North Shore communities take center stage in our tenth episode. We chronicle ten years of district energy success with the City of North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Energy. Learn why West Vancouver is embracing Coach Houses and how they offer a wider range of housing choices for everyone from young families to seniors hoping to ‘age in place. Take a ride on the new Spirit Trail — a cycling route connecting Deep Cove to West Vancouver and creating a safe, accessible bicycling option across the North Shore. Plus, trees make for healthy communities no matter which side of the Burrard Inlet they are planted. See how the City of Vancouver is delivering training to amateur arborists to fulfill an ambitious goal of greening the city.
In West Vancouver coach houses are now an option, making the district the 10th municipality in Metro Vancouver to use this form of detached secondary suites as a way to grow housing stock. See how this housing style helps young families and seniors, and makes it possible to reduce construction waste at the same time.
The number of cycling commuters in North Vancouver has tripled in the last three years, evidence that the joint cycling plan for the City and District of North Vancouver, developed with valuable input from cyclists, is working. Now the route priorities are being incorporated into capital planning processes and results are appearing, such as the Spirit Trail. Working together, the two municipalities are making their communities more bicycle friendly and at the same time reducing emissions and improving air quality.
Urban trees are part of the natural capital that protects our economic and social well-being. They buffer noise, reduce stormwater runoff, and provide habitat for wildlife. The City of Vancouver has set a goal of planting 150,000 trees by 2020. With the help of a team of citizen foresters, this ambitious goal is closer than ever. See how training gives these volunteers the skills to help the city get greener.
When the City of North Vancouver started Lonsdale Energy Corporation ten years ago, they became a regional leader in greenhouse gas reductions. Now with six mini-plants, 54 nearby buildings are efficiently served from a range of alternative energy sources, including solar and geothermal.
Strong town centres contain people, workplaces, transportation and pedestrian choices. Shops, services, and arts venues also bring vibrancy to a town centre. Planners in Surrey recently gave the Central City area exactly that type of boost when the new Surrey City Hall took center stage for Culture Days. Learn why the original planning for this facility included a role for the arts and get a taste of event, which saw talented singers, dancers, and musicians show off Surrey’s artistic side.
Cycling has become more popular these days, especially with growing concern about climate change and the negative effects of having so many cars on the road. Metro Vancouver manages air quality in the region and one viable strategy for cleaner air is the development of infrastructure that makes cycling a viable choice for as many people as possible. At a local cycling conference, attendees learned how designing for timid cyclists brings benefits to commuter riders as well. The city of Burnaby has become a leader in this regard, and is the first city in Metro Vancouver to develop a standard that developers must adhere to when putting up buildings in Burnaby’s town centres. But rather than a burden, it’s being seen as great way to attract buyers.
After decades of disruption, many local streams are being engineered to encourage the return of spawning salmon. A key element is volunteer time and effort, coupled with municipal support. In West Vancouver, one of their 22 streams was enhanced at the foot of 19th St. Learn how volunteers and the city collaborated, making McDonald Creek more welcoming to salmon species heading upstream.
Waste collection took center stage at the New Westminster Uptown Live outdoor music festival. A new sponsor meant a chance to try something new with waste reduction. The event organizers teamed up with sponsors and suppliers to work towards a zero waste approach to the festivities. It’s part of a region-wide shift to food recycling programs, which are expected to help push waste diversion rates well above the 60% total achieved in 2013.
The Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area has two caretakers: the Corporation of Delta and Metro Vancouver. 2014 marks ten years of cooperation between the two levels of government protecting the bog, including monitoring water flows around its edge.