places: a culture of trust, self-confidence about its innovation skills, and belief in its ability to deliver change.

Resilient Cities heralds all of this and hopes to be a milestone in sustainable city progress. We look forward to seeing you there.

www.gaininggroundsummit.com

Gene Miller
Center for Urban Innovation

Hope to see some of you there, stop by the Building Opportunities with Business booth and say “hi”.

Hastings Block Party

assemblyLine

Today was the start of the construction of an earth block shed for the Hastings Street community garden.  This is a proof of concept for earth block construction.  The manufacturing of the earth blocks is taking place from 9 to 5 on Hastings Street just West of Main.

stamping

The mixture Carol and her team are using is 10% cement, 40% clay, 25% gravel, and 25% sand.  Getting the water content just right is a bit more difficult.  Once the mixture is the correct consistency it is poured into a mold and stamped by hand.

mixer

Come on down tomorrow and learn how to make earth blocks and help build a garden shed for the Hastings Street Community Garden.  They have have everything you need including healthy snacks provided by Building Opportunities with Business.

materials

Green Building Reads

Over at the Green Economy Post, there is a top ten list of recent reports on green buildings.  This is a lot to read so they also summarize each article.  Article eight is a study of office buildings in Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland to try and prove that green architecture and energy retrofits actually increase the value of the building.  The report is authored by the Cascadia Green Building Council and is available for download from their website.

Recently some other individuals and organizations have expressed interest in contributing to this blog.  So perhaps look for some fresh voices and insights shortly.

How about this green wall?

Someone, likely this morning, has taken the wall of gig posters and made a DIY green wall.  It looks like they just used an exacto knife and maybe some glue.  This is at the bus stop on Main and Broadway on the East side of Main.  The business is being remodelled and put up a plywood fascade which has since become gig poster central.

DIY Green Wall

DIY Green Wall

No idea when the remodeling will be complete or if the gig posters will allow the two plants part of their turf.