10 municipal initiatives honoured at the 2007 FCM-CH2M HILL sustainable community awards ceremony - "Canada's greenest municipal projects"



    CALGARY, AB, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of Canadian
Municipalities (FCM) and CH2M HILL Canada Limited honoured the 10 winners of
the FCM-CH2M HILL Sustainable Community Awards at a recognition ceremony at
FCM's 70th Annual Conference and Municipal ExpoTM in Calgary today. The Awards
recognize municipal leadership in sustainable community development and give
national recognition to projects that demonstrate environmental excellence and
innovation in service delivery.
    "FCM congratulates the 2007 Sustainable Community Awards' winners," said
FCM President Gord Steeves. "These projects spotlight municipal governments
that are leaders in sustainable community development. They demonstrate
practical, innovative solutions to secure the environmental, economic and
social well-being of Canada's communities."
    The Awards are open to all municipal governments and their private sector
partners. Communities of all sizes are encouraged to apply. To be eligible,
projects must have been completed within two years of the date of application,
or be in the final stages of implementation, and must have achieved measurable
results. Submissions are judged by an expert panel of judges selected by FCM.
    "Sustainability is a powerful concept that inspires innovative problem
solving and these award winning projects embody some of the best examples of
sustainable development by municipal governments in Canada as they strive to
increase the quality of life in their communities," said Peter Nicol,
President of CH2M HILL Canada. "CH2M HILL is proud to be a founding sponsor of
the FCM-CH2M HILL Sustainable Community Awards with the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities. In this, the eighth year of the Awards, we can look back on
the important role they play in building capacity in Canadian communities.
This is an important legacy of achievement."

    This year 55 submissions were received. The 10 winners are:
    
    Buildings
    ---------

    1.  Québec City, Québec
        Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

    Solid Waste
    -----------

    2.  City of Hamilton, Ontario
        City of Hamilton - Green Cart Program

    3.  Town of Ladysmith, British Columbia
        Ladysmith Organic Curb-Side Collection Program

    Sustainable Community Planning
    ------------------------------

    4.  City of Calgary, Alberta
        imagineCALGARY

    Wastewater
    ----------

    5.  City of Toronto, Ontario
        Making Green Roofs Happen

    Residential Development
    -----------------------

    6.  Town of East Gwillimbury, Ontario
        East Gwillimbury Town-wide Energy Star Standards for new homes

    Sustainable Transportation
    --------------------------

    7.   City of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
         City of Charlottetown Innovative Public Transit System

    8.   Regional Municipality of York, Ontario
         Viva BRT Project

    Water
    -----

    9.  Capital Regional District of Victoria, British Columbia
        Toward Sustainable Water Demand - A Comprehensive Approach

    Energy
    ------

    10. The City of Dawson Creek, British Columbia
        City of Dawson Creek Community Energy Planning
    

    The Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Green Municipal Fund (GMF) and
CH2M HILL Canada Ltd. are the primary sponsors of the Awards. Transport Canada
sponsors the Sustainable Transportation category and the Affordability and
Choice Today (ACT) program sponsors the Residential Development category.

    For additional information, please visit:

    The FCM Centre for Sustainable Community Development website for details
on the FCM-CH2M HILL Sustainable Community Awards, the Green Municipal Fund
and the Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) program at (less
than)www.sustainablecommunities.fcm.ca(greater than).
    CH2M-HILL at (less than)www.ch2mhillcanada.com(greater than).


    BACKGROUNDER

    2007 FCM-CH2M HILL Sustainable Community Awards Winners -
    Project Summaries

    The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and CH2M HILL Canada
established the FCM-CH2M HILL Sustainable Community Awards in 2000 to
recognize and celebrate municipal leadership in championing sustainable
community development and promoting best practices in addressing environmental
issues in municipal operations. Along with environmental benefits, winning
projects demonstrate the economic and social advantages of sustainable
community development.
    FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF) and CH2M HILL Canada Ltd. are the
primary sponsors of the Awards. Transport Canada sponsors the Sustainable
Transportation category. The Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) program is
sponsoring the new Residential Development category.
    FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. The
Federation fosters sustainable communities enjoying a high quality of life by
promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government. The FCM
Centre for Sustainable Community Development offers resources, such as the
Green Municipal Fund, for municipal governments to achieve their sustainable
development goals.
    CH2M HILL is a global full-service infrastructure and environmental firm
providing services in water, transportation, energy and industrial systems to
public and private clients in numerous industries. CH2M HILL is committed to
developing innovative, practical and sustainable solutions to serve the needs
of communities worldwide.
    The winners of the 2007 Sustainable Community Awards demonstrate best
practices in the following categories: Buildings, Solid Waste, Sustainable
Community Planning, Water, Wastewater, Residential Development, Sustainable
Transportation, and Energy.

