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sustainable kingston

Environmental Services International Best Practices Queen’s University SURP Project Team

These international best practices emphasize three key areas in municipal environmental management and planning. We must reduce landfill waste and ensure that waste diversion processes meet their full potential. Effort must be made to promote the use of clean energy, minimize dependence on fossil fuels, and reduce carbon emissions. As a waterfront city, it is critical that the quality of Kingston’s water systems is preserved and protected. Public awareness and citizen engagement in the sustainable management of waste, water, and energy promote a healthy, resilient, and self-sufficient community.

Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste Collection Toronto, Ontario short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What? • Seven depots across City of Toronto accept household hazardous waste (HHW) drop-offs; open 6 days/week at varying hours • Toronto has recently began offering electronic waste (EW) collection with regular garbage pickup • “Community Environment Days” are held roughly 30 days per year, where temporary HHW and EW drop-off depots are set up in locations around the city

Why? • Only one existing HHW drop-off centre in Kingston; open 1-2 days/week during regular business hours • Making HHW and EW collection more accessible and attractive to residents could greatly improve waste diversion rates

How? • Toronto’s Target 70 program was approved in 2007 with the goal of diverting 70% of waste from landfills; this encourages the implementation of new initiatives • Due to the costs associated with expanding HHW and EW diversion programs, Kingston could begin with small expansions through events similar to Toronto’s “Community Environment Days” • Collections centers should occasionally be open outside of regular business hours to ensure that all residents are able to dispose of waste conveniently and appropriately

livability • integration • adaptation • equity resilience • vibrancy • sense of place


sustainable kingston

Environmental Services International Best Practices Queen’s University SURP Project Team

Pervious Pavement Chicago, Illinois, USA short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What? • Green Alley program aims to replace 1900 miles of public alleys with pervious materials for stormwater management • Uses a combination of pervious asphalt and concrete typically costing 10-15% more than traditional pavement • Pavements contain pores or openings that allow water to percolate through subsoil

Why? • Kingston faces unique challenges in stormwater management: old infrastructure with combined sewers and a high proportion of impervious surfaces forcing rainwater to carry pollutants directly into storm drains and water bodies • Pervious pavements reduce surface runoff, flooding, overloading of treatment plants, and land use demands of retention basin development; replenish groundwater, mitigate pollutants, minimize irrigation demands, reduce automobile hydroplaning accidents, and lessen ice build-up

How? • City Council mandates that all alley retrofits must use green materials • Kingston could incorporate permeable pavement into future infrastructure projects • New sidewalks could be constructed with permeable materials

Integrated Community Energy Solutions North Vancouver, British Columbia short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What? • Holistic community-wide management of energy consumption integrating multiple sectors • ICES concepts include clean energy, low-impact building design, transportation demand management, and compact, mixed-use development • Detailed inventory of community energy use, sets reduction targets through 2050, and outlines initiatives that will help meet these targets • Facilitates creation of a district energy system, brownfield remediation projects, and new development standards

Why? • ICES projects promote the evaluation of new developments by their energy consumption • Provide a streamlined organization of emissions reduction initiatives and monitor their impacts • Projected that if all Canadian communities implement ICES, national emissions could be reduced by 12% by 2050

How? • Through energy mapping or a detailed inventory of community-wide energy use and emissions • Setting short-term and long-term reduction targets • Initiatives are outlined in a Community Energy Plan (CEP) with descriptions of implementation methods, expected costs, and sources of funding • Communication and collaboration among sectors, jurisdictions, and stakeholders

livability • integration • adaptation • equity resilience • vibrancy • sense of place


sustainable kingston

Built Environment International Best Practices Queen’s University SURP Project Team

These international best practices address the design, construction, management, and use of built form including housing, industry, and streetscapes. Provisions for the built environment that establish density, accessibility, and other land use planning targets can greatly affect a community’s livability. Sustainable developments take into consideration the life cycle, environmental, and functional quality of built form. By implementing these initiatives, Kingston can encourage a healthy, functional, accessible, and attractive built environment.

Smart Growth Development Plan Yellowknife, Northwest Territories short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What?  Long-term growth and development strategy that integrates sustainable planning and development principles  Divided into 5 main areas: Public Involvement, Land Use and Urban Design, Transportation, Energy and the Environment, and Economic Development

Why?  Promotes the construction of energy-efficient buildings, active transportation, residential density, mixed-use developments, and heritage preservation  Provides incentives for downtown development  Provides a holistic approach to understanding the growth and development issues a municipality is facing and how they can be transformed into improving quality of life, fiscal health, and the environment

