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  • Reply to: TEEB Manual for Cities   3 days 21 hours ago

    Ann Coffey reports:

    "... after reading [the] email about Messrs. Hubley and Scott who questioned why measuring Green House Gasses was on the Environment Committee's agenda, I sent [the attached report -- a carbon neutral guide for Canadian municipalities -- to Diane Holmes. I said I thought it might help them understand the reasons why, and suggested to her that the city create a new standing committee to be called the Councillor Education Committee. Since I didn't want to offend her I added that I would nominate her as chair"

    Here is the report (1.9 MB) [n.d., but the file name suggests it is dated May 2010]. It was produced for Toronto & Region Conservation by the Sustainable Infrastructure Group at the University of Toronto. It "... strives to provide Canadian municipalities with a menu of options for greenhouse gas emission reductions, allowing a city to choose the combination of actions that are both feasible and most strategic for their specific circumstances."


    "The areas recommended for strategic action are:

    1. Buildings
        a. Retrofits of existing buildings for greater efficiency.
        b. Stricter regulation for resource consumption in new buildings.
    2. Land use and urban planning
        a. Increased density.
        b. Increased urban green spaces (parkland, urban tree canopy, green roofs).
        c. Neighbourhood design that encourages active transportation (cycling and walking)
    3. Transportation
        a. Improve coverage of public transit infrastructure.
        b. Inhibit personal automobile use in urban areas (tolls, restricted parking, traffic calming mechanisms).
        c. Encourage adoption of electric or low-emission vehicles.

    4. Energy Supply
        a. Integrated community energy planning.
        b. Harvest energy from municipal waste stream.
        c. Increase renewable energy supply.
    5. Efficiency and demand management
        a. Increase efficiency of municipal services and buildings."


    If none of this appears new, the Guide does conclude that "there are indeed opportunities for municipalities to reduce their emissions dramatically, and that achieving carbon neutrality is possible in the Canadian municipal context. The report also notes that there are social, economic and environmental benefits to many of these projects beyond their climate change mitigation potential, further enhancing their value."



  • Reply to: TEEB Manual for Cities   4 days 17 hours ago

    From Urban Climate., vol. 7 (2014), Special Issue on Urban Adaptation to Climate/Environmental Change, pp. 107-114:

    "Taking the economic benefits of green space into account: The story of the Dutch TEEB for Cities project" by Johan van Zoest & Marian Hopman. 


    As municipal management budgets for green space management are under pressure, there is an urgent need for new funding models for urban green space. Inspired by the TEEB study (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, 2010), it was hypothesized that the value of ecosystem services that urban green spaces provide, when monetized, will often be larger than the cost of management. This article describes an initiative to develop a tool that makes the financial benefits of green spaces visible in the municipal balance sheet. While the project was successful in producing the desired deliverables (a tool for inclusive finance for urban green spaces, eight in depth cases showing green spaces paying their way, a Community of Practice), it is recognized that the adoption of inclusive finance in municipalities depends critically on urban strategies that have efficiency and resilience at their core.


    13 April 2014


  • Reply to: Useful Links - comments and suggestions   2 weeks 23 hours ago

    Dec. 8: Two more links added: City Repair Ottawa (=Imagine Ottawa) and Eastern Ontario Model Forest.

    Dec. 19: Kanata Environmental Network added.

    One more, Jan 2, 2007: Trees Canada Foundation.

    One more, Jan 10: The Citizen Submissions page of NAFTA's Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

    Jan. 16: The link to the consolidated version of the Ottawa Official Plan, Volume 1 has been added; the previous link now points to Volume 2.

    Jan. 23: Two more local groups: Friends of the Jock and the Botanical Garden Society.

    Feb 14: Today added the wildly successful non-profit organization, Project for Public Spaces (New York, US).  It's a bit of a stretch to call this a "voluntary" organization but it seemed other categories are worse.

