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Sustainable Community Development: The Vancouver Initiative
There is an importance in encouraging sustainable community development and practices, and action and change can be done individually and collectively. The urgency in implementing these changes has risen over the last decade, and an emphasis on municipal and community participation and responsibility to minimize ecological footprints has been recognized more than ever. The general notion of sustainable development according to Cohen, is that sustainable living is not just about the preservation of wilderness and nature, but the transition into a green economy (Cohen 2018). Cohen emphasizes that sustainable cities strive for a social, environmental and economically healthy and resilient place of living for populations, without compromising the space for future generations to do the same (2018). A successful green economy depends on cities and its inhabitants to coexist with nature rather than destroying it. The purpose of this work is to focus on the city of Vancouver, and the local initiatives that promote sustainable living from an individual and community perspective; it will take into account the importance of sustainable local food, sustainable education in school systems, and green spaces to promote a socio-nature relationship with the environment. This work will specifically take a look at Vancouver's Greenest City Action Plan 2020, and the initiatives that the municipality and citizens of Vancouver are doing to work towards being considered one of the top ten greenest cities in the world. I will refer to Cohen's sustainable urban lifestyle that he deems can be achieved in a sustainable city, and this is through the changed and educated meaning behind values and consumption. The transition into a green city involves the collaboration and participation of many stakeholder groups, from transparent municipalities, educators, community groups, and businesses that believe in the importance of changing our beliefs and values of what it means to be sustainable.