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Greenest City Action Plan development

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With over 60 City staff, more than 120 organizations, and thousands of individuals contributing to the creation of the Greenest City Action Plan, we have:

  • Set the example for best practices in citizen collaboration
  • Built the kinds of partnerships needed to achieve our goals and targets

How we developed the Greenest City Action Plan

Work on the Greenest City Action Plan began in 2009, with the Greenest City Action Team. This group of local experts researched best practices from leading green cities around the world, and established the goals and targets that would make Vancouver the world’s greenest city. This work was published in Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future.

The team tasked City staff to create a more robust plan to outline what would be needed to achieve the goals and targets. The result is the Greenest City Action Plan, adopted by Council in July 2011.

More than 35,000 people participated in the development of the Greenest City Action Plan:

  • In face-to-face workshops and events
  • Online
  • Through social media.

More than 9,500 people, most of them residents of Vancouver, actively added their ideas, insights, and feedback to help determine the best path to achieve this plan.

When Council approved the Greenest City Action Plan in 2011, they also provided directional approval to implement a suite of 125 priority actions to be implemented by the end of 2014.

Over 80% of these actions have been implemented. The remaining 20% proved to be too costly or unnecessary given shifting context.

We’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together in partnership with the community. The results are visible both as you move through the city and also when you look at our progress toward our 15 quantitative targets.

At the mid-way point of the Greenest City Action Plan, 80% of the original 2012-2014 priority actions were complete.

City staff, in consultation with over 300 internal and external advisors, have identified over 50 priority actions for 2015 to 2020 that will help us achieve our targets. Many actions were identified during the 2010 consultation, while others are next steps, and some new opportunities have emerged over the past five years.

During the summer of 2015, over 13,000 people participated and over 850 provided input on the proposed actions in the summer of 2015.

Refer to each goal area for the 2015-2020 priority actions.

Our future to 2050: Renewable City

Becoming a truly sustainable city means we will continue to have work to do even after our Greenest City 2020 targets have been achieved. To continue being the Greenest City beyond the year 2020, we have committed to becoming a 100% renewable city by 2050.

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Our work before the Greenest City Action Plan

Before the Greenest City initiative, we had already made significant advances in our efforts to address climate change and create a sustainable city.

  • Passed the Green Rezoning Policy in 2010 requiring all new rezoning for buildings to include LEED standards
  • Revised our building bylaw in 2008 to include new green home requirements for one- and two-family homes
  • Passed Ecodensity in 2008, which promotes more sustainable planning processes
  • Adopted the Community Climate Change Action Plan in 2005, with targets and strategies for greenhouse gas reductions
  • Produced "The Climate-Friendly City," a corporate climate change action plan for city operations, in 2005
  • Formed the Cool Vancouver Task Force in 2002 to help create action plans to address climate change
  • Adopted a comprehensive transportation plan in 1997, which emphasized transit, cycling, and walking
  • Adopted the Vancouver Greenways Plan in 1995, which supports the development of more walking and cycling opportunities
  • Adopted CityPlan in 1995, which gives direction for developing sustainable communities
  • Produced the "Clouds of Change" report in 1990, which called for actions for reducing carbon emissions