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Richmond’s sustainability report highlights progress

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:20 PDT, Tue October 19, 2021

Last Updated: 10:44 PDT, Tue October 19, 2021

Award-winning district energy, state-of-the-art recycled road paving, and leadership in electric vehicle implementation are just some of the ways Richmond is continuing to be one of Canada’s most sustainable communities, promoting environmental, social, cultural and economic growth and well-being.

These are just some of the examples outlined in the City of Richmond Sustainability Progress Report 2015-2020, which highlights the city’s progress in building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for Richmond. It tells how the city has grown and how its sustainability goals have evolved to reflect that growth and diversity.    

Among the highlights:

• The city’s total water use has decreased 12 per cent since 2003 despite a 26 per cent increase in population, thanks largely to innovative water metering programs and its water loss management program.

• Richmond was the first to use reclaimed asphalt pavement on a section of major roadway, a pilot partnership with Lafarge Canada that has paved the way—literally—for similar projects across Canada.

• Over 15 kilometres of dedicated street and off-street cycling and pedestrian pathways has been created since 2014—a 23 per cent increase—to improve safety and encourage emissions-free travel.

• By advocating for affordable, accessible quality childcare, the city has licensed over 7,022 childcare spaces to support the needs of children, families, and employers in our growing communities.

• Richmond was the first city in North America to enact a policy requiring all new residential parking spaces be equipped with Level 2 electric vehicle charging capacity.

• Total capacity of the city’s 39 drainage pump stations has increased 29 per cent since 2005, supporting the 49 kilometres of dikes already in place to protect our community from rising sea levels.

• Recipient of over a dozen awards in the past decade, Richmond’s district energy program continues to collect accolades for its innovation, efficiency and green sustainability.

• A commitment to provide affordable housing through the low end market rental program that has already secured 519 units and attracted $8.5 million in developer contributions to support standalone affordable housing developments.

• How the thriving public arts program has led to 30 civic public art and 25 private developer public art projects completed since 2015, energizing public spaces and transforming where residents live, work, and play into welcoming, engaging environments.

• How a pilot partnership with a local community agency, FoodMesh, resulted in 644,800 meals being served to those in need and 414,555 kg of unwanted food items diverted from waste streams.

Through innovative initiatives in building performance and municipal operations, alternative energy, transportation and infrastructure planning, the City of Richmond continues to seek new ways to help achieve its goal of being a sustainable and environmentally conscious community.

Updates on progress to date and future achievements will be shared online along with videos and social media highlights. The Sustainability Progress Report 2015-2020 can be found at: www.richmond.ca/sustainability/towards/citydoing.htm.

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