We all want “the good life” – to live in places that are vibrant, green, and offer a high quality of life. As we shape our communities, our built environments (the physical systems our cities, towns, and regions are made of) shape our health, prosperity, and happiness.
In 2015, the Real Estate Foundation of BC began a research study on the state of built environment sustainability in BC. Our research – including an examination of current trends, a poll to gauge public opinion and consultation on strategies for improvement – is summarized in our 2017 report, Building Change.
The Smart Growth Task Force was convened in 2016 by REFBC, with assistance from Metro Vancouver and the Province of BC, to help local governments, planners and industry experts collaborate to integrate land use and transportation planning in ways that shape more sustainable communities
This project delivered workshops and supported community and local government capacity building for wetlands conservation and associated policy work in four areas of BC: Vancouver Island, West Kootenay, Omineca, and Skeena regions.
It also provided coordination for activities of the Wetlands Stewardship Partnership of BC, a multi-agency collaborative of government and non-government organizations working to maintain, restore, and protect wetland ecosystems throughout BC.
With help from REFBC, Project Watershed has released “The Estuary Experience – An Interactive Animated Map of the K’ómoks Estuary” with detailed information about the Comox Valley estuary. The map loads in a web browser and includes information on the estuary’s ecosystems, watershed, history and recreational attractions.
How do you plan for a sustainable community? A holistic approach includes consideration for environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability.
REFBC has given two grants to the Fraser Basin Council to help fund the Council’s three-year “Smart Planning in Action” program. The program provides resources, facilitation and mentoring to help rural and First Nations communities across BC understand Integrated Community Sustainability Planning (ICSP) and develop their own plans.
Salmon Safe BC is the first eco-certification initiative in BC to focus on protection of water quality and wildlife habitat to transform land management practices so that Pacific salmon can thrive.
This pilot initiative was introduced to BC in 2013 to address land use impacts to water quality in urban areas and encourage best practices in land and water management.
In 2013, the Real Estate Foundation awarded a grant to Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, to produce a case study on their schoolyard market gardens so that other communities hoping to replicate it can learn from their experiences.
Uncover Your Creeks
Uncover Your Creeks is a "citizen science" monitoring and restoration program that was offered in the watersheds of five municipalities – Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and Surrey – from April 2013 to March 2014.
REFBC provided a grant to Small Housing BC to research the spectrum of small housing forms across North America in response to the movement away from large, free standing houses of auto oriented communities and meet the demands of contemporary housing preferences.