Green Toolbox for Growing Sustainable Municipalities--October 2014

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From UNSM’s Municipal Sustainability Office

October 2014

 

Events & Announcements

SUSTAINABLE RAINWATER MANAGEMENT:  SOLUTIONS & TOOLS FOR ADAPTING TO A CHANGING CLIMATE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3
WESTIN NOVA SCOTIA HOTEL, 1181 HOLLIS STREET, HALIFAX

This pan-Canadian workshop series is designed for local practitioners and decision-makers in the Atlantic region to learn about collaborative, affordable, and effective tools for climate adaptation and watershed health.  This workshop is intended to help municipalities reduce the physical, financial and social impacts of extreme weather events. Workshop content will have practical application for municipal engineers, planners and even landowners.  Several web-based tools will be demonstrated, including the Water Balance Model, a scenario comparison tool that allows users to quantify the impacts of water use and climate change on available water supplies.  The workshop will also include demonstrations of two other web-based tools: the Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool; and the Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator.  These tools can be used across levels (watershed, development, property) and various user groups (engineering, planning, land-owner).For more information about this workshop, please contact Jocelyne Rankin, Water Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, at (902) 442-5046 or .  Also, you can visit the workshop website.

THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON OCEAN ENERGY
NOVEMBER 4-6
WORLD TRADE & CONVENTION CENTRE, HALIFAXOcean Energy Conference Logo

Canada welcomes the 5th International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE), the global event focused on the industrial development of marine renewable energy. Hosted by Marine Renewables Canada in partnership with the Government of Canada, Government of Nova Scotia, and Offshore Energy Research Association, the 2014 ICOE will be a North American first. The goal of the conference and exhibition is to advance industry development by sharing recent experiences from development, demonstration and technology transfer efforts. It aims to accelerate development by stimulating collaboration between companies, researchers and local government. It also targets engagement of operators with experience in related marine and power industry sectors.This year’s conference is expected to engage the developing world of marine renewable energy and continue growing industry- to- industry linkages. We will also continue to strengthen the engagement of the International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy (INORE), ensuring that the young professionals who will build this industry connect with its current pioneers.For more information on the International Conference on Ocean Energy, click here.

PLANNING WALKABLE COMMUNITIES WORKSHOP
FRIDAY, DEC. 5 FROM 9 AM TO 5 PM
DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY, HALIFAX

How communities are planned and designed directly impacts local environments and health. Walking is the most accessible form of active transportation for the average person of any age, yet Nova Scotia’s communities have a considerable need for improving the availability, safety and convenience of walking routes. Community design can encourage populations to travel between destinations actively by foot. This workshop, for planners and others, is about making our communities more walkable for everyone, from children to seniors. It will address the state of walkability in NS and how to improve walkability in the areas of planning and infrastructure. The Cities & Environment Unit (CEU) and its team of Community Planners will facilitate the workshop, drawing on their experience in active transportation planning and community design to deliver an engaging and informative session. CEU project experience includes the Municipalities for Green Mobility project, Complete Streets Policy development in HRM, Walkability Assessment Tools for East Hants, as well as a Shared-Use Street Design for Argyle Street in Downtown Halifax. The workshop fee is $125 and includes nutrition breaks, lunch and a workshop kit. The workshop will include some classroom time as well as a field trip to conduct walk audits. Details and online registration are found at www.ecologyaction.ca/issue-area/walkable-workshop. The registration deadline is Friday, November 28. Space is limited, so register early to secure your spot. This event is a partnership of the Ecology Action Centre, Heart & Stroke Walkabout™, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, Licensed Professional Planners Association of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie Cities & Environment Unit.

MAYORS’ MEGAWATT CHALLENGE SUSTAINABILITY FORUM
NOVEMBER 12, 2014
BLACK CREEK PIONEER VILLAGE, TORONTO

You are invited to attend the 3rd annual national Mayors’ Megawatt Challenge Forum this fall, which will bring together municipal facility directors and energy managers from across Canada to focus on saving energy through operational and retrofit projects at municipal facilities. This year’s Forum will focus on high performance town halls and community centres. Expert panels and case studies will help municipalities understand what is possible and will provide them with technical resources to achieve their goals. For more information about the Mayors’ Megawatt Challenge Forum, click here, or contact Brian Dundas at or (416) 661-6600, ext. 5262.

