IN THIS ISSUE
NOTEWORTHY: General Gordon Elementary started a bike bus this past year with support from the City of Vancouver’s Walk Bike Roll Mini Grant Program, a partnership with the Vancouver School Board. Check out our new video to hear from parents and students about their experience.
WHAT WE’RE READING: In the latest edition of the Talking Climate newsletter, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe outlines the dangers of natural gas stoves, including their health risks and climate impacts – and what governments and residents can do about it. Check it out on LinkedIn.
- Take advantage of TransLink’s Ride and Shine program this summer
- Learn how we’re improving access to drinking water in the DTES
- Fill out the indoor heat survey to help us plan for extreme heat
- Support the urban tree canopy
SAVE ON FUN THROUGH TRANSLINK'S RIDE AND SHINE PROGRAM
Go car-free this summer and bike, walk, ride and roll to events with convenient transit connections to your favourite summer spots.
Translink is making transit easy and fun with the Ride and Shine program. Using the Summer Destinations Map, plan your routes while hitting up free and fun activities along the way! Local businesses have teamed up with Translink to offer exclusive discounts for all transit riders this summer. From art galleries and museums, to breweries and gardens, adventure is waiting for everyone, all easily accessible via public transit.
Taking public transit is beneficial for many reasons – it increases social equity, road safety and physical activity, and it also reduces carbon pollution. Nearly 40% of carbon pollution in Vancouver comes from burning natural gas and diesel in our vehicles; saying yes to public transit can help towards our Climate Emergency Action Plan goal of cutting carbon pollution in half by 2030.
- Check out the Summer Destinations Map for the full list of summer events and special offers from participating businesses.
- If you own a business in Metro Vancouver, consider joining the car-free movement to encourage more residents to take transit.
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY
NEW WATER RESOURCES PLANNED FOR DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE
With climate change, we anticipate that by the 2050s we will see twice as many days above 25C. Access to drinking water is critical to staying safe in extreme heat.
Climate change impacts tend to be worse in communities affected by issues of poverty, homelessness and a lack of services. That’s why the City is working to identify locations in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside this year, where resources like permanent and temporary drinking fountains, misters and handwashing stations are needed to support the health and safety needs of this community.
Through the City’s Capital Plan, the program is also helping to expand city-wide access for more permanent drinking fountains, with up to 30 more planned over the next four years. This work supports our Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, which is helping the City prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures.
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE ADAPTATION
CITIZEN SCIENTISTS NEEDED FOR INDOOR HEAT SURVEY THIS SUMMER
As climate change produces hotter days, the heat brings more than just discomfort. Heat can worsen pre-existing illnesses and other health issues for those vulnerable, especially older adults, children under five years of age and people who are isolated. The City is committed to helping residents stay safe during hot weather events through a wide range of services available in the community.
This summer, the City of Vancouver is partnering with Vancouver Coastal Health and BC Centre for Disease Control again to ask residents to track and report their indoor temperatures during periods of hot weather. This multi-year project began in summer 2021 and will conclude with the data gathered this year.
The information residents share in this survey will inform regulations and policy updates to improve cooling inside existing buildings, along with programs to prevent heat illness and provide more public infrastructure like tree canopy, cooling spaces and fountains, which supports our Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
Tell us how hot it is inside your home this summer. The survey takes six minutes to complete, is available in six languages and is open from July 10 to September 10, 2023. Learn more and take the survey here.
See here for additional translated resources to help you and your family, neighbours, community and tenants stay safe during hot weather.
Extreme heat also brings with it an increase in wildfire smoke. Check out the City’s recently updated webpage on wildfire smoke, including where you can access cleaner air space locations and other ways to protect yourself.
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE ADAPTATION
SUPPORT THE URBAN TREE CANOPY
The urban forest plays an increasingly important role with climate change; trees absorb carbon pollution, improve air quality, increase biodiversity and help manage the heat.
Each winter and spring, Vancouver’s Urban Forestry team puts thousands of trees in the ground, adding to the urban forest and supporting neighbourhoods that need trees the most. The 2021 heat dome highlighted the role urban forest canopy can play in keeping us safe. Areas with lots of trees remained cooler, resulting in more liveable communities, while areas with fewer trees were far hotter. To improve communities’ ability to withstand these impacts, we are planting more trees in tree-deficit areas like the Downtown Eastside and Marpole.
Young, freshly planted trees need extra support to mature, and our teams work overtime through the summer drought season to keep all trees hydrated. Our annual watering program also allows us to monitor and evaluate tree establishment and ensure we are planting the right tree species. All of this work helps to build our urban forest so that we can mitigate climate change and prepare for its impacts.
- You can support local trees by helping us water them. Trickle a hose or slowly pour a bucket of water around the base of thirsty trees twice a week, ideally in the evening to reduce evaporation. This is especially important for young and downtown trees that work that bit harder for the city.
- Watch this video to see the Urban Forestry team at work and learn more about Vancouver’s urban forest on our website.
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY, CLIMATE ADAPTATION
Emergency Preparedness Workshops
In these free City-hosted workshops, you will learn steps to prepare for, respond to and recover from earthquakes, tsunamis, heat waves and other disasters.
Women’s Summer Cycling Program
July & August (Tuesday evenings)
HUB Cycling’s Women's Summer Cycling Program is non-binary and trans-inclusive and offers six, 2-hour sessions, starting with the basics of cycling and maintenance and culminating with group rides around the neighbourhood.
Trout Lake Community Centre
Reuse and Recycling Drop-off Event
Bring your unwanted electronics, small appliances, clothing and more to a free reuse and recycling drop-off event.
Magee Secondary School
Step into nature, take a deep breath of fresh forest air, and let your body relax. A park interpreter will show you ways to awaken your senses and experience the Japanese practice of forest bathing in this urban park oasis.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park
August 26 and September 9
Join other volunteers with Stanley Park Ecology Society to help manage the invasive plant species in Stanley Park.
Book an appointment with SPEC and the City for a free community repair café to keep your products and items in working condition.
Britannia Community Centre
Birding with Me: Welcoming the BIPOC Community
Join Stanley Park Ecology Society to explore birding and biodiversity on a free guided walk for the BIPOC community.
Lost Lagoon Nature House
Volunteer as a Zero Waste Fixer
If you have a knack for fixing electronics or repairing worn out clothes, volunteer at the City sponsored Repair Café events to help participants fix their belongings. Learn more by contacting email@example.com.
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