1990 City adopts an environmental agenda based on the ‘Clouds of Change: Final Report’

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Milestone Tags[edit]

Urban planning | Built form | Land use | Development | Transportation | Infrastructure | Economy | Region |

Description[edit]

On October 16, 1990 the City of Vancouver adopted 32 groundbreaking recommendations for addressing atmospheric change. These recommendations are summarized in Clouds of Change: Final Report (Volume 1) drafted by a special City Task Force on Atmospheric Change. Volume II of the Report outlined “several model and example by-laws from other jurisdictions” (Volume II Appendices 2).

Mike Brown and Bill Rees proposed the project to Council and earned a $40 000 budget to form a special City Task Force on Atmospheric Change. Gordon Price, the Council liaison to the Task Force, initiated the originating motion.

Gordon Price recollects that "the group [The City Task Force on Atmospheric Change] met throughout 1989 on Saturday mornings in the City Manager’s office, thinking through the issues of what is now known as climate change, engaging in a lively debate and coming up with a comprehensive set of recommendations – likely the first of any municipality in North America" (Price “Clouds of Change Report Online").

Significance[edit]

Mike Brown adds that “we [The City Task Force on Atmospheric Change] had a common goal: to see if a city like Vancouver could change and make a difference. But in fact, we made very little difference. Our predictions as to the levels of CO2 and impacts were derided as being wildly imaginative; we turned out to be conservative. Virtually every one of the 35 recommendations got glowing acceptance comments from the powers that be, but little was implemented” (Price “Clouds of Change Report Online").

Despite there being limited evidence that many of these recommendations materialized within the next decade, they set a global precedent for progressive sustainable municipal policy.

Price elaborates that "we [The City Task Force on Atmospheric Change] were perhaps ahead of our time, and I doubt we anticipated the degree of denialism which continues to infect the highest levels of leadership. But the report nonetheless established a policy framework and particular initiatives (notably a commitment to sustainability in southeast False Creek) that moved the city forward, faster than would have otherwise occurred" (Price Remembering “Clouds of Change”).

Discussion[edit]

The influence of this milestone on later innovations is difficult to ascertain. Provided below are a list of such probable innovations:

• Cool Vancouver Task Force (2003) created to address greenhouse gas (GNH) emissions

• Climate Change Plan- based on Cool Vancouver Task Force recommendations on climate change emission (adopted 2005)

• Greenest City Plan (adopted 2011)

• Green Building Rezoning Policy outlined LEED Gold standard requirement (adapted 2010)

Significant primary documents worth digitizing:

City of Vancouver. Clouds of Change: Final Report (Volume I). Oct. 16, 1990: Print. City of Vancouver Archives: PUB-: PD 1634

City of Vancouver. Clouds of Change: Final Report (Volume II Appendices) Oct. 16, 1990: Print.

Sources[edit]

City of Vancouver. Clouds of Change: Final Report (Volume I). Oct. 16, 1990: Print. City of Vancouver Archives: PUB-: PD 1634

City of Vancouver. Clouds of Change: Final Report (Volume II Appendices) Oct. 16, 1990: Print.

Price, Gordon. “Clouds of Change Report Online – with thoughts from a venture capitalist”. Price Tags London & New York City: Routledge, Jan. 25, 2013: Print. Apr. 5, 2015. https://pricetags.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/clouds-of-change-report-online-with-thoughts-from-a-venture-capitalist/

Price, Gordon. “Greening gaining Traction”. Price Tags London & New York City: Routledge, Nov. 22, 2012: Print. Apr. 5, 2015. https://pricetags.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/greening-gaining-traction/

Price, Gordon. “Remembering Clouds of Change”. Price Tags London & New York City: Routledge, Nov. 22, 2012: Print. Apr. 5, 2015. https://pricetags.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/remembering-clouds-of-change/

Punter, John. The Vancouver Achievement: Urban Planning and Design. Vancouver & Toronto: UBC Press, 2003. Print.

Westbank, and BIG. GESAMTKUNSTWORK. pp. 1-76. PDF. Apr. 7, 2015http://vancouverhouse.ca/downloads/GKW_Catalogue_-_ENG.pdf