Tag Archives: Vancouver

Pedestrians & Cyclists Contribute To Vancouver’s Downtown Businesses

By Roy L Hales

Contrary to what some urban business owners expected, the global shift to alternate transportation has not adversely effected their  revenue streams. A study from Portland, Oregon, found that “cyclists spent less than drivers on grocery trips, but more at restaurants, bars, and convenience stores.” The average pedestrian or cyclist in Manhattan’s East Village spends $15 to $20 more per month.  A University of Melbourne report pointed out (pp 38, 39) that as six bikes fit into one car park, car drivers need to spend six times as much as cyclists to produce the same economic benefit. A new report shows the transition taking place in British Columbia, where pedestrians & cyclists contribute to Vancouver’s downtown businesses. 

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Bicycles Once Again Triumphed In Vancouver’s Annual Rush Hour Challenge

By Roy L Hales

Bicycles have dominated Vancouver’s Rush Hour Challenge ever since the event began,  in 2009.  According to statistics from HUB Cycling, bikes came in first 73.3% of the time, while cars have been first 16% and transit 11% of the time. This year, bicycles once again triumphed in Vancouver’s Annual Rush Hour Challenge.1

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  1. formerly known as Vancouver’s Share the Road Challenge

Christy Clark’s Liberals Attack Vancouver’s Attempt To Limit Emissions

The ECOreport looks into why Christy Clark’s Liberals attack Vancouver’s attempt to limit emissions

By Roy L Hales

The future of Vancouver’s new Green Building Rezoning Policy is already uncertain. As of this morning, there is an emissions cap on all new construction and buildings applying for rezoning. There are several ways developers “can meet the energy efficiency and emissions targets (50 per cent decrease in GHGs).” They can use “better insulation, thicker windows, and better design, as well as opting for renewable energy.” However the largest cause of the city’s emissions is natural gas and so  Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals attack Vancouver’s attempt to limit emissions.

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North America’s First 100% Electric Municipal Bus System

The ECOreport looks at a story from California, North America’s first 100% electric municipal bus system

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Porterville, California, is about to make transportation history. The little Californian city only receives an average of 13 inches of rain a year, which makes it particularly vulnerable to atmospheric inversion, which holds in the exhausts from vehicles, agriculture, and other sources. Thanks to a determined city hall, the number of Stage 1 smog alerts declined from 100% per year, in the 1970s, to almost zero. On December 7, the California Air Resources Board awarded $9.5-million to replace its’ entire bus fleet. By January, 2018, Porterville should have North America’s first 100% electric municipal bus system.

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Canada Approved Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Expansion

The ECOreport looks at responses after Canada approved Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Alberta Premier Rachel Notley applauded the Prime Minister’s “extraordinary leadership.” Peter McCartney of the Wilderness Committee calls it “a betrayal of promises made in the last election to act on science, gain public approval and respect Indigenous rights.” There are already 7 legal challenges of this project underway, and more will follow. The government of Canada approved Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion, “subject to 157 binding conditions.”

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Portable Electric Can Power Almost Anything

The ECOreport looks at a new solar plus battery system that can replace traditional gas and diesel generators, Portable Electric can power almost anything

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMPortable Electric came out of Vancouver’s 2015 Great Climate Race. This is a “walk and run race,” with 2 kilometre and 10 kilometre events, through the city’s iconic Stanley Park. The event raises funds and awareness for local community solar-energy projects. In similar  outdoor events through-out North America, the associated venues are powered by portable gas and diesel generators. Having previously installed solar plus battery systems in Africa, the Great Climate Race’s power co-ordinator knew how to resolve this apparent contradiction. After the race, Mark Rabin founded a new company to continue providing solar plus battery power to outdoor events throughout Western Canada. Portable Electric can power almost anything from music festivals, to emergency situations or film sets.

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Municipal Regulations Impact House Prices

The ECOreport reposts an OP-ED arguing that municipal regulations impact house prices

Originally Published on the Fraser Insitute

By Kenneth P. Green, Josef Filipowicz, Steve Lafleur & Ian Herzog

As Canadians continue to converge on urban centres and concerns about the affordability of housing grow, it is crucial to understand why the country’s major housing markets have seen such dramatic growth in prices. This study presents evidence that the regulation of residential development restricts the housing supply, encouraging the growth of prices and distorting local economies.

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Taxing Vancouver’s Empty Homes

The ECOreport looks at a partial solution to the housing crises, taxing Vancouver’s empty homes

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMVancouver’s real estate values have skyrocketed 280% since 1986, while wages have only increased 7%. A new report shows the affordability crises impacts both renters and homeowners. The average westside home was selling for $1.4 million last May. Though 10,800 housing units have been empty for more than a year, 1 only about 337 available as rentals. 2 This suggests that speculators own many of the vacant units. City staff recommend taxing Vancouver’s empty homes.

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  1. Policy & Regulatory Steps for Reducing Empty Housing, City of Vancouver Administrative Report, June 16, 2016, p 2
  2. ibid, p 3

Will Trudeau Protect Canada’s Environment?

The ECOreport looks at the Canadian government’s announcement of a comprehensive review of environmental and regulatory processes. Will Trudeau protect Canada’s environment?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMCanada’s new government faces tough challenges. They were elected on a wave of frustration with the previous regime’s petro-politics. Understandably, the oil and gas industry was “very concerned.” Up until now, corporate concerns have taken a priority over the welfare and desires of ordinary Canadians. Yesterday, the government announced a comprehensive review of environmental and regulatory processes. Will Trudeau protect Canada’s environment?

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Vancouver Talking Pipelines With Trudeau

The ECOreport looks at the news  the Mayor & First Nations leaders have gone to Ottawa, Vancouver Talking Pipelines With Trudeau

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1With Alberta’s economy stalling,  Premier Rachel Notley “needs” a pipeline to transport diluted bitumen from the oil sand to export terminals on the coast. She is “interested in both the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain line,” through British Columbia’s most populated area, and an Energy East pipeline to the Atlantic Coast.” According to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, her pitch to the federal cabinet members on retreat in Banff received a standing ovation. Only the proposed Trans Mountain expansion is not popular in B.C. and now there is news of Vancouver talking pipelines with Trudeau.
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