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Our planet is warming and its climate is changing. In Vancouver, we are already seeing increasing air pollution from forest fires, deadlier heat waves, and destructive flooding. Burning natural gas in our buildings and gasoline and diesel in our vehicles combined with the materials we use in our buildings and the food and products we consume, all produce greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contribute to this crisis.

Directions and Policies

Direction 3.1: Eliminate Carbon Pollution

Advance and accelerate actions to eliminate carbon pollution.

Vancouver’s physical form affects how individuals can take action on climate change. Neighbourhoods that are complete, where people live close to daily needs and where walking, biking and transit are convenient help reduce vehicle dependence, which in turn lowers our fossil fuel consumption. Advancing zero-emissions buildings and low carbon building construction also play a key role in reducing our carbon pollution.

Policies

3.1.1 Advance the goals and actions of the Climate Emergency Action Plan beyond 2030, specifically Big Move 1 – Complete Communities and Big Move 2 – Active Transportation. (See Complete Neighbourhoods section and Transportation section for additional details).
3.1.2 Advance area planning to enable and encourage low carbon footprints for residents through denser housing forms. Balance this with consideration for low carbon construction materials, like sustainably sourced wood framing or mass timber.

Direction 3.2: Encourage Zero-Waste

Advance zero-waste practices that support sustainable consumption.

Neighbourhoods that offer opportunities to share, repair, reuse, and recycle goods and resources can connect people through zero waste initiatives, inspiring greater community involvement, partnerships, innovation and sharing of materials. Through land use, we will support the goals of the Zero Waste 2040 Strategy and Climate Emergency Action Plan, and shift to a culture of sustainable consumption.

Policies

3.2.1 Promote flexible building use/reuse and reduce the need for demolition.
3.2.2 Identify space on both public and private property to enable a system of neighbourhood and city-scale materials management to support a circular economy, zero waste initiatives and local job production.

Direction 3.3: Climate Change Adaptation

Accelerate actions to build climate resilience.

While we work to reduce our emissions, we also need to adapt to changes we are already experiencing—including drought, flooding, sea level rise, extreme heat events and poor air quality from wildfires. Climate change will continue to disproportionally impact equity-denied groups, until there is adequate planning and investment to create resilience.

Policies

3.3.1 Advance natural climate solutions that buffer impacts of climate change, sequester carbon (capture, secure and store carbon from the atmosphere) and improve biodiversity.
3.3.2 Collaborate with xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations to explore innovative ways to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.
3.3.3 Focus on people and communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental degradation in area-based planning so as not to add cumulative impacts but instead remove them.
3.3.4 Consider the health impacts of a changing climate in the development and renewal of the built environment; new development should respond to, and help mitigate air pollution, extreme heat, and flooding, particularly in areas with higher hazard risk.

 

By 2050, sea levels near Vancouver are expected to rise by 0.5 metres. In the fall of 2021 severe flooding impacted almost every city in Metro Vancouver.

The Sea2City Design Challenge will create a framework and vision to guide urban development and ecological revitalization in the False Creek floodplain, a highly valued and constrained urban waterway in the heart of the city.