    Buildings
    ---------

    Charlesbourg Library
    Quebec City, Quebec

    Aiming to take a strong first step toward sustainable development and to
reignite the community spirit of the Trait-Carré de Charlesbourg area, Quebec
City decided to expand the original Charlesbourg library. Design and
construction respected both modern standards and the building's ancestral
character, and met the city's environmental and social goals. Opened in 2006,
this popular 4,305-square-metre library now meets the needs of area residents
and uses less energy, keeping operational and maintenance costs low. This
cultural and civic landmark, located in a green, pedestrian-friendly and safe
environment, is expected to attract tourists, businesses, and more residents.
Fully completed in the spring of 2007, this restoration has also improved the
appearance of the Trait-Carré area, thanks to buried wires, reconstructed
streets, and an attractive, state-of-the-art lighting system that illuminates
the front of the Saint-Charles-Borromée church.

    Solid Waste
    -----------

    Green Cart Program
    City of Hamilton, Ontario

    Hamilton city council approved a solid waste management master plan in
2001 that aimed to divert 65 per cent of waste from landfills by 2008. The
Green Cart Program, implemented in 2006, is an integral part of this plan.
Following small-scale demonstration projects, green carts were distributed to
residents between April and June 2006. Since then, source-separated organic
waste has been collected each week from about 150,000 households and delivered
to the newly constructed central composting facility, which can process up to
60,000 tonnes per year. In its first six months, the facility received 22,565
tonnes of material. Curbside waste audits done after just the first three
months showed a 55 per cent diversion rate, compared to only 33 per cent
before the project's implementation. Along with substantial environmental
benefits, the city has profited financially by avoiding the expense of
creating another landfill.

    Ladysmith Organic Curb-Side Collection Program
    Town of Ladysmith, British Columbia

    In February 2006, the Town of Ladysmith became the first municipality in
British Columbia to begin curbside collection of organic waste. During the
program's first 10 months, residents of this small Vancouver Island community
diverted an average of almost 33 tonnes of organic waste per month to a
Nanaimo composting facility. By doing so, the town greatly reduced the volume
of methane produced in landfill sites, a significant source of greenhouse
gases. Public support for the organic waste program is high. The community is
proud to be the first in the province to launch a successful program. As an
added benefit, the rate of recycling for paper, plastics, and glass in the
town has also increased since the organics program began.

    Sustainable Community Planning
    ------------------------------

    imagineCALGARY
    City of Calgary, Alberta

    More than 18,000 citizens helped to create a 100-year vision for Calgary.
In 2004, the city joined the Sustainable Cities: PLUS Network, an
international network of cities and communities committed to long-term urban
sustainability. One year later, through a project called imagineCALGARY, the
city immersed itself in 18 months of planning for its future. Citizens
identified goals that will help the community meet its needs for water, energy
and transportation, and they set 10 to 30 year targets to advance the vision
and goals. The imagineCALGARY process has resulted in greater pride of place
for residents and widespread support for clear sustainability targets from a
growing number of institutional and organizational partners based in the city.

    Wastewater
    ----------

    Making Green Roofs Happen
    City of Toronto, Ontario

    In late 2006, a green roofs pilot project - the first of its kind in
Canada - funded construction of 16 green roofs on a mix of public and private
buildings in the city of Toronto. The project was the culmination of more than
18 months of research and consultation by the City of Toronto on green roofs.
The initiative began in early 2005 when the City of Toronto, Ryerson
University, and a provincial Centre of Excellence produced their Report on the
Environmental Benefits and Costs of Green Roof Technology for the City of
Toronto. That report and a November 2005 discussion paper, Making Green Roofs
Happen, laid the groundwork for the green roof strategy adopted by Toronto
city council in February 2006. The city looks forward to reaping the benefits
of green roofs, including reduced stormwater runoff, lower energy demands,
beautification of the city, and reduction of the urban heat island effect.

