From The Tyee:
Vancouver’s Olympic Village draws together more green building innovations than perhaps any other residential development — which is why real estate mogul Bob Rennie is marketing it as the “greenest neighbourhood on the planet.”
On a Saturday in May, about 15,000 Vancouverites lined up to tour what is now called “Millennium Water,” the former home for 3,000 Olympic athletes since morphed into a model green residential community. Years in the planning by the City of Vancouver, the developer and a small army of consultant engineers and architects, every building on this former brownfield has earned the Canadian Green Home Building Council’s LEED Gold rating, with two buildings earning LEED Platinum.
Yet none of the innovations that the public saw that day — including solar-powered garbage cans and a neighbourhood energy utility that recovers heat from sewer lines — exist there because homebuyers demanded it or mainstream developers dreamed big. The City of Vancouver mandated the extraordinary sustainability features from above, at a cost ultimately guaranteed by the public.
A billion dollars later, most Vancouverites are still light years away from living in “green homes” like those at South East False Creek (SEFC). So what is the value of this ultra-green community that most of us cannot own?
Are there affordable green building features here that mainstream consumers will value enough to pay for, and that developers and architects might create sooner rather than later?
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