How green is my city?

Everyone drives big cars
Seriously, this is a small car?

Canada has a reputation for being green – as in eco friendly. The recent survey by Siemens certainly agrees as Vancouver came in as the greenest city in Canada and the number 2 in North America, after San Francisco.

Vancouver was in the top 10 on all 9 measures, and came in number one for CO2 emissions per capita. Other Canadian cities did fairly well with Toronto at 9, Ottawa 12, Calgary 14 and Montreal 19 out of the 27 cities in the survey.

Vancouver is aiming to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. Is that likely?

Despite the reputation, I think there’s quite a hill to climb. One of the biggest issues is transit. It’s going to take a lot to get Canadians out of their trucks, SUV’s and vans. If you look at the traffic we have now there are Ford Behemoths, GMC Giganticas, Chevy Disturbans and the like choking up the roads, often with a single occupant.

It is understandable when the public transit system is straining to cope. Building bike lanes is not going to help for most people’s commutes.

The challenge is to fund and develop a public transit infrastructure with a relatively small population base to supply the money. No one wants to pay for these initiatives.

There’s no easy solution but at least Vancouver has made a start and is already better placed than many other north American cities.

What do you think?

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