Vancouver is “walking the walk” at a time when other North American cities are still “talking the talk.” Concern for the environment is being transformed by the region’s entrepreneurs into green solutions in demand the world over. Companies like Ballard Power Systems (fuel cell technology) and Westport Innovations (clean-burning alternative fuels) are pioneers in sustainable transportation.
Architects and designers like Holland Barr, Bing Thom, Peter Busby and Hotson Bakker are creating eco-friendly buildings and communities on five continents. Urban planners like Larry Beasley are replicating the “Vancouver model” in cities as far from British Columbia as Houston, Dubai, Sao Paolo and Abu Dhabi. In the world of architecture and urban planning, “Vancouverism” has become shorthand for “sustainable urban development.”
These green initiatives are being achieved without sacrificing the conditions that make the region an increasingly attractive environment for investment. Government debt-to-GDP levels have been significantly cut in recent years, and individual and corporate tax rates have been steadily reduced.
An ongoing program to lessen government regulation has yielded a 40 per cent reduction in regulatory burdens since 2001.
Photo Credit: CIRS Building / Busby Perkins + Will