August CRC Research Newsletter

In This Issue

Climate Change Research

Greening Canadian Hospitals

Urban Sustainability

CRC Blog

Welcome to Issue 8, CRC Newsletter

We hope your summer is going well, the weather back East has been great for swimming. Over the summer, John Robinson, Lenore Newman and I have been working on a major research proposal on climate change adaptation and mitigation in B.C. and I encourage to go to  our website and see the results of our preliminary scan of the province.

I continue to experiment with using the internet for the forces of light, and have added a blog feature to the website. I am hoping our graduate students get involved as they are now the ones on the ground working to implement sustainable development in the private and public sectors. We have also just published one of the first scans of the hospital sector greening initiatives published today. With the help of my colleagues from Sustainability Solutions Group and Chris Stashok, our seventh CRC discussio paper includes key recommendations for future directions that could fundamentally transform the leadership role that hospitals could play in communities. 

Please enjoy the rest of your summer, read a fantastic book, The School of Essential Ingredients by Bauermeister (2009), and I leave you with this thought "We're all just ingredients. . .What matters is the grace with which you cook the meal".

Ann Dale
Royal Roads University

climate_change_text.jpgClimate Change Research

Two critical climate change research projects are now underway, one led by Dr. Kevin Hanna, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the other by Professor Ann Dale, in partnership with Dr. John Robinson, Executive Director, UBC Sustainability Vancouver.


Funded by Canada's granting council, Planning for Adaptation and Resiliency, led by Dr. Hanna, is a comparative research project exploring local government planning for climate change adaptation and resiliency in Canada. The project will assess the state of planning for adaptation and resiliency by Canadian local governments, develop detailed case studies, and generate applied knowledge for advancing community adaptation planning.


The second, at the proposal stage, Meeting the Climate Change Challenge (MC3), led by Dr. Dale, is focusing specifically on the response of British Columbia municipalities to the first major wave of provincial policy response to climate change adaptation and mitigation.


The goals of this Canadian University Research Alliance (CURA) project are firstly, to identify and investigate innovative municipal approaches to provincial climate policy and document best practices through selected detailed case studies, and secondly, to spur cross scale knowledge mobilization between communities in order to bootstrap innovation diffusion. The dissemination of innovative responses and actions on the ground is critical as other jurisdictions in North America begin to develop active climate policy regimes.


In collaboration between the two projects, one of the research outcomes will be two scans, a map of international best practices of climate change adaptation and their relevance for Canadian learning and a scan of all the local government responses in British Columbia. Visit the Resources section on our website to view these as they are available.

Greening Canadian Hospitals - Discussion Paper Just Released

With over 3000 hospitals, medical facilities and surgery centers found throughout Canada’s many communities, the health sector has tremendous impacts both on individual health and on their ecological, social and economic vitality. The sector’s unique requirements for health safety and security, and sterilization, however, influence the decisions hospitals make regarding the energy they consume and the waste they generate. See Appendix B for a simple solution for improving the cleanliness of hospital buildings through a chemical free cleaning system that is put into practice at Royal Roads University
This paper provides an illustrative overview of the overall ecological impacts of the sector (Appendix A) and of the Canadian medical community’s recommendations for a green policy framework. It then provides a scan of four provinces, British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec, describing the policy initiatives each government has implemented, followed by some of the leading edge practices in the implementation of sustainability strategies and plans, both by individual hospital leaders and organizational innovation in each province. It concludes with key recommendations for future action and leadership by hospital decision-makers.


Go to Google Docs to share your hospital's leading edge sustainability initiatives with us.


e-dialogues-text.jpgUrban Sustainability: Youth—The Missing Solution? e-Dialogue

Our most recent on-line discussion, June 23, 2010, led in partnership with the International Centre for Sustainable Cities, brought together young interns and experts from around the world to talk about the role of youth in urban sustainability, and particularly looked at opportunities for youth to be catalysts of change in their community.


The importance of engaging youth
The engagement of youth in urban planning processes is uncharted territory. Yet, our e-dialogue interns currently involved in these early processes noted that embedding youth in broad public engagement helps to build understanding about their needs and aspirations for the city. Youth can also contribute ideas about how to attain collective goals. Involving youth ensures that they do not feel like a minority group – when included, it can be empowering and motivating to have adults listen to them. This helps build identity, a sense of community and responsibility towards space in the cities, versus leaving youth to feel abandoned and not caring about their neighborhood or city. Youth have a unique perspective to offer around urban sustainable planning as do other marginalized voices - and it is key to truly and actively engage these voices to help shape healthy, sustainable communities.


Several cases were shared by the panelists about the projects and techniques they are using to bring youth into planning processes.

  • In Colima, Mexico, a project looking at public space is involving youth and the broader community.
  • In Portland, USA, the City has started to employ youth ages 14-21 to work as "youth planners".
  • In Regina, Canada, The Cooperators (an insurance group) and the International Centre for Sustainable Cities (ICSC) have partnered to develop the YES (Youth Engagement in Sustainability) Network.
  • ICSC’s International Youth Internship program is a partnership with several member cities of the Sustainable Cities: PLUS Network where Canadian interns travel overseas and support different projects related to urban sustainability.
  • In various cities, World Café’s are being used to engage youth and the broader community into urban planning processes.

Visit our website to read the e-conversation.

CRC Blog - Views from the Edge

We have added a blog to the CRC research site, /crc-blog. We will be actively blogging, discussing the latest news from our research as it is happening 'on the ground'. I would like to encourage all of our graduate students to share their experiences and expertise from the private and public sectors since their graduation, as well as practitioners across Canada, making our blog the 'bleeding edge' place to go to share problems, solutions and practical ways to make a difference. Bring your questions, and we will do our best to answer them with the best advice we have.


It takes courage to be 'at the edge', so share your knowledge, log in. Just as it takes a community to raise a child, it takes communities everywhere to realize sustainable development in our lifetime, it has never been more urgent.


Sustainable community development relies on long-term integrated planning. Our unique online Integrated Community Sustainability Planning Tool provides a framework for any community, large or small, to develop their own sustainability plan, independent of outside consultation, in a community process designed to ensure implementation. Tips to success is a regular feature of this newsletter.
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