Vancouver a hub of green growth

Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan aims to turn Vancouver in a hub of green growth. The Action Plan specifically aims to double the number of green jobs over 2010 levels by 2020 and double the number of companies that are actively engaged in greening their operations over 2011 levels by 2020.

Vancouver’s Green and Digital Demonstration Program

To increase Vancouver’s reputation as a hub of green growth the city has established the Green and Digital Demonstration Program (GDDP) to accelerate the pace of innovation, commercialization and job growth in the clean technology and digital sector. The program – created from a partnership between the City and the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) – provides a space for entrepreneurs and start-ups to test their innovations. Through the GDDP entrepreneurs and start-ups are even given temporary access to City-owner assets including buildings, streets and vehicles for demonstration and proof-of-concept trials of their technology with one business, Nanozen, even developing a wearable particle sensor for real-time air quality.

Vancouver greening its economy

Vancouver greening its economy

Green innovation hub for businesses

Vancouver has also developed the False Creek Flats, which makes up around 15% of Vancouver’s remaining industrial land base, into a hub for over 500 businesses enabling them to showcase green innovation, green buildings and smart infrastructure. Over the past 2 years around 100 of these businesses have participated in VEC-led workshops that have looked at ways to enable smart logistics, reduce barriers to green business and promote and overall shift to a greener economy.

The take-out

Cities can provide entrepreneurs and start-ups with invaluable space to test new green technologies, ensuring green jobs and green growth for years to come.

*Robert C. Brears is the author of Urban Water Security (Wiley)

Urban Water Security argues that, with climate change and rapid urbanisation, cities need to transition from supply-side to demand-side management to achieve urban water security. The book also provides a series of in-depth case studies of leading developed cities from around the world that have used demand management tools to modify the attitudes and behaviour of water users in an attempt to achieve urban water security. Urban Water Security will be of particular interest to town and regional planners, water conservation managers and policymakers, international companies and organisations with large water footprints, environmental and water NGOs, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students.

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Author: Robert Brears

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