What Canadian Cities Should Be Doing

Seeing as we have entered construction season here in Canada (a.k.a. spring and summer), I thought it prudent to collect some things that other cities have been doing that I think we ought to be implementing here in London (in some cases especially since we’re known as the Forest City) and other Canadian cities ought to be at least contemplating.

Let’s start with a great example from Vancouver: The roof of the Vancouver Convention Centre has been turned into a green roof. What does that mean?

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A Sustainable Food Cycle, Part 2

As a follow-up to my previous post, A Sustainable Food Cycle, I have done some research recently in the interest of covering some more ideas surrounding the subject. Talks from the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference, pro-business magazines like Fast Company have both been covering the topics recently and I think it’s worth noting. Admittedly this entry will not have nearly as narrow a focus as part 1, but I don’t think that will really matter.

First off it’s worthy to note that Fast Company, a magazine & website all about business innovation, recently put up an article entitled the Ten Best Green Jobs for the Next Decade. The very first job listed? Farmer. Why? Because the move to a sustainable food cycle invites urban/vertical farming to be a part of the solution. Translation – we’re not going to replace the farmers we currently have, we’re going to offset the lack of supply during non-growing months. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Indeed, it may be high time for a former client of mine to realize his dream of it “being a good time to be a farmer” fairly soon. And the message that Mark Bittman, cookbook author, journalist and TV personality, has been espousing recently just lends more credence to that.

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OPA Awards 6 New Wind Power Projects

The Ontario Power Authority’s latest RFP for wind power projects has resulted in the OPA awarding 6 new projects, mostly in southern Ontario, that will provide Ontario with another 492.1MW of renewable energy. OPA also estimates that this will create approximately 2,200 jobs both directly and indirectly.

All of the pertinent information is located at the link in the paragraph above. Why this is newsworthy is that all of the provinces are boosting their wind power generating capacity by considerable amounts; and that’s a great thing, because studies I’ve read have shown that Canada is one of the best places in the world to harness the wind. The Ontario Wind Atlas helps prove the point, providing a great visual way to tell where the best places (and how high the towers need to be) in Ontario are.

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A Sustainable Food Cycle

One of the largest contributors to problems in our society in general has got to be the way we’re eating right now. There are people in Canada who crave things like watermelons, cantaloupe and pineapple even in the middle of winter. Clearly none of those things can be grown in either Canada or the US in January without being grown in a greenhouse, so typically those fruits and others are flown/trucked in from thousands of kilometres away.

The result is a vastly inefficient food cycle. Things are even poorly managed locally during the past few years. E. coli outbreaks, listeria, salmonella, etc. The solution? It may be vertical farming.

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