Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
As LIBOR, OIS, and CDS spreads--all ways banks have of borrowing money short term from each other--have begun to skyrocket again to levels last seen shortly after the Wall Street meltdown of fall…Continue
Real or just our imagination? Did we humans do it? Is it really our fault? What's with just a degree or two change? I can't feel it. What can we do, if anything? Talk about it, before it talks…Continue
I anchor the far western side of the Transition Village of
Main Street Neighbourhood, living as I do in Douglas Park, just a few houses west of Cambie. I moved into the neighbourhood just as The Big Dig (aka RAV or Canada Line) started, have defended our small businesses over the past five years ("losing" several to Main Street, but seeing 85 small shops and restaurants go under to be replaced by several Big Box retailers), and started a carbon-neutral gut renovation of my house.
Using mostly reclaimed lumber, recycling all "waste" materials, planting an eleven hundred square foot vegetable garden, and installing a 97% efficient gas/solar-hydronic heating system, I am on track to integrate passive solar air exchange, 2 solar hot water panels, 8 solar PV panels, a plug-in scooter, and 70% rainfall collection and storage. Most of these initiatives I learned from the PassivHaus movement in central Europe, and my total home energy use is already nearing the PassivHaus performance standard of 120 kWh per square metre per year. I have been fighting the Planning and Building Departments of Vancouver City Hall every step of the way. The building inspector told me my 1920s home was "beyond its design life." Design review staff laughed at my plans to catch and store and buffer all rain surge water from impermeable surfaces, let alone to build with reclaimed lumber using direct-load, truss-free construction techniques.
With the help of three plum and two lemon trees, I harvest approximately 240 kilos of fruits and vegetables every year, sharing some with Julie, Nate, and Everest's NOWBC depot. A regular customer of Neighbours Organic Weekly Buying Cooperative (NOWBC), an on-line local and organic produce cooperative, I am beginning to wonder what a "grocery store" is, other than the fields of Lower Mainland's organic coop farms. However, it is still nice to have Choices and Cambie General Store to fill in here and there (until they legalize cows in the city ;-).
I am on the Boards of Village Vancouver, Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver (NSV), Riley Park/South Cambie CityPlan, and the Residents Association of Mount Pleasant. I stepped down after two years on the Boards of NOWBC and the Hastings Park Conservancy.
A former UN international development project manager, I am still involved in one industrial start-up venture and also edit and produce films for public television and university-level distance learning programs. I teach alpine skiing and high-angle mountaineering on a volunteer basis.
A rendering of the planned urban farm district, which would run along the Chicago’s New ERA Trail.
Chicago’s Black Belt area, on the historic South Side, was once a hub for jazz, blues, and literature, but today is riddled with vacant lots, poverty, and blight. Now, a new plan…
Showing off what Vancouver does so well and learning from others far away is a great exchange of gifts. Please respond to this opportunity to connect with a visitor to Vancouver October 19th and 20th (Friday or Saturday). Here is her note:
I have a request: I'm trying to identify someone who knows their way around Vancouver pretty well, is into sustainability and Permaculture-ish urban gardening, and would be…Continue
This issue is crucial to us in a City regulating itself and its residents to death, or at least into homelessness and malnutrition. In my book, homelessness and malnutrition are tantamount to death,…Continue
We’re about to push the Earth over the brink, new study finds
By David Roberts
There’s a new scientific paper out in the journal Nature called “Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere.” In a sane world, it would be front page news. This is from the…