How?  Silo-busting: Multiple departments working together will afford the plan higher potential for success  Extensive Public Consultation: questionnaire surveys, focus groups, telephone surveys, open houses, and a community design charrette were all used to develop Yellowknife`s Plan and promoted stakeholder inclusion  Smart Growth Development Plan Committee: advises the City regarding issues such as the formulation of policies, concepts, and strategies as they relate to long-term growth and development

livability • integration • adaptation • equity resilience • vibrancy • sense of place


sustainable kingston

Built Environment International Best Practices Queen’s University SURP Project Team

Making Secondary Suites Easier Victoria, British Columbia short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What?  Private, self-contained units within existing dwellings that increase affordable rental housing and density in urban, suburban, and rural areas  Allow seniors to ‘age in place’ and provide a favourable option for families who want elderly relatives close by; makes homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers

Why?  One of the most cost-effective ways for municipalities to provide affordable rental housing  In Kingston, the rental vacancy rates are very low and affordable housing stock is not readily available

How?  Bill 140: all municipalities in Ontario are required to enact policies that allow secondary suites in residential houses; it is within the City’s control to foster the best possible conditions for the creation of secondary suites  New Comprehensive Zoning By-Law: eliminate parking requirements, allow units across City regardless of age of dwellings, and keep unit size requirements flexible

Flex Housing London, Ontario short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What?  Homes are easily and economically reconfigured to match changing needs of homeowners  Pre-wiring and proper placement of load-bearing walls and plumbing enables homeowners to easily add and remove secondary suites, alter interior room layouts, and integrate mobility assistance options

Why?  Secondary suites provide rental income with the flexibility to convert to a single-family home  Seniors and persons with mobility constraints can age in place by reconfiguring homes so most dwelling needs are located on the main floor

How?  Amend policies and by-laws to allow secondary suites in new and existing developments  Educate developers and the general public through presentations by the CMHC, architects, and builders to convey the benefits and expertise required to construct Flex Housing

Sustainable Streetlights short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What?  Make use of the best light technology available to reduce energy consumption and minimize ecological impacts of outdoor lighting

Why?  Street-lighting networks can promote safe transportation for residents including those with vision problems as they walk, cycle or use motorized vehicles  Streetlights account for a significant portion of any city’s greenhouse gas emissions

How?  Follow guidelines presented by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America’s (IES) model lighting ordinance, which provides a guide for environmentally-responsible outdoor lighting  Retrofit Kingston’s streetlights with LED fixtures; choose solar-powered LED streetlights for new installations  Create an ‘Urban Sky Park’ in Kingston according to the guidelines of the Royal Astronomical Association of Canada

livability • integration • adaptation • equity resilience • vibrancy • sense of place


sustainable kingston

Community Programs & Initiatives International Best Practices Queen’s University SURP Project Team

This focus area considers initiatives related to community animation, collaboration, and capacity building. It explores programs to improve citizen engagement in sustainability and healthy communities and the interconnection of different population demographics in achieving these goals. These international best practices can help to foster vibrancy, livability, social inclusion, and sustainability in Kingston. Programming public spaces and encouraging collaboration between a municipality and its residents can produce a sense of community ownership through citizen engagement and the understanding that cities are for people.

Sustainability Screening Reports (SSR) Canmore, Alberta short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What? • An approvals process where developers explain the net environmental, social, and economic benefits of their projects • Consists of an application form, a sustainability checklist which directs priorities, and an expanded explanation of a development’s impacts

Why? • Process encourages developers to consider innovative ways that their projects can contribute to sustainability goals • Has potential to create concrete results and engage both the public and developers in the sustainability conversation • Is a very flexible tool that can be used to promote innovation in any area prioritized by a municipality

How? • Developers submit the SSR to City Council with allotted time for questions and public comment • Projects are either approved or denied based on considerations of sustainability; Council may ask for changes to be made before the development can go ahead

livability • integration • adaptation • equity resilience • vibrancy • sense of place


sustainable kingston

Community Programs & Initiatives International Best Practices Queen’s University SURP Project Team

Social Media in Municipalities Edmonton, Alberta short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What? • Social media is increasingly being used by municipal institutions to communicate more effectively and instantly share information with a wide network of people • Blogs and photosharing sites can generate excitement for events, activities, and services • Many organizations have leveraged these tools as marketing devices, attracting numerous ‘followers’ or ‘friends’ to communicate with messages sent directly to users

Why? • Effective use of social media has led to increased conversation, engagement in issues, links to richer content and media, increased trust and ‘humanization’ of the organization, increased ability to gauge support for ideas and greater overall transparency • Turnouts to Council meetings, voting, and public events have increased

How? • Create a Social Media Advisory Committee (SMAC) to establish guidelines for using social media, monitor site commentary, and act as a centralized resource for all City employees

Ciclovia Bogotá, Columbia short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What? • •

Ciclovia originated with the ‘open streets’ concept in the late 1970s Weekly road closures allow streets to become paved parks where people can participate in physical activities including walking, cycling, and dancing

