SEI Ryerson Heaslip Session 01-04 Alex Boston


American Today News

You thanks Brian no progress report on Rob I think we’re so i’m going to call an Alex Boston to give us some perspective on this from British Columbia where there has been quite a bit of work going on at the municipal level as I mentioned in the work of the students that we’ve had doing on community planning becomes very clear the BC Ontario very much the leaders and BC has the advantage of some sort of a provincial legislative framework within which municipalities are thinking about their roles in terms of climate change but also in terms of energy and it was in that context that we thought we would invite Alex to join us and help us reflect on where Ontario is at relative to be see Alex Boston is a senior planner for comedian climate change with golder associates his major focuses on carbon and energy management for communities his strengths foreign policy program design strategy communications engagement and educational design he is led award-winning community energy plans supported bc government 16 ministries in developing their carbon neutral action plans lead research for the Prime Minister’s Task Force on citizen communities and design educational tools for natural resources canada the bc government and community energy planning delivering strategic planning service to utilities he’s advised real estate developers and neighborhood energy strategies and supported Metro Vancouver in developing its electric vehicle charging station strategy as well so i’d like to welcome Alex and see what he has some reflections on where we’re at in Ontario relative to where they are Bruce it’s a real privilege to be here in this jurisdiction that was the first jurisdiction in the world to have established a greenhouse gas reduction target and the the jurisdiction and that’s Toronto of course thank you and also to be in this jurisdiction that has made the single greatest contribution to greenhouse gas emission reductions in the country and that’s Ontario’s kill phase-out and ramping up renewables and and so i’m not i’m certainly not here to to boast about the prowess of what’s happening on on the west coast there’s certainly some exciting change that’s been happening around community energy planning but this is part of a dialogue around all we’re doing across the country on energy and carbon management and kudos to both Ryerson and York for recognizing how critical it is for tackling our energy and climate security challenges we can’t do it without a an existing labor force and future labor forces with different skills and knowledge a–‘s and and and experiences and perspectives so we’re going to go on a bit of a fast-paced tour here starting to look firstly at communities carbon energy on looking at the BC context as a mark made reference to and then we’re going to go into a number of different communities spending not more than about three or four minutes in each one of them looking at some of the highlights of some of the the more innovative greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy management achievements that have been made in these jurisdictions so first of all communities carbon communities carbon and energy firstly why our community so important and Fernando started to make some really poignant observations but really every one of these buildings that you see in a community it’s been inspected by a local government inspector it’s gone through a building permit office the type of building that exists in this community whether it’s a residential building a commercial building its height it’s massing it’s all been determined ultimately by a municipality and most for mostly underpinning all of that is local governments paramount authority and land-use planning harnessing that capacity for conservation for renewable energy opportunities is just a huge resource for senior government and for utilities the single most important planning instrument for a good transportation plan is a land use plan none of these transportation sustainable transportation activities that we see in the community could happen without good transportation planning local governments in British Columbia are recognized by the bc government and by utilities as a critical force in accelerating the market transformation process in advancing energy efficiency and on top of all that all of these residents and all of these businesses that you see everybody that’s hovering around this community they have extensive relationships with municipalities you know municipalities have a more pervasive influence and set of relationships with residents and businesses and any other order of government when you reflect on it when was the last time you actually had contact with any federal government agency they might have been when you posted a letter if you actually do that any longer or perhaps when you filed your taxes if you happen to follow your taxes so when we think about it all of these sustainable energy and carbon management opportunities can be driven by local governments if we most people land use planners city planners municipalities recognize that there’s an intimate relationship between land use and transportation what we don’t frequently appreciate as Fernando is also alluding to is the spatial relationship of energy within the building and energy supply context but when you reflect upon it a lot of those same principles particularly density diversity I wanted to have some alliteration here I said destination but it’s probably location where do we actually locate residential commercial institutional buildings and design are fundamentally critical for managing carbon energy opportunities within the with buildings buildings and energy supply there’s some important spatial principles that I think are really important just from the perspective of scale if you want to actually manage carbon and energy the most important scale that we can be operating at is that the