Riverdale and the Junction aim for carbon neutrality
Although the official launch parties won't take place until next month, both Riverdale and the Junction neighbourhoods have been selected by Project Neutral to work toward becoming the first carbon neutral urban communities in the country. The result of a competitive process in which community members applied for the opportunity to participate in the environmental initiative, Riverdale and the Junction were selected from a pool of over 20 nominated areas.
As far a specific boundaries go, for the purposes of this project, Riverdale will be defined as the area bounded by Pape Avenue, Logan Avenue, Danforth Avenue and Langley Avenue, while the Junction consists of the area with the CPR Railway tracks, Annette Street Clendenan Avenue, and Runnymede Road.
In addition to help from Project Neutral staff, the Junction will also receive aid from local environmental group Green 13. Both communities will be provided with a detailed survey that'll be used to establish their baseline energy and water usage (and, by extension, carbon footprint). After that, the plan is to provide individual households with reduction strategies and to monitor the results at quarterly intervals. After such steps are taken, community strategies like grant applications for funding to implement photovoltaics will be on the agenda.
Ultimately the success of both projects will depend on the level of community engagement. Participation of individual households and businesses is completely optional, which will make the goal of carbon neutrality a challenging to say the least. For a look at how a similar project has played out in a small community west of Toronto, check out the Eden Mills project website.
Launch parties are scheduled for both neighbourhoods are scheduled on the 18th (Riverdale) and 19th (the Junction) of June.
Photo by purplepick on Flickr.