On the Fly Update May 2010

As the City Engineer, and being on the senior management team of a small municipality, my role and areas of influence and responsibility are quite wide. This week it has been climate change adaptation and carbon neutral policies. Lots of meetings and talking, particularly about water, infrastructure and municipal operations – all areas that I am well […]

A Focus on Food

While Castlegar City Council makes an impassioned plea for residents to understand the tough times the City is facing, it seems that all the good work, energy and momentum that was generated during the Integrated Community Sustainability Planning (ICSP) sessions seems to have fallen to the wayside. Council still has a focus on attracting new businesses to […]

Consumer Choice, Market Forces and the Economy

It is really convenient as a society to assume that no action is required on the part of individuals to change their habits outside of market driven forces, but the economy (and associated markets) as we know it is a recent invention that has been fuelled by the very energy it seeks to control the sale of. Relying on consumer preferences in the markets to change energy consumption behaviour is like trying to steer an oil tanker by sticking your iPod into the wake as a rudder – the impetus is slow to react, and driven by selfish assumptions that believe that someone else is working to solve the problems. Is anyone actually working to solve problems, or are the agendas of each group getting in the way?

5 Changes for Sustainabilty

Life is complicated, sometimes we just need to break down all of the information that bombards us, as well as our tasks, chores, and all those nagging thoughts of what we need to improve. This is my list, created in five minutes of things I want to improve for personal sustainability.

The Price of Heavy Industry

The City of Castlegar, after many years of benefiting from the Industrial Tax revenue from the Celgar Pulp Mill just upstream of the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers, is facing a serious financial challenge. Celgar recently annouced that it was not going to pay taxes after the City responded to their request for […]

Resilience

I write often about community resilience here at UrbanWorkbench. Resilience is the ability of a system to absorb change and still function. In the sense of community, this is the survive and thrive through change mentality. Most people would agree that resilience is a great thing for a community, but I’m finding that people have different expectations with regard to what areas or themes are involved in measuring resilience.