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 if he ever loses an election or otherwise moves on?

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


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.

Vancouver Green Capital

That is apparently our new marketing slogan. When I say our, I mean the City of Vancouver in this case. In a speech to our buddies over at the Board of Trade, the Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson outlined his strategy to attract green industry investment to Vancouver and the surrounding municipalities and raise our international profile.

This all sounds great, but as someone who works for an organization doing economic development in Vancouver, I’d like to see a little more than speeches and whirl wind speaking tours.

Majora Carter meets Mayor Robertson

Majora Carter meets Mayor Robertson

The Mayor and Majora Carter will both be speaking at Resilient Cities and the number of shoulder events continues to grow I just registered for the Board of Change one. We’ll see if this conference and these speeches have any effect in changing Hastings and Main.

This story is getting national attention and I guess our focus on around 40 blocks of the city, kept me from posting it ASAP. I think ultimately there are only so many people who have been organizing a green industry cluster and proposing a green economic zone.

Frances Bula and her readership have been discussing this in detail, there are just only so many hours in the day.

The Quest Continues

For Vancouver to become the world’s greenest city.  Mayor Gregor Robertson has hired ,as deputy city manager, Sadhu Johnston formerly of the City of Chicago.

Sadhu is given much of the credit for helping make Chicago greener.  Listed as accomplished during his time there:

During Mr. Johnston’s time in Chicago, the city put a green roof on its city hall, introduced a special permit program for builders of green buildings that put them at the head of the line and waived fees, attracted the headquarters of nine international wind-energy companies to the city, and installed 12,000 bike racks. In a Chicago Sun-Times article about his departure this week, he was called the “whiz kid who spearheaded Mayor Daley’s greening of Chicago.”

Mr. Johnston had this to say to the Globe and Mail about the move:

“With the city being on the world stage, it’s important that we communicate what’s been done and Vancouver’s leadership position. Green jobs and green economic development could build off that position to get additional market share, Chicago is a larger city, but I feel like Vancouver’s really poised to move the sustainability agenda forward.”

The Green the Inner-city cluster has some news of its own, but once again we’re upstaged by the Mayor.  😉

Frances has more info here.

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.