regional and community scale that’s where we’re going to have the biggest impact when we’re going to be focusing on the the level of equipment or the the scale of a building we have far less of an impact so if we look at the jurisdictions in North America that have put a u-turn on greenhouse gas emissions are back down below 1990 levels they started regional and community planning sometimes in the 1970s were they interested in carbon management at the time no they weren’t but they are interested in complete compact design and they were really interested in advancing a number of co-benefits that I’ll get into shortly I think one of the real challenges here is that when we’re trying to impact energy and emissions at a regional community scale take so much more time and this is really I think one of the important challenges for senior governments and utilities is a lot of our conservation priorities and our renewable and energy supply priorities often have such short term focuses and if we want to have those benefits those significant benefits what we have to recognize is it too is a huge project lifecycle when it comes to a much longer project site lifecycle when it comes to working with local gov and having them play a significant role in energy and carbon management I think one of the greatest two services that was done by anybody was potentially Al Gore when he brought into the public domain a debate about climate change and framed it as an inconvenient truth as all of the other speakers have recognized this morning when you think about the co-benefits associated with taking action on energy and conservation and advancing renewable energies it’s fundamentally about a convenient opportunity it is about jobs it is about energy savings it is about these great places that we can live and gather in it is about mobility is it is about health and active transportation whether it’s recreationally are going to work it is about clean air and for developers and builders it’s about staying ahead of the curve of the regulatory curve a lot of our work is underpinned by a lot of detailed energy modeling and mapping we have a good grasp of all of the main sectors of energy and emissions within a community and a really good sense of what some of those key indicators are as we’re looking forward currently or in the past that drive energy and emissions and I make reference to this because it underpins a lot of our work as we look forward so as Mark made reference to why is British Columbia ahead of the curve and in many ways one of the reasons is because we live in such a miserable place we’re trying to make our communities more enjoyable and livable and a great place to be and we also don’t want more people coming out to British Columbia so it’s a horrible place there’s a lot of rain and you probably wouldn’t like it but if you use as a reference partners for climate protection most Community Energy and the mission management plans would be registered through the partners for climate protection municipalities that are actually actively engaged we have 69 municipalities in British Columbia that are members of departments for climate protection we only have a hundred and sixty municipalities in British Columbia and this isn’t to boast at all Ontario has as about 60 members of partners for climb protection i think upwards of 400 different municipalities that as mark says there’s there’s institutional reasons that relate to that that the drive this and one of them was really really small but it really accelerated the market transformation process in terms of municipalities stepping up to the plate and doing comprehensive Community Energy planning and that was just a small change within the local government act that required every single municipality twist as targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and policies and actions to achieve them the British Columbia government also has provided every single municipality with an inventory so they’ve aggregated and disaggregated a mission energy and emissions from all utilities gathered waist data and a pretty good representation of transportation data and delivered to every municipality in every regional district a community energy and emission inventory now it’s a very coarse but it’s a great starting point and it’s all that most communities need to get the ball rolling rolling so policy is driven change really importantly so has funding bc hydro has commendably recognized that municipalities can be harnessed to manage conservation and virtually every community energy plan that i’ve been involved with with the exception of of nelson has been financed by bc hydro in part FortisBC has also played an important role and both of them are hiring community energy managers that actually are situated within municipalities some of these other elements are important as well especially when one is trying to know have some perspective of bc municipalities are boasting about how low their emissions are on a per capita basis relative to the rest of canada this sunshine here is I think emblematic of the fact that it’s really warm down here we have don’t have a lot of heating degree days we don’t have a lot of cooling degree days that’s where most of the population lives we note we don’t pump sewage we don’t pump water overwhelmingly because we have these things called mountains and we have rivers so we have cheap hydroelectric we have a very different context than in Ontario we have an agricultural land reserved that has actually served overwhelmingly as a growth containment boundary and has facilitated to a certain extent growth management in British Columbia so let’s go on to our first stop and I should mention this a bit of a multimodal tour the first transition you’re going to have to make is is by sea bus so we’re heading over here to the city of north vancouver urban core municipality and that’s really important I’ll underscore it in a couple of places but typologically different