“Greenest City” mostly greenwash

“Greenest City” mostly greenwash.  Post by Elizabeth Murphy today in Common Ground and quoting in part:

The City of Vancouver’s Greenest City policy update was presented to council in July. Although there are some successes in the plan, the majority of the city’s development policies are greenwash and are actually increasing the city’s environmental footprint rather than reducing it.

Key findings and analysis in a report by Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservations included the statement: “Building reuse almost always yields fewer environmental impacts than new construction when comparing buildings of similar size and functionality.” In our climate type, it takes 50 years for a new, single-family home of similar size to overcome, through efficient operations, the negative climate impacts related to the construction process. And it takes 80 years to overcome urban village mixed use redevelopment.

Further, the city’s environmental footprint is increased by the systemic bias toward new towers. Glass wall and concrete construction with elevators is the least energy efficient form of development. Vancouver is now ninth in the world for cities with the greatest number of skyscrapers, which is shocking given that Vancouver’s population is listed at 616,537, making it the only one of the top 10 cities with fewer than 1.6 million.

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