Vancouver Ranked Among the Top 5 Most Sustainable Cities in North America

Photo credit: Chadversary

Photo credit: Chadversary

Once again, Vancouver has scored high on a world lifestyle report card. Usually, it’s The Economist‘s list of the world’s most liveable cities. This time, Corporate Knights–a Toronto-based think tank–ranked Vancouver the fourth-most sustainable city in North America.

The report card measured North America’s 20 largest cities based on factors including density, water consumption, green space, employment and engagement.

Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Ottawa finished ahead of Vancouver. Toronto was the last city to make the top five. Other Canadian cities to make the list include Calgary at tenth place and Montreal at fourteenth. American cities Los Angeles and Detroit scored at the very bottom.

Which factors helped Vancouver’s score and which areas still need work? Vancouver’s burgeoning bike lane system was one of the city’s most important positive features. Vancouver needs improvement on housing prices (no surprise there) and civic engagement.

For those who are tired of the overuse of the word “sustainable,” knowing the parameters may or may not help. The think tank didn’t only focus on green initiatives, it looked at overall quality of life. Corporate Knights deducted points for issues such as a high percentage of low-income residents. Read more about how they calculated the results here.

With the future launch of Vancouver’s Public Bike Share System (the NYC public bike share debate or alleged debate rages on) and the efforts of the city’s Engaged City Taskforce, which is working on civic engagement-inducing events such as block parties and a mobile city hall, we’re sure to make progress up the list to become the greenest city by 2020. I’m rooting for more urban food production by way of a Vancouver food forest to rival Seattle’s new Beacon Food Forest project.

Want more updates on Vancouver fun? Follow me on Twitter @TJerven

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