municipalities have fundamentally different opportunities and one of them is really where you’re situated in relationship to the urban core whether you’re part of an inner suburb and outer suburb or whether you’re in a rural area and not all energy and emission management plans are created equal a city of north vancouver is where is its its its climate commitment on its on its sleeve and it has a very ambitious long-term goal of being carbon neutral out to the year 100 and literally this this brand is being emblazoned across the entire city these days and I don’t think you’ll find too many jurisdictions any we’re talking about climate action so so prominently so we developed their an award-winning energy and emission management plan for for the city several years ago and one of the the particular elements it was most important for the city because of the rate of growth was working on advancing energy performance and new construction and they wanted to stay ahead of where the bc government was going largely lock in step with the city of vancouver i should underscore that where we see the bc government going and this is only looking at wood frame construction right here by far is below where Europe is operating today and I would say that the jurisdiction of Ontario is a little bit more aggressive than than British Columbia but what the the City of North Vancouver is done and Peele as a astutely recognized one of the real challenges for municipalities is they don’t have legislative authority over the building code so what the city of north vancouver chose to do was to use a density bonusing regime that would only grant density if you achieved higher energy performance and there’s a whole bunch of other density bonusing amenities that are also being granted but this is just a fundamental base now for the city of north vancouver so that’s what they did in large buildings and in the townhouses row houses single detached essentially what they did is they took away density historically floor space was calculated based on the entire based on the entire building and they said you know what you actually have to sorry it didn’t include the cellar now it actually includes the cellar which fundamentally almost in every single case in in north vancouver that’s part of the livable the livable floor space there’s been a hundred percent take up on that policy over two-and-a-half year and it has never been challenged and it’s only is really questionable as to whether or not it’s it’s legal but because there’s such high real estate demand in the city of north vancouver and there’s very limited supply and you get a bad rep as a developer if you challenge the city there they’re able to do that and they’re doing it very successfully and they’ll be updating this code to move to ASHRAE 2010 in the middle of the summer so this next trip that we’re going to go to is the City of Surrey one of the fastest-growing municipalities in British Columbia and you’re going to be in a rapid transit a car checking out this municipality its current population is around 425,000 it would be close to 800,000 by 2040 it’s going to surpass the city of vancouver in size and it has an ambitious energy shift agenda one of which is its community energy plan I think I just wanted to hear underscore the challenges that exist for suburban municipalities and I think this is where the most important action is happening within municipalities in North America are the suburbs but if we look at energy or emissions within a municipality you can see that overwhelmingly what we have are concentric rings where we have higher density mixed use areas increasingly out to more sparsely populated more single-use areas and lower emissions respectively as you as you move in well there’s a couple of different futures that a municipality with fast gross can have and one of them is a focus growth future and by focusing a heck of a lot more of that growth in nodes and corridors what we can see is that you can have quite dramatic growth and you can have significant greenhouse gas emission reductions but in fact growth is distributed what you end up is reasonably significant GHG growth and that is a real challenge I think municipalities that are living in that are in suburban areas being able to constrain greenfield development is a real challenge and trying to align all of the co-benefits is a really important dimension to advancing this agenda so in a community of 400,000 and some what we see is a billion dollars a year spent in energy and out at 2020 not that far down the road we see over two billion dollars a year that is spent in energy so in most of the communities that I’ve worked in energy spending is around two to three thousand dollars per capita per year that’s actually a fair amount of money conservation efficiency and renewables is about keeping more of that money in your community a small town of 10,000 that’s that can be a twenty thirty million dollars and it really really matters something that we did with in the City of Surrey as we looked at what was happening with energy costs and household income and what we see and sorry this is just this isn’t just the city of sorry sorry this would speak more generally we see a household income rising at a rate of approximately two percent per annum and we see energy costs rising at a rate of about seven percent per annum when we think about the amount of energy spending that happens in a household that really matters back in two thousand seven under one percent of households we’re spending ten percent or more of their household income on energy out in 2020 almost twenty percent of households are spending more than ten percent or more of their household income on energy that’s going to be a real game changer and it’ll be a game-changer here like even more so here because your electricity rates are rising more rapidly of the largest driver is definitely gasoline but that’s really going to change how people get to work