Vancouver is working to create “green collar” jobs and spark a rental housing construction boom to spur economic growth amidst worrying economic climes, Mayor Gregor Robertson said yesterday.

Among its recession-busting initiatives, the city is working on accessing federal and provincial stimulus monies to retrofit homes and buildings.

“This will save energy, reduce pollution and create new green collar jobs to maximize efficiency across our city,” Robertson said.

The city, he added, also hopes to encourage a rental housing construction boom. It will soon be releasing a package of “aggressive” incentives to make its construction an attractive option for developers.

Robertson, who became mayor in December, said the 2010 Games will showcase the city to the world, giving it a big tourism boost that will encourage investment for the long term.

“Our beaches and mountains are legendary,” Robertson said. “I love riding around town on my bike, checking out parks and neighbourhoods.”

The city, he added, has done a great job in its planning. It has great neighbourhoods that allow people to live, work and play in the same area. It has a talented and diverse workforce and the most small businesses per capita in Canada.

However, he added, Vancouver needs more affordable housing and urgently needs to end street homelessness.

Mayors countrywide talk up their cities
• “(The people) are our greatest strength … our people above anything else is what makes us.” – Mayor Peter Kelly, Halifax

• “There’s so much to discover that you need to come back again and again…” – Michel Bellemare, acting mayor of Ottawa

• “We have a great image internationally because of our mutual respect for differences, our environmental sensibilities, our great banking system and things like our public library, which is the best in the world.” – Mayor David Miller, Toronto

• “Without a doubt, the people of Calgary make this city great.” – Mayor David Bronconnier, Calgary

• “We rivalled the growth in China within the last few years and we will continue to do that when things settle down a bit (with the markets).” – Mayor Stephen Mandel, Edmonton

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