FCM Sustainable Communities Conference LogoFCM’S SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES CONFERENCE
FEBRUARY 10 -12, 2015
LONDON, ONTARIO

FCM’s 2015 Sustainable Communities Conference (SCC) is heading to London, Ontario, for what promises to be the best sustainability experience yet!  The theme for this year’s SCC is Building Momentum for Sustainability, which will be explored through the following content streams:

  • Moving from vision to reality shares practical tools, skills and resources that you can take home to achieve tangible results in your own community, transforming great ideas into great projects.
  • Discovering new approaches focuses on looking beyond the "usual suspects" through different perspectives and fresh ideas to inspire innovation.
  • Mobilizing partners and networks highlights what it takes to build momentum and mobilize networks around shared sustainability goals, with a focus on facilitated networking among delegates.The 2015 SCC brings local leaders together to share their challenges and successes, learn from each other, and collaborate to build their own momentum on the path to sustainability.Register now for early-bird discount and save up to $155 of the regular price.  Early-bird registration ends Monday, December 8th at 12 p.m. (EST) For more information, click here.

 

Funding OpportunityAnnouncements & Information

THE MUNICIPAL ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GRANT

The aim of the Municipal Active Transportation (AT) Professional Development Grant is to increase the level of technical expertise in AT facility planning, design and implementation among professionals with direct or potential impact on AT in Nova Scotia.  The grant is a partnership of the Ecology Action Centre and the NS Department of Health and Wellness.The grant is for Nova Scotia municipal employees (including planners, engineers and community developers) who are working or will work on AT facility planning, design and implementation. The grant will assist in covering costs of attending professional development experiences to increase technical expertise in AT facility planning, design and implementation.This grant is open on an ongoing basis in 2014-15 until the funds are used up.  Applicants must apply at least six weeks prior to the event they wish to attend.For more information on the Municipal AT Professional Development Grant, click here

 

Active Transportation Article Series:  Article #4

COURTESY OF UNSM’S ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

THE BLUE ROUTE:  CONNECTING COMMUNITIES FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL
By Renee Hartlieb

Imagine a vast framework of bike routes that spans our province connecting all 18 counties and providing an active transportation network that is Blue Route Logoonly the second of its kind in all of Canada. This vision is set to become a reality over the next few years and it’s one that Ben Buckwold is passionate about.

The avid cyclist and active transportation proponent is Bicycle Nova Scotia’s new Director of Bikeways and Blue Route Implementation. “To me, one of the most exciting parts of the Blue Route is the fact that we are working to connect Nova Scotia’s communities through an emphasis on physical activity and health,” he says. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is going to positively affect our quality of life, but also help bring dollars in the form of tourism and further economic development to all regions of our province.”

Once complete, the 3000-kilometre province-wide cycling network will span all 18 counties, linking up with already existing community active transportation networks. “Bicycle Nova Scotia has been working on this since 2006, and is excited to see so many communities coming on board,” says Buckwold. “People and communities all over the province are stepping up to implement the Blue Route concept.”

Bike routes on provincial roads, multi-purpose trails, and local streets will all be needed, in addition to route wayfinding signage, strategic shoulder paving investments, and trail upgrades. There will need to be collaboration and cooperation between communities and even more local heroes stepping up to make the Blue Route a reality.

With a project of this size, it’s important to have an inspiring example to look to. Luckily for us, we have one right in Canada. Quebec’s Route Verte was the first integrated long-range cycling network when it launched in 1995. Since then, both British Columbia and Ontario have begun planning for and investing in their own cycling networks.

The 5000-kilometre Route Verte is a raging success and has firmly established Quebec as North America’s premier cycling destination. It also generates 134 million dollars annually, clearly showing how focusing on active transportation, bicycle tourism, and healthy recreation is the wave of the future.

“There’s never been a better time to move ahead with our vision for the Blue Route in our own province,” says Buckwold, who also has a background in community planning. He notes that the provincial government recently expressed a commitment to work with Nova Scotia communities and organizations to develop and implement the Blue Route as part of promoting active transportation.

At the municipal level, Bicycle Nova Scotia is working with UNSM to share information with municipalities and community organizations about the Blue Route. At the upcoming 2014 UNSM fall conference, the concept of the Blue Route will be explained and then followed up with a series of stakeholder engagement workshops in November and December.

“The Blue Route is about connecting communities and that can only happen through the involvement of municipal and community partners,” says Ben. “The vision of the Blue Route is a hugely exciting one, and also immensely do-able, especially if we are all working together.”

 

  For more information about the initiatives included in the Green Toolbox, please contact Debbie Nielsen, Municipal Sustainability Coordinator by telephone (423-8312)or e-mail ().