it’ll be it’ll change how much retail activity they have in the in their community it’ll change on a longer-term basis where people decide to live and the entire real estate market that’s driving an affordable housing retrofit strategy I won’t go into that in detail we have a requirement for large utilities to require on-bill financing and British Columbia the legislation for that is just emerging and that will be shaping a market rental focused strategy but in terms of align establishing an agenda that a municipality is excited about and Brian really alluded to it is identifying those core community priorities that resonate with your key constituencies your key stakeholders a lot of suri’s council was not interested in energy and emission management whatsoever they were really interested in affordability and addressing poverty suddenly the entire council lit up about the energy plan because of its opportunity to address other issues within the community district energy is a huge priority for the the city and it’s a being strongly influenced by land use planning so this work is actually trying to seed in advance the land use planning efforts of the city by helping focus more growth within the city and help stakeholders counsel other staff the broader community appreciate what the co-benefits are of focusing that growth so this is where the city plans to go out by 2040 but what we sit begin to see here are these corridors that are emerging and they’re going to play out in a couple of areas as we move forward and here what we see are the district energy opportunities within the city and where we are here in the the higher density future the focus growth future we see these district energy opportunities that occur along these corridors and and along these nodes in this industrial area out here the area that the city is taking the greatest interest in is right here sorry city center and that’s because they have a great opportunity with some anchor municipal developments that are going in a new city hall a library there’s a university there’s establishing there and also the rate of growth in the scale of growth all critical factors in determining the business case for a district energy a district energy system what likely will happen in these other areas although this city is uncertain outside of the city center they will be facilitating district energy in in the private sector rapid transit corridors this is one of the really major policy agendas of the city the city is trying to ensure that there’s greater mobility for the citizens of sorry and for employers and starting to have their employees get to work so off we go and explore that a little bit one of the real challenges for the City of Surrey is very very low density in these areas a lot they’re starting to achieve some higher density thresholds here but even around this area here people are annual average daily kilometers traveled is in the order of 12 to 15 kilometers a day so that’s pretty significant for for a household the challenges for advancing more better transit opportunities are fundamentally related to to growth but here they’re trying to drive growth into these corridors by advocating very aggressively for light rail along these corridors and the case they’re trying to make for to they have asked us to help make for them is overwhelmingly about the affordability that exists for the citizens of sorry so we look inside this corridor or inside these light rail corridors here if they would exist we would have transportation spending in the order of six thousand dollars a year per household outside of these corridors it’s in the order of about eleven thousand dollars per household this is something that is overwhelmingly an advocacy agenda for the City of Surrey obviously involves active engagement from senior levels of government Fernando alluded to the critical importance of planning at different scales through a recent initiative with the township of langley just through a neighbourhood energy strategy that was focused on building an energy building energy demand and supply we looked at firstly a district energy opportunity and it’s quite measurable in sky sighs about 55 million square feet in the in the red and the orange zones and provide a lot of governance direction for them but I’ll go on to I think something that I think is perhaps more germane outside of the urban core areas what we felt is really critically important with focusing on code capacity building and compliance as a result of really poor compliance with the existing building code and then an underutilized tool which is a development permit area I’ll go to into those in some greater detail but ultimately these will be mandatory elements for every new building that will be developed within the the car volt area and they’ll use that as a springboard to launch it across the the rest of the community if it works very effectively these were some premium initiatives voluntary in nature and one it’s a requirement for large buildings but we only expect take up to be in the order of about fifteen to twenty percent of new construction but if we take a look at buildings that are being built right now with in suburban areas of the Lower Mainland we see the vast majority of them aren’t even meeting the basic requirements of the building code a lot of them are the shortfalls are around fire protection health and safety features mechanical systems a lot of them have energy dimensions to them for example mechanical installation insulation is a great example where virtually every building that we’ve gone into has inadequately or not at all installed mechanical insulation so what our recommendation is overwhelmingly is to build capacity for building code inspectors permit offices and also the developers and builders within the township of langley and we hope that this is going to be an initiative that’s going to be financed its development by bc hydro and FortisBC this is just a recent