Internet entrepreneur on green media and technology.
Vancouver: Torchbearer for green cities
When the Winter Olympics wrap up, Vancouver will be passing more than one torch. The city could light the way for green cities of the future by proving economic prosperity and climate protection can go hand in hand.
While Canada isn't collecting as many Olympic medals as it would like, the Olympiad city is being heaped with awards of the green variety.
The Economist once again named it the world's most livable city. The Olympic village just received a LEED Platinum accreditation, the first of its kind, and uber-eco Mayor Gregor Robertson announced a plan to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020, facing off in a friendly competitive battle with the city of Copenhagen which is aiming for the same goal.
I sat down last week with Sean Pander, the sustainability manager for the city of Vancouver, during Richard Branson's Carbon War Room summit, and he listed off some very impressive statistics: The average Vancouver resident emits a meager 4.6 tonnes of CO2 per person (compared with the U.S. residents' 24 tonnes) and the city is on target to meet its Kyoto pledge of a 6 percent carbon dioxide reduction below 1990 levels in the next two years.
But the big news is that in the 10 years it took the city to achieve this remarkable accomplishment, the economy of Vancouver boomed, with 27 percent population growth, 18 percent job growth and some of the highest wages in Canada.
Smart urban planning, increased public transportation, and super-efficient buildings were just a few of the ways they pulled it off. But according to Pander they are just getting started:
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