    Residential Development
    -----------------------

    Town-wide ENERGY STAR(R) Standards for New Homes
    Town of East Gwillimbury, Ontario

    In April 2006, the Town of East Gwillimbury in York Region acted on its
commitment to environmental stewardship, the first pillar of its 2005
strategic plan, by mandating that ENERGY STAR(R) standards be applied in all
new housing developments in the town. ENERGY STAR homes use 30 to 40 per cent
less energy than regular buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
about three tonnes per home per year. The town estimates that its policy - the
first of its kind in Canada - will prevent 97,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas
emissions between 2007 and 2016. The new standard will also reduce the burden
the town places on Ontario's energy system. Finally, homeowners benefit by
having homes built to better standards and by saving on their energy bill.

    Sustainable Transportation
    --------------------------

    Innovative Public Transit System
    City of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

    Following a feasibility study in 2002 to determine the city's
requirements for its first public transit system, the City of Charlottetown
designed and instituted a cost-effective, convenient and environmentally
friendly city-wide system using a fleet of five low-platform vintage-style
trolley buses. The city aimed to provide a viable alternative to private
vehicle use that would be accessible to commuters, students, lower-income
residents and tourists. It realized its vision through an innovative
partnership with Trius Tours Ltd., a local company that would operate the
public transit system for at least five years. Ridership projections
forecasted an annual 125,000-litre reduction in commuter fuel consumption,
resulting in a 375,000 kilogram drop in greenhouse gas emissions. Actual
ridership during the first year of operation was 40 per cent higher than
projected, and is expected to climb even higher.

    Viva Bus Rapid Transit Project
    Regional Municipality of York, Ontario

    Launched in September 2005, the Viva Bus Rapid Transit project provides a
rapid transit network linking four emerging urban centres within York Region.
Using a new fleet of rapid transit vehicles, Viva operates six routes along
more than 80 kilometres of the region's existing roadways, and supports the
development of mixed-use transit villages along these corridors. By increasing
the speed, reliability and accessibility of transit services, York Region
hopes to double transit ridership, aiming for 25 per cent of trips to be made
using a combination of public transit modes. As the region continues to
expand, a greater reliance on public transit will improve traffic congestion
and quality of life for residents, while reducing pollutants and resource
consumption. Overall transit use has increased by 35 per cent along rapid
transit corridors in less than one year since the program's inception.

    Water
    -----

    Toward Sustainable Water Demand - A Comprehensive Approach
    Capital Regional District of Victoria, British Columbia

    Victoria began incorporating demand management initiatives into its
strategic planning in 1994. During the 12 years that followed, a vast array of
demand management programs were added that have helped to ensure the quality
and sustainability of the city's water supply. These programs have raised
awareness of the need to conserve water and have engaged the community in
water stewardship and watershed protection. Over the years, public
participation has grown, and so has political support from multiple orders of
government. As a result, per capita water use has declined, holding total
water demand at a steady level while the population increases. Demand
management initiatives have delayed any expansion of the water supply until
beyond 2054, which will save the municipality approximately $12 to 50 million,
and protect the ecological integrity of the Sooke River watershed, even in low
flow seasons.

    Energy/Renewable Energy
    -----------------------

    Community Energy Plan
    City of Dawson Creek, British Columbia

    Beginning in January 2005, Dawson Creek undertook an energy planning
process designed to make municipal operations more environmentally and
financially sustainable. With the assistance of the Pembina Institute, the
city completed a baseline report to assess the current state of energy
consumption in its buildings, infrastructure and vehicle fleet. A number of
projects from the resulting community energy plan have helped the city meet
its sustainability goals. The installation of low-voltage, high-pressure
sodium streetlights has reduced electricity consumption by 100,000 kWh
annually, and has saved the city $14,400 per year. Solar hot water system
installations at several municipal buildings offset approximately 60 GJ of
natural gas and 3.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually.
The new green vehicle purchasing policy has led to a more sustainable
municipal fleet that produces eight fewer annual tonnes of greenhouse gases
and will save the city over $15,000 per vehicle every five years.




For further information:

For further information: Lucille Hodgins, Manager, Community Liaison,
Centre for Sustainable Community Development, Federation of Canadian
Municipalities, (613) 907-6299, Cell: (613) 447-0051, Fax: (613) 244-1515,
lhodgins@fcm.ca

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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