chart that I grabbed from BC Hydro and this shows homes that were actually applying for power smart subsidies and there are actual building performance you probably can’t see it but this is a this is a 62 enter guide rating in order to get a power smart subsidy you have to be operating around 80 the actual building code is about 77 so we have incredibly poor performance of the existing building code from an energy perspective and ultimately actually bc has the lowest performance in the country around air leakage in in and it’s one of the most important areas for improving energy performance development permit areas I don’t know if they exist within the anant air legislative context but a development permit area can be established for addressing environmental sensitivities flood hazard management character and form they’ve recently been enabled through the local government act to address carbon and energy and they haven’t been experimented with very effectively because they can’t undermine the bc building code their greatest opportunity is around passive design so we’ve developed some development permit area guidelines for the township of langley i’m currently working with a developer right now who and they’re developing for the city of north vancouver within a large residential commercial mixed-use development okay now we’re going to jump in an electric vehicle this is some work that we did recently with metro vancouver this is optimizing electric vehicle infrastructure charging stations across metro vancouver and if we look at the the types of places where you would likely have an electric vehicle charging station what we did is we scored them from the highest to lowest starting with places like major tourist destinations down to to grocery stores we layered on top of that the traffic volumes that exist where people are working in the community or across the region and then we identified priority areas and what we see here that the high priority areas for EV charging stations we generated a list of about a thousand prospects and we prior i specs based on a bunch of other criteria including their sustainability interests and over about a 45 day period we actually were able to get almost 70 private sector hosts to sign up to EV charging station commitment and what I what we found fascinating was one of the most effective elements for getting them engaged with having them appreciate just the anecdotal stories of EV drivers and EV drivers their values driven their absolute innovators they may only go to a place once or twice but they may make a huge impact here to your bottom line we heard of a restoration company not even a walk off the street retail business they had an EV charging station only used twice over a one-year period but they made money on that installation because one of those people came back and bought thirty thousand dollars worth of restoration Nelson I think this is a ride chair it was one of the major priorities of the city hasn’t moved on yet fascinating community the vast majority of its building stock predates the the Second World War this is actually one of the pilot projects in British Columbia for on-bill financing and I think an important consideration here within the city of Nelson is that the mayor does not believe in climate change but he’s interested in this agenda because it’s about jobs in the community he’s a former trade he’s a former plumber and this is about jobs for his community and it’s about keeping money inside the community and so once again you don’t actually have to have people that are climate change supporter or climate protection advocates to be able to effectively advance an agenda another important strategy within the community that is only in its pilot phase is a laneway cottage and cabin strategy in a Toronto context of Vancouver context it would probably considered a laneway housing strategy but fundamentally it’s about providing smaller format housing that’s also affordable to people something that I learned within city of Nelson is you got to cut to the chase and rather than having another comprehensive planning and analytical process on in fill in fill opportunities within the city just pile it on a small basis with in this situation ten homes should now actually subsequently ramped up just to finalize I think many of these have already been mentioned think local act local the best community energy and emission plan amendment plans are fundamentally driven by core community priorities understanding the trends and drivers for energy and emissions in a community are critical the typology of your community matters and understanding local government influence right size your analysis overwhelmingly we’ve found that there’s vast amount of money that’s been on analysis and very little on policy program and project development integrate over initiate how can you energy and emission management opportunities into existing business activities strategic engagement is interesting but when we take a look at successful community energy plans emission management plans across the country they don’t actually have a correlation with a really broad public engagement but they do have a really close correlation to effective engagement with staff internal stakeholders and with Council I think stakeholder engagement is really critical as well when we’re getting into more detailed policy and program development the public is certainly important pragmatic policy and innovation we’ve found that a lot of the greatest opportunities are around redefining many of the existing policy tools that exist in municipal tool boxes off overwhelmingly crafted for other priorities and then focusing on implementation and Brian Kelly in his last several slides really nailed it on the head prior izing your opportunities costing out the the implementation of a program and also putting in place a really effective monitoring regime thank you you

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