IN THIS ISSUE
- Provide input on the Rupert and Renfrew Station Area Plan
- Expanding our urban forest in low canopy areas
- 15 electric buses are coming to Vancouver
- New paper and reusable shopping bag fees are in effect
- Check out local events and green opportunities
NOTEWORTHY: Share your priorities on city spending here by January 24! The City is seeking your feedback on the 2023 draft operating budget, which funds services and programs residents use every day and includes funding to advance our Climate Emergency Action Plan and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Feedback will help inform City Councilís decision on the final 2023 budget in March.
WHAT WEíRE READING: On December 27, 2022, Vancouver experienced the highest coastal water levels in over 30 years. A king tide combined with storm surge, high winds and rainfall led to localized flooding across the city and closures on the seawall. Learn more about how sea level rise and extreme rainfall caused by climate change will make these types of events more frequent, and how Vancouver is responding with projects like the Sea2City Design Challenge, in this Canadian Geographic article.
HELP SHAPE THE RUPERT AND RENFREW STATION AREA PLAN
We want to plan for future growth in Vancouver in a way that supports our residents, communities and the climate. City staff are seeking your input on a new area plan for transit-oriented development at the Rupert and Renfrew SkyTrain stations so that more residents and workers will have access to reliable, rapid and sustainable commuting options.
Creating more livable and convenient neighbourhoods is an opportunity for climate action. The new area plan supports the Climate Emergency Action Plan and will also build on Vancouver Plan directions to create Ďcomplete communitiesí by making it easier for residents to meet their daily needs within an easy walk, bike or roll from home. Combined with easy access to transit, this means less reliance on fossil fuel vehicles and brings us closer to our climate goal of cutting carbon pollution in half by 2030.
Access to the Still Creek watershed is a feature that makes this area of Vancouver unique, and it's something we want to protect. The Plan will consider how to protect and enhance the Creek, enhance biodiversity and create new greenspaces in underserved areas, and provide natural climate solutions by capturing carbon from our atmosphere.
In spring 2022, the first round of public engagement was completed. Building on the opportunities and challenges identified by the community during this process, the City has launched a second round of public engagement.
There are lots of ways to share your ideas for the future of the area:
- Take our Community Survey
- Attend an open house
- Drop by our Mobile Office at community events and facilities throughout February
Find details on these opportunities here.
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY, ADAPTATION
TREE PLANTING IN CANOPY-DEFICIENT AREAS SUPPORTS EQUITABLE CIMATE ACTION
Vancouverís urban forest adds beauty and greenspace to our city, and serves as a natural climate solution to capture carbon pollution from the atmosphere. Responding to the climate crisis also means being prepared for its effects, particularly in neighbourhoods and communities in Vancouver that are more vulnerable than others. Expanding our urban forest canopy is one of our key climate adaptation tools as it reduces heat island effect during heat events and moderates temperatures during extreme cold.
Every year, between October and March, the Urban Forestry team plants trees along streets, and in boulevards and parks, focusing on canopy-deficient areas in the downtown, south and east areas of the city. Creating tree pits for new trees in an urban environment presents many challenges, such as interference with underground and overhead infrastructure and competing demands for limited space. Replacing old trees requires extracting residual tree stumps that are often difficult to access.
The Cityís Engineering department, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the development community work together to navigate these challenges and ensure trees are considered an integral part of the cityís urban infrastructure.
Our urban forest includes every tree in the city, from parks to streets to backyards. Learn more about the street trees in your neighbourhood with our interactive map. Want to get your hands dirty? Find upcoming opportunities to steward and support our urban forests, like Everett Crowley Park and Stanley Park, in our events section!
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY, ADAPTATION, URBAN FOREST STRATEGY
15 NEW BATTERY-ELECTRIC BUSES ROLLING INTO TRANSLINKíS FLEET
New zero emissions buses are coming to Vancouver! 15 new battery-electric buses will be added to TransLinkís fleet over the coming year, bringing the total number of battery-electric buses to 19. Each bus is expected to reduce 70 tonnes of carbon pollution and save $40,000 in fuel costs annually, compared to a conventional diesel bus. The new buses are rolling into service on Route 100, which travels west-east along Marine Drive.
