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Revisiting the Local Effects of Global Climate Change in the City of Vancouver

Andrew Yan August 7, 2012
Cultural Sustainablity, Urban Research


A Screenshot from the “A False Creek” Art Installation website in the City of Vancouver

With a recent article in the Vancouver Sun on the 2011 BTAworks’ study on the Local Effects of Global Climate Change in the City of Vancouver: A Community Toolkit and Atlas, we revisited this topic of climate change, urban planning, and the arts.  We wanted to share a number of additional data tools and policy initiatives around North America that we discovered as we revisited this topic.

On the data front, the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium at the University of Victoria has just published its new regional data analysis tool.  The tool “generates maps, plots and data describing projected future climate conditions for the Pacific and Yukon Region. It uses an ensemble of more than 15 Global Climate Model (GCM) and SRES emissions scenario combinations provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change“.

Expanding our initial research parameters from data visualization and analysis into  realm of public policy, New York City has published this paper on climate risk information for the Big Apple to inform its long term planning efforts.  As part of PlaNYCclimate change along with topics such as housing, parks and public space, food and economic opportunity became plan elements for New York City and its vision for the New York of 2030.  Of particular interest, PlaNYC sets out on a series of Sustainability Indicators to track the progress of its long-term goals.  With public art, artist Eve Mosher developed the High Water Line project to show the very real effects of climate change along New York City’s urban coastline through an immediate visual and local understanding of the effects of climate chagne.

Locally, some interesting policy and design initiatives around the topic of climate change include the City of Vancouver’s Climate Change Action Plan and the public art installation of “A False Creek“.  Metro Vancouver is seeking to minimize the region’s contribution to global climate change through the adoption of the Integrated Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan.  Between these initiatives, they illustrate how local governments and arts in Vancouver are engaging the topic of global climate change in the near and the far future.