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Connecting Land Use and Transportation is Key to Reducing GHG Emissions in Cities, Towns, Regions

Smart Growth Task Force report lists 10 recommendations to strengthen BC Climate Action Charter

VANCOUVER, Sept. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Ten years ago, the Province of BC, the Union of BC Municipalities, and local governments signed the BC Climate Action Charter, a pledge to work together to address climate change. To achieve emissions reductions, local governments agreed to take action (with provincial support) towards "creating complete, compact, more energy efficient rural and urban communities."

Connecting Land Use and Transportation is Key to Reducing GHG Emissions in Cities, Towns, Regions (CNW Group/Real Estate Foundation of BC)

A report released today by the Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC) finds that little progress has been made in shifting travel to public transit, walking and cycling. Despite commitments to reduce total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 33% below 2007 levels by 2020, GHGs associated with personal transportation (the largest GHG contributor in BC) remain near 2007 levels.

The report recommends strengthening the Charter's smart growth foundations by better integrating land use and transportation planning in BC communities.

"The connection between land use and transportation is often overlooked in climate strategies," says REFBC CEO Jack Wong. "Accommodating population growth in existing neighbourhoods helps to support diverse housing and transportation options that, in turn, lower municipal infrastructure costs and reduce community GHG emissions."

While the BC government has steadily increased spending on transit, these investments have been outpaced by spending on infrastructure that supports personal vehicle travel. The report finds that, for every $1 spent on transit between 2008 and 2011, $4.50 was spent on roads and bridges. For 2017 to 2020, road and bridge spending is projected to increase to $6.50 for every $1 allocated to transit.

Stronger integration of land use and transportation planning will help the Province meet its climate action targets. To support this, the report makes 10 recommendations to provincial ministries.

Recommendations include:

The report was commissioned by the Real Estate Foundation of BC as part of its research on sustainable built environments in British Columbia. The report was prepared by Boston Consulting, with review and consultation from the Smart Growth Task Force.

Growing Smarter: Cornerstones or Highly Prosperous, Low Carbon Communities

Download the report at bit.ly/growing-smarter

About the Real Estate Foundation of BC:

The Real Estate Foundation of BC is a philanthropic organization that helps advance sustainable land use in British Columbia. It provides grants to non-profit organizations working to improve B.C. communities and natural environments through responsible and informed land use, conservation and real estate practices. Its funding programs support research, education, and law and policy reform. Since 1988, the Foundation has approved more than $75 million in grants. The Foundation also conducts research and special projects to support collaboration and knowledge-sharing around land use.

Learn more at www.refbc.com.

SOURCE Real Estate Foundation of BC

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