Green, Green, Green

This blog is overdue for an update.  I’ve been monitoring my Google alerts and RSS feeds but their hasn’t been much big news since Will Allen had to cancel and the roof top farm went South at the last minute.  I don’t have terribly much to add to those tales of woe, but here is some recent ‘green’ news.

Apparently the powers that be in Western Canada are meeting in Victoria to discuss clean energy and the green economy.  BC’s Liberals, Alberta’s Conservatives, as well as the Premiers of both Saskatchewan and for the first time Manitoba are meeting to discuss challenges and opportunities for Western Canadians and knowing politicians, how to get more money out of Ottawa.

The Gaining Ground Summit is coming around again, this time it is entitled Eco-Logical.  Invited speakers include:

  • Gregor Robson
  • Carol Sandford
  • Jared Blumenfeld
  • Mark Holland
  • Richard Branson

No word if the Greening the Inner-city Blog will get a press pass again.  The conference is October 4th through 7th.

Apparently UBC is going to help Vancouver become the world’s greenest city.  You’d think this wouldn’t be news, as UBC is the largest university in the City, in the entire Province, so it seems rather obvious they’d contribute in some way to the effort.  However if want the few details, the Vancouver Sun had a story a while back.  The Straight also covered the announcementGregor’s blog also covered the story, wonder what he’ll do with MayorOfVancouver.ca if he ever loses an election or otherwise moves on?

Well that’s all the news that is green enough to print, err type.

The future of the greening the inner-city blog

Yesterday the Green Inner-city Cluster met at BOB’s offices.  Many were disappointed that Will Allen’s visit to Vancouver had to be canceled due to a medical issue.  We all wish Will Allen a speedy recovery and hopefully he’ll get up to Vancouver another time, we’d love to show him what we’re doing with urban agriculture here.

At the meeting we went over our current initiatives, the most famous of which is the SOLEfood Urban farm.  The inner-city farmers have completed training with help from such folks as Ward Teulon and Michael Ableman.  Most of the boxes are completely built, not sure about the covers (high tunnels) to lengthen the growing season.  SOLEfood needs equipment and materials still so a public call for them is being echoed on this blog.

The other topic that was heavily discussed is e-waste, which will be dealt with in a future post in more depth.

We also talked about the future of this blog.  It was created almost a year ago, and since then Majora Carter has visited Vancouver twice, we started an urban farm, we trained some inner-city residents in urban agriculture, we even helped promote a few conferences.  So what does the future hold for the Greening the inner-city blog?

That is still being determined, but the team behind the blog was strengthened.  The original group of people who stated an interest in writing about relevant themes and issues here only produced four actual authors of posts.  This was never intended to be the Green BOB Blog or heaven forbid the Green Muskblog.  So we’re going to reach out to find some more guest authors, as finding regular bloggers who will write for free and are knowledgeable and able to post regularly is difficult.  Our two biggest additions to the team are Wes Regan who has blogged for Techvibes among others and Emily Jubenvill of Small Feet.  So expect to see them authoring more posts in the future.

If you’re interested in writing a guest post or have a topic you think would be a good subject for a future post write wes.regan@bobics.org.  We are going to try even harder to stick to our chosen categories:

  • Construction – green buildings, sustainable communities, de-construction
  • Energy – conservation or alternative means to generation
  • Green Businesses – particularly local ones or best practices
  • Green Economy – both locally in Vancouver and over all
  • Green Jobs – locally but with the occasional big picture story or link
  • Green Space – local ones but also interesting urban green spaces worldwide
  • Recycling – which has proven particularly successful in the DTES
  • Waste Reduction – reducing consumption of everything other than energy

This discipline along with the general cleanness of our site and WordPress.com HTML code has apparently lead to our humble blog ranking well in Google for several keywords and phrases.  We will remain on topic as long as I’m still involved.  We also want the blog to be more interactive so expect us to respond to most comments and we’ll continue to cross promote this blog on various other sister sites.

Remember Sustainability 2.0

Saul Brown does. He also knew that some of the footage we recorded made it on to YouTube.  I hope someday more of the footage makes it online in some form.  Strathcona BIA is working on their next conference which they’ve dubbed Sustainability 2.010! I’m less involved this time personally, but with Will Allen coming to Vancouver and Majora Carter having already been here twice.  Resilient Cities: Vancouver, greening the inner-city, Green Capital, GCAT, Vancouver is definitely one of the North American leaders in sustainability, social purchasing, urban agriculture, urban architecture.  You know good stuff.

Will Allen is coming to Vancouver

He is speaking at “Growing out of Hunger” which is part of the SFU dialogue series.  Will Allen was a professional basketball player who is now one of the leading figures in urban agriculture thanks to his work with the University of Wisconsin and the cities of Milwaukee and Chicago.  He is the CEO of Growing Power Community Food Centre and was mentioned in an earlier blog posting.

Will Allen was also the winner of MacArthur Fellowship in 2008.  His presentation is free to all, but you must register.  The event will take place at the Croatian Cultural Centre at 3250 Commercial Drive on March 25th from 7-9pm.

For those of you interested in urban agriculture or urban renewal you should not miss this.  This blog was happy to be part of the effort to bring Majora Carter to town the first time and for people who missed her presentation should double endeavor to attend Will’s.

Olympic Village greenest neighbourhood in the world

The US Green Building Council has awarded Millennium Water AKA the Vancouver Athlete’s Village AKA the place where the Aussies hung their big green flag as a certified LEED Platinum Neighbourhood Development.  Our Mayor is rightfully proud of this accomplishment.

As part of the Olympics Inclusivity Goals as well as ongoing efforts to revitalize Vancouver’s historic inner-city, a Community Benefits Agreement was struck between the developer, the City, and Building Opportunities with Business.  The outcome of which resulted in 102 inner-city residents being trained and employed in construction, along with over 40 million in procurement from inner-city businesses.

Farming in the DTES

Although we’ve written a number of posts on the SOLEfood urban farm that the authors of this blog helped start and run, it wasn’t the first vacant lot in the inner-city to be planted, nor is it the only one.  Before we were ready to announce our full plans we consulted a number of people and photographed existing gardens and green spaces in the Downtown Eastside.  The Hastings Street Community Garden is probably the most well known, though there are a number of others which I photographed, including one beside the DTES Neighbourhood House.

Today an article about the history and purpose behind another garden appeared on the internet.  David Aupperlee describes himself as a full time urban farmer and works with the organization Jacob’s Well which is right down on Main Street not far from Hastings heading North.  Those of us behind the blog are delighted to read of their successful harvesting or organic vegetables and look forward to discussing techniques and future opportunities to increase the green economy, green jobs, and urban agriculture in the DTES.

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