Jan 8, 2009

Barriers to innovation and change: the “greening” of city of Toronto

Thank you to Stewart Elgie for pointing our attention to Moira Welsh’s December story in the Toronto Star on “Toronto’s green report card”

This story neatly illustrates not only some quantitative sustainable goals set by Toronto Mayor David Miller, but also evaluates the city’s performance on these goals, and in the process – which is highly pertinent to our study “Making it happen” - identifies a number of barriers to change.

Clean air: 30% lower GHGs by 2020 and 0 smog days
Barriers: budget cuts and delays, delays in approvals, planning and building,e.g. bike lanes.

Less waste: 70% waste diversion by 2010
Barriers: Collecting and processing organic waste and recycling it generates 20,000 tonnes of plastic bag containers. The capacity of the Toronto organic processing plants was exceeded requiring shipping to other facilities in Quebec which uses 1000 diesel fuelled trucks. New plants being considered will not have the capacity to process all organics, especially from apartment buildings.

Clean Water: “Blue flag” designation for Toronto’s 14 beaches (i.e. open 80% of time)
Barriers: need to further reduce burden on city sewers in “wet” years, and have targetted homes disconnect downspouts from sewer system to reduce sewage overflowing.

No comments: