Vancouver should plant 150,000 new trees, vastly expand its parks and eliminate its dependence on fossil fuels, the city’s Greenest City Action Team said yesterday.

Mayor Gregor Robertson, who co-chaired the group of 14 politicians, environmentalists and business people, introduced the 10-year action plan in Downtown Vancouver yesterday.

“If we don’t achieve true sustainability within a generation, we’re in big trouble,” Robertson said.

“It’s imperative. The good news is we stand to benefit economically and through livability.”
The plan contains a number of ambitious goals for 2020, among them:

• Creating 20,000 new green jobs.

• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 33 per cent below 2007 levels.

• Having the majority of city trips involve walking, cycling or public transit.

• Reducing by 40 per cent solid waste per capita going to landfill or incinerators.

NPA Coun. Suzanne Anton said the plan was prepared in secret, unlike the former council’s EcoDensity initiative that was formed with public feedback.

Beyond the 10-year targets, 2020 Vancouver: A Bright Green Future calls for eliminating fossil-fuel use by 2040.

It also hints at “re-imagining public spaces,” turning Granville and Robson streets downtown into car-free corridors; replacing the Georgia Viaduct; and creating a series of linked plazas throughout the downtown.

The report also mentions the creation of community orchards and increasing access to the waterfront.