December 14, 2018

Vancouver’s Ambitious Vision

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is getting some attention for its new Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future city strategy and vision document.  Their new vision statement eloquently highlights the links between environmental and economic health:

We envision a bright green future that couples economic prosperity, health, and happiness with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We envision less pollution and cleaner air, less machine noise and more birdsong, less pavement and more green space, fewer sick days and healthier people. We want to send a clear and compelling message to the world: prosperity and environmental stewardship can be partners, not opposing forces. We can meet the challenge of climate change in ways that will improve the quality of life for our children, and our children’s children.

Their new city plan sets a high bar for community visions:

  • Create 20,000 new green jobs.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 2007 levels.
  • All new construction is carbon neutral.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 20 percent.
  • The majority of trips in the city (more than 50%) are by foot, bicycle, and public transit.
  • Reduce per capita solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 40%.
  • Every person walks within a five-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space.
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city.
  • Reduce per capita ecological footprint by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat the strongest of B.C., Canada, and World Health Organization drinking water standards.
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat World Health Organization air quality guidelines.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 33 percent.

In case you haven’t looked at it in a while, I inserted our own Golden Sustainability Initiative goals below.  Vancouver is definitely setting an ambitious bar, but the comparison is encouraging because ours goals, while they are ambitious, are pretty moderate by comparison.  The Sustainability Advisory Board will be reporting to City Council in the near future on their progress toward meeting our goals.  We’ll figure out where we are at and what adjustments we need to make to help the board, city staff, and community groups keep the ball moving forward.

Golden Sustainability Initiative Goals adopted Aug. 2007

Vancouver's Ambitious Vision

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is getting some attention for its new Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future city strategy and vision document.  Their new vision statement eloquently highlights the links between environmental and economic health:

We envision a bright green future that couples economic prosperity, health, and happiness with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We envision less pollution and cleaner air, less machine noise and more birdsong, less pavement and more green space, fewer sick days and healthier people. We want to send a clear and compelling message to the world: prosperity and environmental stewardship can be partners, not opposing forces. We can meet the challenge of climate change in ways that will improve the quality of life for our children, and our children’s children.

Their new city plan sets a high bar for community visions:

  • Create 20,000 new green jobs.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 2007 levels.
  • All new construction is carbon neutral.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 20 percent.
  • The majority of trips in the city (more than 50%) are by foot, bicycle, and public transit.
  • Reduce per capita solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 40%.
  • Every person walks within a five-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space.
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city.
  • Reduce per capita ecological footprint by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat the strongest of B.C., Canada, and World Health Organization drinking water standards.
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat World Health Organization air quality guidelines.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 33 percent.

In case you haven’t looked at it in a while, I inserted our own Golden Sustainability Initiative goals below.  Vancouver is definitely setting an ambitious bar, but the comparison is encouraging because ours goals, while they are ambitious, are pretty moderate by comparison.  The Sustainability Advisory Board will be reporting to City Council in the near future on their progress toward meeting our goals.  We’ll figure out where we are at and what adjustments we need to make to help the board, city staff, and community groups keep the ball moving forward.

Golden Sustainability Initiative Goals adopted Aug. 2007

Jacob's Golden Update 12/2/08: Facing the Economic Challenges of 2009 and Other News

** I invite you to forward this to anyone you think might find it useful. Anyone can subscribe by sending me an email. **

1. Facing the Economic Challenges of 2009
2. Moving Forward With Golden Vision 2030
3. Council Considers Green Building Standard for Municipal Construction
4. Sales Tax Refund Program Resumes in January
5. Free Tree Recycling
6. Scouting in Golden
7. Subscribe to Ward 4’s Other Newsletter
8. Other Upcoming Events
9. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, December 4

[Read more…]

Jacob’s Golden Update 12/2/08: Facing the Economic Challenges of 2009 and Other News

** I invite you to forward this to anyone you think might find it useful. Anyone can subscribe by sending me an email. **

1. Facing the Economic Challenges of 2009
2. Moving Forward With Golden Vision 2030
3. Council Considers Green Building Standard for Municipal Construction
4. Sales Tax Refund Program Resumes in January
5. Free Tree Recycling
6. Scouting in Golden
7. Subscribe to Ward 4’s Other Newsletter
8. Other Upcoming Events
9. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, December 4

[Read more…]

Neighborhood Parties

I had a great time last weekend dropping in on the Mountain Ridge picnic and the 12th St. block party.  Both were really well attended and I had a chance to visit with lots of folks I hadn’t seen in a while.  I love that we have real neighborhoods and always want to be supportive of things that facilitate and encourage it, including the upcoming neighborhood planning processes.

It’s also great that we also have such a strong sense of a larger Golden community.  This is one of the reasons I chose to make Golden my home, as I know is the case for so many other folks.  The Vanover Park celebration on Sunday felt very much like the larger Golden community coming together.  I was impressed with the turnout and the speakers and all the hard work by the Parks and Rec. board, Golden Landmarks Assn. folks, and others.  It was a great way to celebrate the life of huge and very old cottonwood.

Golden’s Trees

Dave High, the city’s Forester, told me back in February that we’ve averaged about 155 trees planted per year over the past four years, including trees planted along streets, on public lands like parks, and by contractors hired for special projects.  Since we only remove an estimated 23 trees per year, we are doing really well.  Trees provide shade, they reduce air temperature and reduce energy costs (keeping nearby buildings cooler in the summer), and they improve air quality.  It’s also just nice for have lots of trees throughout the community.

Rod Tarullo, our Parks and Rec Director, compiled a list of some of our tree-planting efforts in Golden that I thought I’d share with you:

  • We have been Tree City USA since 1990.
  • We attend to replace all trees that for whatever reason had to be removed in parks and along streets.
  • Our annual Capital Improvement Budget for trees is approximately $20,000.
  • We have planted many donated trees that are designed to eventually replace the large old cottonwoods (such as in Parfet and Lions).
  • We use budgeted dollars and donations to increase the tree canopy in the cemetery and make potential burial sites more attractive.
  • We have planted hundreds of trees on medians, islands and curbsides along N. Ford  St., S Golden Rd., Earl Johnson Rd., 19th St., Illinois St. and downtown in beautification and traffic calming projects.
  • We have instituted an employee memorial tree planting program.
  • We conduct the annual small tree sale to encourage area residents to plant trees on their properties.  This program has added 1861 new trees on private property in Golden over the last 5 years.
  • We use Forestry division funds to transplant many larger trees onto public lands as well as the use of the City of Golden-owned tree spade to transplant many smaller trees from our nursery at the cemetery and numerous donated trees.
  • We conduct an Arbor Day ceremony held annually to encourage youth to value the trees in their environment.
  • Prior to Mayor Hickenloper’s announcement about increasing tree plantings, our own City Manager Mr. Bestor asked us to prepare information for the 2007 budget that would give costs and numbers to significantly increase tree plantings in 2007-08.  These figures will be submitted with our budget information for review and consideration.

Arbor Day

A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to join some of the second graders at Shelton Elementary as they and City Forestor Dave High planted a new spruce tree in Heritage Dells Park in honor of Arbor Day. Although it represented a net loss of trees from Ward 4 (since Dave moved it from its home by the Community Center), we plant tons of trees every year in Golden and it was fun to be part of the event. (And of course I'll make sure Ward 4 gets its fair share of new trees!) Dave did a terrific job with the kids, keeping them engaged while answering their diverse questions, and, frankly, the machine they used to actually plant the tree was pretty cool as well.

Arbor Day tree planting near Shelton Elementary