The buses are an important step towards achieving TransLinkís sustainability goals, which include:
- Reducing carbon pollution by 45% by 2030
- Transitioning to a bus fleet operating entirely on renewable energy by 2040
- Becoming a net zero organization in all operations by 2050
In addition to reducing carbon pollution, the new battery-electric buses will provide other benefits, like cleaner air and quieter streets along the route. Taking transit is already a climate-friendly alternative to driving a personal vehicle, and TransLinkís low carbon commitments accelerate Vancouverís efforts to cut our carbon pollution in half by 2030.
Plan your next ride with the TransLink Trip Planner. Travelling with someone under the age of 12? They can ride for free.
Want more? Learn about TransLinkís three year Climate Action Plan, which supports their long-term Climate Action Strategy goal to become a climate resilient and net-zero transit system by 2050.
SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY
BRING YOUR OWN BAG TO HELP VANCOUVER BECOME A ZERO WASTE CITY
Did you know that each year, 89 million plastic shopping bags and 4 million paper shopping bags end up in the garbage in Vancouver? In order to reach our target of becoming a zero waste city by 2040, the City is taking steps to reduce waste from single-use items.
On January 1, 2022, the City of Vancouver banned plastic shopping bags and required businesses to charge fees on paper and new reusable shopping bags. As of January 1, 2023, the minimum fees are $0.25 for paper bags and $2.00 for new reusable bags. Council approved these bag fees in 2019 to support behaviour change and be consistent with other BC municipalities, Metro Vancouver and provincial regulations.
Paper and reusable bags have significant environmental impacts, so it is important to reduce their numbers, as well.
Still getting used to bringing your own bag? Here are some tips:
- Keep bags in your backpack, pannier, bike basket or vehicle
- At home, store your bags near where you keep your keys and wallet
- If you have extra bags, drop them off at the Zero Waste Centre - weíll clean and distribute them to those in need
SUPPORTING: ZERO WASTE
When attending in-person events please follow COVID-19 health & safety precautions.
Kits Village Plastic Recycling Depot
Bring your clean and pre-sorted plastics to this free recycling depot. Find the full list of accepted items in the event description.
Kitsilano Community Centre
Everett Crowley Park Stewardship
Join the Everett Crowley Park Committee to help remove invasive plant species, rewild native shrubs and learn more about the history and ecology of the park.
Champlain Heights Community Centre
Stanley Park EcoStewards
January 21 and February 4
Volunteer with the EcoStewards to help manage and remove invasive plant species from the parkís ecosystem. In addition to removing invasive species, you will also learn about local ecology and conservation issues.
Apply to become a UBC Sustainability Scholar by January 29
Are you a grad student at UBC? Applications for various paid applied research internships in summer 2023 are now being accepted. Learn more at an upcoming information session and apply here by January 29.
Zero Waste in the Kitchen and DIY Beeswax Wraps
Learn about how to reduce food waste, package-free grocery shopping, proper segregation of kitchen waste, recycling and composting. Plus, create your own beeswax food wraps.
Kitsilano Community Centre
Beeyond Belief: Where Do Bees Go in Winter?
Learn about the hidden winter world of bees in this webinar with bee naturalist Lori Weidenhammer.
Saturdays and Sundays
Riley and Hastings Park winter markets are open. Visit the website to learn about local farmers, food producers and creators at each market and plan your visit.
Riley Park & Hastings Park
Volunteering with the Bicycle Valet
The Bicycle Valetís volunteer team provides informative resources and valet-style parking at events in and around Vancouver. Join the team to support Vancouverís cycling community and get free entrance to events.
In person events, sign up online
Streetwise Cycling Online
New to cycling? This free educational series from HUB helps adult beginner riders gain knowledge and skills to start their cycling journey at their own pace with confidence.
SPEC Team Meetings
Want to connect with other like-minded individuals and share your knowledge on energy and transportation, food growing, or waste? Check the link for Society Promoting Environmental Conservation meet-up topics and meeting dates.
Connect and learn more