Why? • •

Festivals provide time and space for physical activity and lay the foundation for community building and the formation of social connections Invite the community to participate in healthy activities while raising awareness of the benefits of active transportation modes

How? •

Increase the frequency of the Princess St. Promenade and change its focus to the promotion of active transportation and healthy living initiatives while allowing local businesses to benefit from increased pedestrian activity

Waterfront Programming: Urban Beach Paris, France; San Diego, California, USA; Toronto, Ontario short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What? • Brings the water into the fabric of the city and creates an active, vibrant amenity space • Trend towards quick and temporary public spaces and events to celebrate city waterfronts

Why? • • •

Allows residents who cannot escape the heat of the city to take a vacation close to home Promotes environmental learning by strengthening residents’ relationships to water bodies and their stewardship Would bring business to Kingston’s downtown and encourage use of waterfront pathways and parks system

How? • •

Quick and inexpensive use of temporary structures and landscaping features Bring vibrancy to the waterfront through the promotion of public space and organized activities rather than through more expensive urban design processes

livability • integration • adaptation • equity resilience • vibrancy • sense of place


sustainable kingston

Transportation International Best Practices Queen’s University SURP Project Team

Enabling people to move freely through a city without compromising the air quality, natural environment, and public spaces is a significant challenge for any community. Many of today’s urban theorists argue that striking a balance between transport infrastructure and placemaking should be at the forefront for all competitive cities. Kingston has unique potential to embrace sustainable modes of transportation due to its physical size, compact downtown, and population largely composed of university students, visiting tourists, active seniors, and urban professionals. These international best practices aim to reduce car travel, promote engagement in active transportation, and minimize environmental degradation.

Cycling Public Awareness & Incentives Campaign Portland, Oregon, USA short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What?  Services: cater to the needs of cyclists on the road and increase safety and convenience for potential and current riders  Behaviour Change: testing, adoption, and expansion of programs aimed at promoting long-term changes in transportation habits  Awareness: programs and activities that inform residents how to bike safely, comfortably, and conveniently; promote roadsharing and driver awareness  Incentives: focused on commuting and energy efficiency

Why?  Reduces carbon emissions by replacing vehicle trips under 5 km which have the highest emission rates; combats rising obesity rates  General reclamation of the public right-of-way as an equitable space for multiple users  Provides residents of varying demographics with a more equitable, accessible, and affordable transportation option

How?  Allocate municipal resources to strengthen efforts by existing local organizations  Campaign can educate residents on the proper use of existing and forthcoming bicycling infrastructure to ensure its maximized use and validate Kingston’s investment  Can compel residents to change their transportation behaviour  Availability of funding will significantly affect the quality and extent of the Campaign

livability • integration • adaptation • equity resilience • vibrancy • sense of place


sustainable kingston

Transportation International Best Practices Queen’s University SURP Project Team

Community Access Bicycles (CAB) Kitchener, Ontario short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What?  Small scale community-based bike share program: 36 bicycles located at 7 downtown stations available to members for 24 hour periods  Membership is an affordable $15/year

Why?  Promotes active transportation and can improve physical health of users  Economically inclusive with great potential for expansion  Environmentally-friendly alternative to driving for short trips

How?  Funding: may need a grant similar to the Local Environmental Action Fund  Policy Champion: Could begin as a Town-Gown initiative in Kingston: a pilot program moving Queen’s students from downtown to Main and West campuses  Publicity/Awareness: handing out pamphlets on campuses; press release to local media; mass e-mails through the Queen’s server

Residential Parking System Edmonton, Alberta short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What?    

Attempts to curb on-street parking demand in high-traffic neighbourhoods Demands that all vehicles parked on street have a permit Only neighbourhood residents with permits may park their cars on the road Free for all participants

Why?  Encourages the use of public transit and active transportation  Discourages driving personal motor vehicles due to a lack of parking spots  Enhances the safety of neighbourhoods

How?  Expand pilot program in Sydenham District (King, West, Clergy, William Streets) to include the Queen’s University “student ghetto” where parking is at a premium  Cost with respect to feasibility would be low, as enforcement is already in place

Pedestrianization of McMaster University Campus Hamilton, Ontario short-term

Implementation medium

long-term

What?  Pedestrianized campus with exceptions for public transit, service, and emergency vehicles  Connected network of pathways for cyclists and pedestrians

Why?    

Improves physical and mental health of students, staff, and faculty Reduces greenhouse gas emissions Increases safety on campus and reduces potential for pedestrian-vehicle conflicts 99% of students and 70% of employees commute to Queen’s by means other than single occupancy vehicles

How?  Seek planning, design, traffic, environmental, and infrastructure consultants  Purchase streets within boundaries of Albert, Barrie, Union, and Stuart Streets  Cooperation between key stakeholders: City of Kingston and Queen’s University

livability • integration • adaptation • equity resilience • vibrancy • sense of place


Sustainable Kingston: International Best Practices Poster