    March 5: Three Québec organizations added: Aux Arbres Citoyens!, SNAP (Société pour la nature et les parcs du Canada - section Québec) and Réseau Québecois des Groupes Ecologistes (RQGE)

    March 30: a direct link to SARA's Public Registry has been added.

    April 20: "Green Ottawa" added -- thanks, Ron!

    December 19: "Development Application Review Process" for Ottawa added -- thanks, Al, for bringing this to my attention.  Also added the Friends of the Tay Watershed Association.

    Januart 18, 2008: updated the link to Ontario's e-laws and added F.U.N. (Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario) to the list.  The Alliance is a member of the FCA; FCA is a member of F.U.N.

    January 20: added know-uranium, a web site serving three local groups, Ottawa Coalition Against Mining Uranium (OCAMU), the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) and the West Quebec Coalition Against Mining Uranium (WQ-CAMU).  Update, 30 Nov 2010: Only two of these orgs appear to have survived.  The links list has been updated.

    January 25: added the Petitions process in the Office of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Auditor General of Canada).

    January 28: added Pesticide Free Ontario.

    February 5: added Ottawa Community Garden Network.

    March 4: added Wildlands League (a CPAWS chapter, hq'd in Toronto)

    May 20: added the NCC's page on the Urban Lands Master Plan -- the 100th link!

    June 9: recently discovered that Council meetings, going back to December 2003,  can now be viewed on the City's web site!  Rogers' hold on these tapes has been broken.  A step forward in transparent government.

    July 6: how could I have overlooked until now The Bishops Mills Natural History Centre, maintained by Frederick Schueler and Aleta Karstad!

    September 21: Jane's Walk added -- for the first time, walks in Ottawa are organized in 2008.

    October 10: The NCC's page on the Greenbelt added -- thanks, Sol!

    November 1: The Ontario government issued revised Statements of Environmental Values for many of its Ministries.  A link to it has been added.  Thanks, Ken!

    January 16, 2009: Added Prof. David Gordon's web site on Planning the Capital (Queen's University; includes access to documents).  Thanks, Sol!

    February 28: Added the Greenbelt Coalition of Canada's Capital Region.

    March 28: Met Howard Clifford at the Wildlife Festival today.  Lanark is a bit out of our area but, hey, if the Alba Wilderness School bothered to come to Billings Bridge, we may as well reciprocate and welcome it to the family of Links here!  Their web site is delightful and the School surely meets the criterion of "helpful in the preservation of greenspace."

    May 9: Added "Choosing Our Future" -- a joint project of the NCC and the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau.

    May 21: Added "Save Our Boreal Birds", locally sponsored by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club.  (Listed under National voluntary organizations.)

    August 25: Added a link to the City of Ottawa's "OPA#76" - from there you can access the OPA itself as well as an annotated Official Plan text.  This is "OP 2009" as passed by City Council on June 24, 2009.

    August 29: Added the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal.

    November 22: Added Gravel Watch Ontario.

    December 11: Added the new City of Ottawa web site with a long reference list for studies and plans to support development applications.

    January 16, 2010: Added the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and the Ontario chapter of the Sierra Club.

    April 21: Added the Ottawa Pilot project for a Biosphere Eco-City (part of UNESCO's MAB program). 

    October 5: Added the NCC's page to access the archive of the public meetings of its Board of Directors.

    November 11: Added "Ottawa's Great Forest," the web site created to promote the Stewardship Plan for the Beaver Pond Forest in Kanata.

    March 5, 2011: Added GuideGatineau, a volunteer group enthused about Gatineau Park, including its history.

    March 13: Added PERC - how could I have forgotten it for so long!  PERC recently spiffed up its web site.

    March 25: Added Champlain Oaks, the web site of the Champlain Park community celebrating its ancient bur oaks.

