Scattered Green Initiatives

City's Scattered Green Initiatives

While the Mayor Miller moves forward with his 2009 budget priorities, six years after first taking office, has he made a difference on the environmental front? How have priorities developed and what's the overall plan?

It was back in 2004 when the city last assessed its "Environmental Plan", which was drawn up in the year 2000.

A scheduled 2008 plan is AWOL, and there's a lack of continuity in the green various initiatives scattered throughout the City divisions.

The Toronto Environment Office website reads "Toronto will release a comprehensive Environmental Plan in 2008." The plan is supposed to include a report card which will analyse current environmental initiatives and programs, and define the indicators and measures that will be used to report on the state of the environment in the future.

The problem might lie in there being so many programs such as the waterfront renewal, bike plan, Transit City, etc. without there being any common policy applying to the whole city to set out the top environmental priorities. This is otherwise known as an environmental policy, common in most modern organizations.

The climate change plan (along with the Zerofootprint "carbon footprint calculator") was seemingly the biggest initiative this year, hardly directing focus on the open ends yet to be tackled (such as the waste diversion targets or bike plan implementation).

Before they create another division-specific plan or initiative, it sure would be nice to see the City pick some top priorities, keep things simple, and accomplish a few things rather than promise action on too many fronts. A concerted focus on waste diversion, increasing green space, and cleaning up the waterfront would seem like a good choice.

Image from sevennine's Flickr pool

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