Roundtable 1: Climate Change & Sustainability
Thursday, Nov 29, 2018
Facilitator: Aerin Jacob
Issue ideas/Topic selection:
- Waste diversion, regulation in resort community, visitor education
- Climate change denial
- Organics collection program, issues around contamination, uptake by community
- Wildlife and waste
- Living with wildfire threat, role of planners, and what can we do to mitigate
- Retrofitting old infrastructure
- Local renewable energy generation
- Visitor and destination management
- Water (and air) quality issues with warmer climate
- Improving transport networks, displaced workforce into bedroom communities who have to commute more
- Implementation of climate action plans
- Working together better around emergency management and planning
- Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into comprehensive planning
- How can use incentives (construction)
- Cross-jurisdictional organization
- Carbon neutrality
- Water conservation
- Convince provincial gov that sustainable development is achievable and real
Selected focus issues:
- Wildfire (strategic planning and zoning, incentives with construction, climate change)
- Waste management (diversion, organics (implementation, community acceptance, wildlife issues), resident compliance with sorting, visitor education and compliance
Issue 1: Wildfire
- Longterm land-use choices, living with it long term, not just forgetting after a disaster
- Dealing with disasters on a one-off basis, not integrating lessons-learned into planning for future disaster management
- Lack of real adaptive management (eg. not adjusting practices or zones after flood or fire)
- Resident reluctance to adaptation, to make homes more resilient
- Education exists but action not taken by individual land owners
- Burden is borne by individuals homeowners/developers
- Better planning and zoning of wildland-urban interface (WUI)
- With habitat fragmentation, there are more places where that interface exists
- Need more education, community outreach
- Link back to education does not always equal action
- Accessing financial incentives for resiliency
- Knowing about grants, programs are siloed
- Jurisdictional differences
- Counter-productive incentives (eg. planting fire-resilient species sometimes attracts wildlife)
- Education for planners to design subdivisions, landscapes, development, and strategic plans for emergency response
- Guidelines for building more resilient infrastructure
- Recognize that cost of firesmart/wise construction, increases the cost of affordable housing
- Linking climate change to increased risk of forest fires, importance of education and mitigation
- Understand the extra-costs of changing building codes (eg. affordable housing costs go up)
- Planning location of high-density residential buildings (eg. egress plans, risk management)
- Map of high-risk roofs (are they asphalt, shingles, metal) to assess risk and evaluate properties (but it’s still on the homeowner to take action). Need rebates or incentives.
- Firesmart program (in Canada) - working with communities to help “fire smart” your house - clearing brush, retrofitting. American program: Firewise
- Utah community works directly with landowners to help “fire smart”
- Regulation helps in Colorado - what fencing materials can be used, permits are reviewed by fire department (assess risk of trees, brush on properties), fire breaks, community buy-in because people are seeing fires and the risk fires pose regularly. Fire department involved - cross-jurisdictional collaboration.
- Question - did government have to grow to facilitate the enforcement of these regulations?
- Answer - the fire department probably grew to do this extra work as they are the ones who evaluate permits
- Change high-risk materials to lower risk materials (roofs)
- What effect would this have on industry?
- Negotiation between building developers and planners
- Education key so that everyone understands the necessity of changes in regulation
- Incentives can encourage developers to do more and go beyond
- STEP code - like LEED certification for sustainability - to help standardize and rate safety and energy efficiency of buildings. May be combined with rebates and incentives.
- How to balance beautiful natural surroundings which make properties desirable and safety/firesmart values.
- Firesmart has a guide for how to landscape important to not just have “no” regulations but also recommendations for alternatives, (eg. where is best to place trees, not just no trees, recommended species/species to avoid)
- Language choices are important: don’t talk about climate change, talk about resiliency and adaptation
- Homeowners insurance - not being able to get insurance in areas that are prone to wildfire.
- Changes in insurance company policy will influence where we build and how we build
- Could be an opportunity to collaborate with insurance companies who have a lot of models and data, may have incentive to fund firesmart/wise programs?
- Easier with floods to denote “flood zone”, can we predict fire prone zones as easily?
Issue 2: Waste management