    March 27: The Wildlife Festival is always such a good place to meet or get re-acquainted with other activists!  As a result of this year's Festival at Billings Bridge, I've added Friends of Gatineau Park / Les Amis du parc de la Gatineau, the Rideau Trail Association, and the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, even though the first two are more recreation-oriented and so perhaps somewhat at the margin of the mandate of this list (and the Greenspace Alliance), being a list that aims to assist in the preservation of greenspace.  We have so much in common!

    March 27: Also added today, TEEB4me's effort to convey its message about valuing nature to citizens.  TEEB stands for The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.

    September 10: Added the NCC's "Horizon 2067" page.

    October 20: Added the City of Ottawa's Trees in Trust program -- free to homeowners!

    December 16: Added the Can/US (Washington State/B.C.) ForestEthics organization.

    17 February 2012: Added the web site of the Wakefield group trying to stop the current plans for an extension of Highway 5 at Gatineau Park.  And added "Green Communities Canada" - thanks, Bryan!

    10 April: Added the Ontario Rivers Alliance, "a Not-for-Profit grassroots movement of individuals, groups and organizations who have come together to protect, conserve and restore healthy river ecosystems."

    10 April: Immediately after the Choosing Our Future reports were tabled, the Ottawa staff group was disbanded and the web site was deleted.  The link is now to the staff report (City Council meeting of 22 February 2012), from where the project's reports can be accessed.

    22 April: The Alliance has been working with the South March Highlands group for some time but their web site hadn't made it on the Links section!  We never claimed to be perfect...

    23 May: Added ParkScore, a new initiative from the US Trust for Public Land. Using a straightforward methodology (not much to do with biodiversity), 40 US cities are compared.

    2 June: Added Globaïa, a wonderful source of educational material on the environment in a global perspective.

    8 August: Added "The Caen" - a new news aggregator and blog tracker about the Canadian Environment.

    2 September: Added NatureServe Canada, the network of government-sponsored natural heritage information centres.

    10 December: deleted the Ottawa group of the Sierra Club.

    12 January 2013: Added 3 in 1: The "Sustainable Eastern Ontario" website includes the "National Capital Environmental Nonprofit Network (NCENN)" and the Green Pages Directory.  (It also houses the Community Energy Network and the Green Map.)  The Alliance is registered with NCENN and in the Green Pages Directory.

    6 March: Added Hidden Harvest, Ottawa Chapter.

    19 September: added "geoOttawa" -- about time! -- and also redirected the NCC's Urban Lands reference to its new page.

    22 October: added Boisés Est, a voluntary organization of woodlot owners, centered around Plantagenet.  I met Jean-Claude Havard, the secretary, at the November meeting of NCENN.

    16 December: added, with thanks to Donna DuBreuil, OREG, the Ontario Road Ecology Group, on the Toronto Zoo's web site.  Locally, Drs. Fred Schueler (Bishop Mills) and Lenore Fahrig (Carleton U) are advisors.  OREG was founded in 2009. Its web site suggests that its volunteers are supported by government, so that's where you'll find it.

    19 December: with thanks to John Almstedt, added the Ottawa-Gatineau Geoheritage Project, initiated earlier this year.

    23 January 2014: with thanks again to John Almstedt, added the Bonnechere River Watershed Project and two other related Renfrew County web sites, the Renfrew County BiotaBase and Nature Notebook.  The Biotabase is a public participation (citizen science) project.  Nature Notebook was created by the Ottawa River Institute. And Heather Hamilton spreads the news that Bumble Bee Watch, another citizen science project, is now operational!

    6 February: and again via John Almstedt, added Asinabka Blue Water Trail, a dream to add a paddle route around the island of Hull, and do so in conjunction with the develpoment of the former Domtar lands.

    28 February: added a reference to MOE's information about the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process.

    2 March: with thanks to Owen Clarkin's post to Facebook, added Global Forest Watch, an extremely powerful visualization of forest cover, gain and loss.  "Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests. GFW is free and follows an open data approach in putting decision-relevant information in the hands of governments, companies, NGOs, and the public."

    3 April: added a link to Ottawa's Urban Tree Conservation By-law.