Greenest City news

JULY 2020


  • Read on for an update on Vancouver's environmental and climate actions
  • Learn how you can participate in a study mapping summer heat in public spaces
  • Get health and safety tips for using community gardens during COVID-19
  • Sign up for green events and local opportunities

Vancouver Park Board is updating its Local Food Action Plan to guide its food-related work up to 2025 and is seeking consulting services to help with its development. Prospective vendors can view the RFP and submit a proposal until July 23. 

Greenest City news


Last week, Council received progress updates on two of the City’s core environmental plans; the Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP), and the Climate Emergency Response.
Next year will be the final GCAP update, completing a decade of environmental action. So far, Vancouver has exceeded GCAP 2020 targets for Green Transportation, Local Food, and Access to Nature. Notable accomplishments include:

  • A 35% growth in green jobs since 2010;
  • A 37% decrease in the average distance driven per resident since 2007, with 64% of residents walking, cycling, or taking transit to work;
  • 139,000 new trees planted since 2010 to support our urban forest.
GCAP has created a strong foundation for climate action, but we need to do more. In 2019, carbon pollution was down 9% from 2007, falling short of our 2020 target of 33%.  
City Council declared a Climate Emergency last year to acknowledge the urgency of climate change and committed to six big moves to scale up the City’s carbon pollution reductions. Council also approved 53 accelerated actions to get us started. Progress highlights for the climate emergency response to date include:
  • Completion of a 12km priority bus lane on 41st Ave., adding one-third extra capacity on the second busiest bus corridor in the region;
  • Adding six new DC fast chargers and seven Level 2 chargers to Vancouver’s public electric vehicle charging network;
  • Near-zero emission space and water heating requirements in the Vancouver Building Bylaw for new low-rise residential buildings.

The Climate Emergency Action Plan to reach these big moves is being developed with public input we received in spring and will be brought to Council this fall.
To learn more, read the news story and check out the Council presentation.
For a full update on all 53 Climate Emergency accelerated actions check out the accelerated action dashboard, and for an update on the progress made towards our Greenest City 2020 targets, scan the GCAP dashboard.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in touch about our Climate Emergency Action Plan.  


Greenest City news


Our average annual temperature is warming. By 2050, our region will have twice as many summer days above 25 degrees Celsius compared to today. The warmer temperatures in cities can lead to urban heat island effect, where our built environment absorbs and holds greater amounts of heat, resulting in more heat waves and health issues, especially for those experiencing homelessness, the elderly or people working outdoors.
This summer, the City of Vancouver is working with UBC’s Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) and CAPA Strategies to map the urban heat island effect in Vancouver’s public spaces across the city. Volunteers will use high-tech sensors to monitor the temperature as they travel designated routes on bicycles and electric vehicles. This data will help the City identify which areas are hot spots and help us design and plan for the future.
The project supports the City’s Climate Adaptation Strategy and will provide information to help guide the City’s urban planning, public health and urban greening initiatives.
We are seeking enthusiastic volunteers to sign up for one-hour timeslots to complete a route in the city on the day of the campaign, which will be between August 1-15 (final date TBA). Volunteers need to have access to a bicycle or electric vehicle. Training and monitoring equipment will be provided. 

If you’re interested, please respond to this Volunteer Intake Form.
Learn more about the CAPA Heat Watch program by visiting their website.

Greenest City news


The summer weather may attract you to spend more time outdoors in one of Vancouver’s community gardens. Vancouver has over 110 community gardens operated by local community groups, in city parks, in schoolyards, and on private property.
The Province of BC has identified community gardens as an essential service, which means that they remain open during COVID-19. Here are some tips to keep safe and reduce the risk of transmission while using the community gardens:

  • Keep at least 2m away from others while in a garden setting;
  • Bring along gardening tools and supplies to clean your hands from home;
  • Disinfect all touch points before and after use.
  • Organize a schedule for members to tend to their gardens at certain times of the day to reduce the number of people in the garden at once.

Download a COVID-19 gardening safety tips poster to keep around as a reminder.
To join a community garden and request a garden plot, search the community garden map or open data set and contact the community garden directly.

Local green opportunities

Please remember to take COVID-19 health precautions when attending any in-person events or workshops.
Vegetable Gardening with Mik Turje
July 18
Join Mik, a Vancouver-based organic farmer, to learn how to produce your own delicious vegetables!
Busy Beavers
July 21
Learn about one of Stanley Park’s most charismatic creatures – the beaver!  During this program, you will find out the beaver basics, like what they eat, why they chomp on trees, and the difference between lodges and dams.
Virtual Explorer Day – Wild Bees of BC!
July 21
Join NatureKidsBC and nature mentor Eve Layman for a Virtual Explorer Day as they explore wild bees of BC.
Green Drinks Vancouver
July 22
This open social gathering is organized by volunteers to be able to meet other environmentally-minded folks here in Vancouver.
Open Outcry
MetroVan Repair Café
July 25
Visit this café to get your broken household items fixed, free of charge, with the help of experienced volunteers. 
Trout Lake Community Centre
Sapsucker Saga
July 29
Join wildlife photographer Frank Lin to learn all about woodpeckers, including the differences between the year-round resident of Stanley Park, the Red-Breasted Sapsucker, and the migratory and elusive Red-naped and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.
Ask a Park Ranger
July 30
Get your questions answered with Lead Ranger Chris Penton during this interactive webinar in which you will learn about the daily life of a Vancouver Park Ranger!
Eating Close to Home: Fostering the Local Food System
August 6
UBC Farm brings together a series of speakers to reflect on how we can seize the moment to call for a more localized, resilient, and sustainable food system.


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