Greenest City 2020 Action Plan

To become the greenest city in the world, City staff is working with Council, residents, businesses, other organizations and all levels of government to implement the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan.

The Greenest City 2020 Action Plan (GCAP) builds on the 2009 work of ‘Mayor Gregor Robertson’s’ Greenest City Action Team.

His work was published in ‘Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future’. Recognizing the importance of working toward the goals and targets right away, the team also recommended more than 75 quick-start actions that City of Vancouver staff could begin to act on immediately. His team then tasked City staff to come up with a more robust plan to outline what would be needed to achieve the goals and targets. He result is the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. During the development of the GCAP, many people gave their time and ideas. More than 35,000 people from around the world participated in the process online, through social media, and in face-to-face workshops or events. More than 9,500 people, most of whom lived in Vancouver, actively added their ideas, insights and feedback to help determine the best path to achieve this plan.

Participants often asked how they could begin to take these ideas and make them real in their own backyards, in their neighborhoods, and in their businesses. With over 60 City staff, more than 120 organizations, and thousands of individuals contributing to the creation of the GCAP, we’ve set the example for best practice in citizen collaboration and built the kinds of partnerships required for achieving the Greenest City goals and targets. These efforts will need to continue, with each of us contributing in our own way and in our own lives to becoming the Greenest City.

The Greenest City 2020 Action Plan is divided into 10 smaller plans, each with a long-term (year 2050) goal and medium-term (year 2020) targets.

Goals of the Action Plan:

The Action Plan is divided into ten goal areas, each with a specific 2020 target. Together, these address three overarching areas of focus:

·         Carbon

·         Waste

·         Ecosystems

They include the current status of each target, the highest priority actions from each plan, and the key strategies that will take us to our goals. They also contain some useful definitions and contextual information, as well as stories about some of the Greenest City actions that are already underway in our city.

Although the GCAP is organized into 10 unique goals, the actions work together to form one integrated plan. For example, increasing, composting and gardening helps achieve the Green Economy, Zero Waste, Access to Nature and Local Food targets. Improving transit services supports the Climate Leadership, Green Transportation, and Clean Air targets.

While City Council approved the GCAP in July 2011, some elements of the plan will require further policy development or additional resources as well as Council approval before they can be implemented.

Four high-priority actions in City operations have been identified in response:

·         Plan and implement a comprehensive corporate waste reduction and diversion program for all City facilities.

·         Develop a procurement policy and practice that supports the purchase and use of local food in City-run facilities, including community centers and Park Board restaurants and concessions.

·         Look for opportunities to green community events that the City runs, sponsors, and permits.

·         Plan and implement a program to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as fossil fuel use in City-run buildings and vehicles, and achieve carbon-neutral operations.