British Columbia

Vancouver to move aggressively on its green plan: mayor

Recommendations aimed at making Vancouver the world's greenest city focus on jobs and the economy, greener communities and human health, Mayor Gregor Robertson said Monday.

Recommendations aimed at making Vancouver the world's greenest city focus on jobs and the economy, greener communities and human health, Mayor Gregor Robertson said Monday.

Robertson and members of the Greenest City Action Team released their plan Monday for a green economy and sustainable future.

In the health category, the team recommends the city strengthen protection against pesticides, plant an organic community garden at city hall and discourage the use of bottled water.

To create greener neighbourhoods, the team is asking city hall to encourage landscaping using native plants, create a public bike-sharing program, conduct car-free experiments and shift to biweekly garbage collection.

To boost the green economy, the team recommends that a green economic development strategy be developed and green buildings be given priority in getting permits.

Robertson said what the team came up with isn't "pie in the sky," but rather action plans the city can take and advocate.

"It's a blueprint for how we make Vancouver into a hub for green jobs, for sustainable industry, and to capitalize on what is now globally a seismic shift toward a green economy," he said.

Robertson said the city will move aggressively on its green plan.

"There are many other cities that are in a similar situation that want to be the greenest city in the world," he said. "They see the economic opportunity there, they see the necessity of it in terms of human health, and we have an opportunity here."

Council unanimously endorsed the formation of the Greenest City Action Team in February. Its recommendations will now go to council and staff for consideration.

The team will release in June a comprehensive 10-year action plan.

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