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Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities

Catherine Douglas
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In which Vancouver neighbourhood or other community do you live?
Riley Park-South Cambie
If you don't live in Vancouver or are in another neighbourhood or community we did not list, please tell us where home is.
Riley Park - Little Mountain (near Mountainview Cemetary)
Please tell us which areas of Transition interest you. For example: growing more food/urban agriculture, relocalizing our economy/local currency, Permaculture, transit, energy efficient buildings, the arts, urban homesteading, preserving seed diversity, placemaking, potlucks, outreach, organizing events, community-building, having fun while saving the world, or...
Urban agriculture, permaculture, transit, energy efficient buildings, community-building, having fun while saving the world, .... also making a more fair and equitable community
There's a saying that "Transition is not a spectator sport". It's true! Village Vancouver runs on people power, and engaging in activities and projects together helps us accomplish more. Which groups, networks, neighbourhood villages, or projects do you think you might be interested in getting involved with? And what knowledge, skills, resources or other assets can you bring to the mix? (Don't be bashful!)
Interested in engaging with community groups working on energy issues, climate change, and development of more sustainable and equitable urban lifestyles (which I think is what you are all about!). Currently chairperson of a working group related to international poverty issues and teach at UBC (Economics).
What would you like to see improved in Vancouver or in your community regarding sustainability or resiliency? Do you have an idea for a new Transition project or activity?
Better transit and more subsidies for changing to "green energy" technologies, higher costs for carbon intensive technologies, public awareness/engagement strategies
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At 6:02pm on March 21, 2012, Randy Chatterjee said…

Catherine,

Ross tells me you are somehow connected to Cool North Shore.  I have spoken at length with Warren McKay and have been active in trying to start a similar movement and set of volunteer programs in Vancouver.  

I have a strong background and interest in housing energy efficiency, having worked with the early Passivhaus movement in Germany and Austria in the late 1980s when large renovations and new developments in central Europe for the first time sought carbon neutrality in operating energy requirements.  North America is significantly behind, and IMHO, Vancouver is heading backwards with its fixation on glass and concrete towers.

But be that as it may, there are tens of thousands of apartment and detached dwelling units that could see their net energy use reduced in half, if there were an economic argument for doing so.  Alas, I cannot consistently find one, at least not after comparing current labour and materials costs for efficiency-related renovations with the value of the expected energy savings--even counting on rapid energy cost increases.  (My natural gas commodity costs have dropped in half over the past 4 years, making a mockery of once reasonable Peak-Oil-based assumptions.)

There are nevertheless ecological reasons to do what economics do not support.  I am renovating a home in Douglas Park with entirely reclaimed lumber, passive and active solar additions, and high-efficiency lighting and appliances.  My biggest costs, however, are city permit fees and regulatory barriers and hurdles.  Even suggesting I planned to install PV panels on a garage roof elicited only a laughs and then new requirements for extensive structural engineering analyses and assurances.

Just last month we invited a rep from the Embers Home Energy project to present to a Main Street Village potluck that we hold at Little Mountain Neighbourhood House every month.  We talked for over an hour about improving home energy efficiency, both in new construction and renovation.  Getting people to take the next step is of course much harder.  I hope you might have some ideas.

We hold a potluck at LMNH every month and our next is Tuesday, April 10th, where the focus will be on providing both free seeds and garden plot ideas and designs.  We may also have free pots and soil to offer to any attendee.  Most of the seeds are food, but we also have many different beneficial flowers.

We send out occasional event reminders to those who've joined the Main Street Village, which is our very own local version of Village Vancouver.  We will also have many other events around cycling, gardening, seed saving, and event planning (Car Free Day) this spring.

Welcome to the Village, and hope to see you soon.

Randy, Village Vancouver and Main Street Neighbourhood Board member

At 4:08pm on March 20, 2012, Ross Moster said…

Welcome to Village Vancouver, Catherine!

Cheers,

Ross

 
 
 

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