Vancouver's ambitions to be the greenest city
Vancouver in British Columbia is often cited as being in the top five of the most liveable cities in the world. I only mention this because I recently returned from a short trip to the Canadian city and now I understand why people rave about it.
For starters, the scenery is absolutely breath-taking. Snow-capped mountains provide a backdrop to Vancouver's stunning setting, with its glistening high-rise condos towering over the water front and the lush, green surroundings of Stanley Park offering a quick getaway from the bustling downtown area. What I was surprised to discover, however, is that Vancouver has ambitions to become the world's greenest city by 2020.
According to its 2020 action plan, Vancouver's green economy is growing more than twice as fast as its traditional sectors. Jobs are being created across a diverse range of industries, taking in green building design and construction, recycling and composting, locally-sourced food and green transportation.
Like many cities, Vancouver has ambitions for a zero waste future and has highlighted a number of priority actions to achieve this.
These include plans to expand the city's food scraps composting programme for residents; an ambitious move that involves collecting food scraps from single-family homes and piloting food scraps collection programmes in apartments and condos.
Another priority area is extending producer responsibility programmes for packaging. Under these plans, companies will be required to take responsibility for recycling the products and packaging they put on the market.
Locals are naturally proud of their city and it's not hard to see why. Still it will be interesting to see how Vancouver meets its aim to become the world's greenest city and what lessons others can learn from its experience.Nick Warburton