Semi-Regular Green News

There was another lengthy piece on Sadhu Aufochs Johnston in the Vancouver Sun which is of course available online. The most relevant quotation and why Google Alerts likely found it, is as follows:

Still, he sees possibilities for driving a green agenda into Vancouver’s grittiest areas, such as the Downtown Eastside.

We’ve been working on this, some of us for years, and our latest efforts are turning an empty lot at the 700 block of East Hastings into an urban agriculture project, which we will be discussing tomorrow night at the ideas jam. And I just heard from Seann that we need to come up with $5000 cash ASAP as part of conversion of the land for tax purposes…

Tomorrow is the official start of the Gaining Ground conference here in Vancouver, but there is early coverage in the Vancouver Sun and at least one official shoulder event tonight.

In town for the conference is Portland’s mayor Sam Adams, he and Vancouver’s mayor Gregor Robertson have signed an alliance and plan to recruit Seattle and potentially San Francisco to form a new version of Cascadia. This alliance will work on maintaining the eco-system of the area and use their combined buying power to do bulk purchases. Maybe we can finally get rapid train service or even just decent train service North and South.


Urban Agriculture Ideas Jam

A Building Opportunities with Business Gaining Ground Shoulder Event

When: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, from 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Where: Century House, 432 Richards Street (between Pender and Hastings)

When discussing resilient cities the topic of urban agriculture inevitably emerges. An exciting project in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside aims to convert an asphalt parking lot into an urban agriculture project by the end of the year. Join Building Opportunities with Business, in collaboration with the Vancouver Design Nerds and the Vancouver Public Space Network for an inspiring brainstorming session in a social setting. Learn about innovative urban agriculture projects and contribute your ideas on how this parking lot can be turned into a viable city farm and employment incubator.

Please RSVP via facebook or by email to Andrew McKay

700 East Hastings

This event is directly related to the SOLEfood project which would take empty lots at 700 East Hastings and turn them into an urban agricultural project. Here is a version of the project vision we drafted:

An urban farm in the Downtown Eastside being tended by residents, producing food for residents, providing employment and training for residents, and contributing to the economic revitalization of the area.
Project Goals & Objectives

  1. Transform empty lot in to an urban farm
  2. Train inner-city residents for employment in agriculture
  3. Produce fresh healthy food for consumption in the inner-city
  4. Employ residents in the construction and ongoing operation of the urban farm
  5. Contribute to the economic revitalization by bringing in capital from the sales of goods and services
  6. Advance urban farming in Vancouver and provide inspiration and insight for others

Desired Outcome

  1. Train over a dozen inner-city residents
  2. Employ residents seasonally in urban agriculture
  3. Plant and tend to a half acre of above ground planters
  4. Achieve financial sustainability for the day to day operation of an urban farm
  5. Develop value added products and services through leveraging urban agriculture expertise
    • Landscaping & garden setup services
    • Canned value added product such as salsa
  6. Replicate success of SOLEfood elsewhere in Vancouver or another urban locale

Resilient Cities: Vancouver

This upcoming conference (October 20-22) is bringing some exciting speakers to town to speak on: green jobs, ecology, urban renewal, many of the things we blog about and are working on in Vancouver’s Inner-city.resilientCitiesOnePager

Building Opportunities with Business is going to have a booth and likely several other authors of this blog and green cluster members will be present and participating.  Here is the official promotional blurb:

Resilient Cities: Urban Strategies for Transition Times
A Gaining Ground conference in association with Smart Growth BC and in collaboration with the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics.
Date: Oct 20-22, 2009
Location: Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC
Web site:
Tel: 250-858-4600
Registration: Register online or by calling 250-472-4747

North American cities are facing transformational challenges in sustainability, economy, and urban management. Sustainability imperatives, the call for climate action, the prospect of a quickly shifting energy future, pressure for new approaches in almost every urban system, and the shock of the economic downturn have North American cities scrambling to comprehend and manage the shift toward ecological practices and greater resilience.

The conference will explore strategies to make cities more robust, and will enable participants to advance their thinking on three key subjects:

  • innovation in sustainability governance and best current practices for managing sustainable urban systems;
  • capturing opportunities in the green economy;
  • strategies for building widespread sustainability collaborations that engage the community level.

The speakers listed on their webpage include: Anita Burke, Gregor Robertson, Bill Rees, and Majora Carter who we had give the keynote at Sustainability 2.0.