• Maia Carolsfeld

Green Cities Discussion Series - Introduction

Did you know that your municipality probably has a green living plan that will affect your business and home?

Most municipalities have either already published a climate change plan or are in the process of writing one. In the past, these plans may have been under the guise of Health and Wellness, Natural Resources, or Parks and Facilities, but more and more municipalities are realizing that climate change affects everything that a municipality is, and are finally publishing their plans on how to mitigate further emissions by becoming carbon neutral, and how they intend to start adapting to current and future climate change risks.

How is your city planning to adapt?

I am fascinated by these municipality plans, because they represent something that people crave when it comes to climate change: tangible and achievable goals. Municipality plans show what city professionals have deemed a priority, and often these priorities are affected by what they deem possible to do, constrained by budget, perceived public opinion, institutional classism and racism, and a whole host of other hurdles. Despite those hurdles however, a city or municipality with a published climate change plan is more likely to be held accountable for how they tackle city planning issues related to climate than cities and municipalities who do not yet have a published plan.

These plans are available to download by anyone who wants to on their website, and the goals listed within them can also be followed up on to check and see if they are actually doing what they promised. After all, the difference between a city climate change plan and your new year’s resolutions is you can quietly pretend you never wrote those goals down in your journal or posted them to Facebook. A city full of people who can check in on what they are doing with taxpayer dollars though, can’t so easily pretend they never said they were going to invest in electric vehicle charging stations.

At least, that’s the theory.

In practice however, I have one question: how many of you have actually read the city climate change plan of your municipality?

Do you know if your city or municipality has one in place, or plans to publish one soon?

Victoria Harbour

I know that the city where I live now (Victoria, BC), published their plan in 2018, and have even given it a quick glance over, but only because I needed to for an assignment last year.

Looking up city climate change plans isn’t exactly the most thrilling task in the world after all.

That is why I am starting the Green Cities discussion series. This will be a series of blog posts in which I read through the climate change plan our municipalities have published, analyze how well those plans address important issues, and discuss areas of continued improvement that need to be made. The point of this series will be to succinctly summarize what you need to know about your municipality’s climate change plan - including how well it ranks against others of its like.

The first plan I will report on will be Victoria’s Climate Leadership Plan, published in 2018. I’m already halfway through writing that blog post, and am looking forward to sharing it with you in two weeks.

Do you have a suggestion for which municipality I should report on next? Comment below, or send an email to maia@ecothinkproductions.com.

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