Vancouver Plans To Be The Greenest City In 2020, And Here’s How They’ll Do It
With millions of people moving from the suburbs into cities around the world, it’s hard to imagine not having a parking spot for your car. Years ago, residential and retail buildings were built with giant parking lots and garages that could accommodate everyone occupying the building. Today, with space at a premium, that landscape is changing significantly. Many of those lots are being demolished to make room for more offices, condos, and retail space. Cities have had to find ways to account for this growth and transformation, while still offering citizens the conveniences and amenities they’re accustomed to. It also means that cities have to find sustainable ways to provide these amenities. One such city accomplishing both goals is Vancouver.
Vancouver is experiencing tremendous growth in the downtown area, at a rate faster than anything they have seen in decades. They have also committed to a City Council–approved policy, “Greenest City 2020 Action Plan,” which delineates ten goal areas—in areas such as carbon emissions, waste, and the city’s ecosystem—with individual targets to obtain by 2020.
Zipcar has been serving the city of Vancouver since 2007, and with sustainability built into our business model, we’ve been working closely with residential partners to help achieve these 2020 goals. One example: Any new residential or mixed-use developments can take advantage of an incentive where five required parking spaces can be replaced with a single car share space.
It’s a plan that’s not only responsible, but also popular; adoption has already been significant. After all, parking spaces are expensive to build, and with car sharing models able to support the needs of many people, logic follows that the more car sharing members in a building, the fewer parking spots required, and, ultimately, the more money saved. Most importantly, it’s a win for resident urbanites, who quickly discover how easy it is to live car-free or car-light when convenient car sharing vehicles are literally just an elevator ride away.
The City of Vancouver has worked hard to execute this policy, and we’re excited to play a part. We believe it’s a smart and forward-thinking approach that other cities facing similar space and environmental concerns can learn from. We can’t wait to see what thoughtful and eco-friendly urban solutions emerge next.
This post originally appeared on Zipcar.com and is reprinted with permission.
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.
Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
Cities and towns across Massachusetts are starting bench programs, and helping seniors to stay active and healthy by making it easier for them to continue walking in their neighborhoods. As with many improvements to the walking environment, small changes can make a big difference in the quality of life for all members of the community.
I see the outcomes of Duke Pond as a representation of the importance of the profession of landscape architecture in today’s world. Once obscured by the glaring light and booming voice long-generated by building architects, landscape architects are steadily emerging as the designers needed to tackle complex 21st century problems. As both leaders and collaborators, their work is addressing the effects of rising sea level on coastal cities, creating multi-modal pedestrian and vehicular transportation systems to reduce carbon emissions, reimagining outdated infrastructure as great urban places, and as with the case of Duke Pond, mitigating the impacts of worsening drought.
AI has enormous potential to improve the lives of billions of people living in cities and facing a multitude of challenges. However, a blind focus on the technological issues is not sufficient. We are already starting to see a moderation of the technocentric view of algorithmic salvation in New York City, which is the first city in the world to appoint a chief algorithm officer.
There are 7 primary forces determining the success of AI, of which technology is just one. Cities must realize that AI is not the quick technological fix that vendors sell. Not everything will be improved by creating more algorithms and technical prowess. We need to develop a more holistic approach to implementing AI in cities in order to harness the immense potential. We need to create a way to consider each of the seven forces when cities plan for the use of AI.