Vancouver crowned Earth Hour Capital 2013

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Vancouver was voted the first ever Global Earth Hour Capital beating out the other finalists Forlì in Italy; New Delhi, India; Oslo, Norway; Uppsala, Sweden; and San Francisco, USA from a pool of 66 participating cities.

Expanding on the tremendous success of Earth Hour, the World Wildlife Fund in partnership with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability created the Earth Hour City Challenge to celebrate cities that are taking innovative actions towards creating a greener, cleaner and more sustainable city to live in, while inspiring other cities to do the same. The award is evaluated by a jury of international experts who selected the winner among 66 submissions from six countries Vancouver was recognised for its ambition to be a global leader on climate-smart urban development, and for its holistic and strategic approach to climate action. Initiatives highlighted by the jury include:

  • Vancouver’s impressive transportation strategy: By 2020 citizens are expected to make more than 50 percent of trips by foot, bicycle or public transport.
  • A local food strategy that creates a sustainable food system for the city, encouraging culinary practices that foster local production and protect our natural and human resources.
  • A progressive neighbourhood energy plan that started with the False Creek Olympic Village, which will allow all new buildings in the area lead the way in the global transition towards a 100% renewable energy future by creating district energy distribution infrastructure for locally produced renewable energy to be connected to buildings.
  • Vancouver’s Greenest City strategy necessitates that by 2020 all new buildings are to be carbon neutral.

“Local governments around the world are striving to create attractive, smart cities while tackling a multitude of urgent environmental challenges,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International. “Vancouver can serve as a role model for how cities can engage residents in these efforts, thereby accelerating the transition towards low carbon development.”

Vancouver was also presented with the Earth Hour People’s Choice award at the annual Earth Hour conference that took place on March 19 in Malmö, Sweden.  Vancouver’s ability to mobilize its citizens to show their show their vision for a sustainable city was confirmed by the range of contributions received via social media and on the People’s Choice award website.

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