First C40/Arup UrbanLife workshop helps Toronto’s energy plan go local

25 September 2009

In partnership with the C40 Cities group and global engineering firm Arup, a group of Torontonians this week started work on an energy strategy that will deliver neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood action toward an 80% carbon reduction by 2050.

This is the first in a series of global C40 UrbanLife workshops. Hosted by the City of Toronto and Arup, senior city officials, utility companies and city residents came together with Arup's energy experts to devise a plan that will allow all Toronto neighbourhoods to be as clean and green as possible.

Focused initially on one neighbourhood, ‘The Peanut’, in the north-eastern part of Toronto, the workshop used Arup’s carbon reduction tools and urban planning expertise to refine a methodology that the city can now repeat in neighbourhoods across the city.

During the workshop, participants considered how to reduce demand for energy, improve efficiency of energy supply, and move towards renewable energy generation at a neighbourhood scale. They also looked at how moving towards a lower-carbon, greener Toronto could improve quality of life and economic competitiveness in Toronto’s neighbourhoods.

Arup will now draw together the conclusions of the workshop into a draft written ‘neighbourhood energy action plan methodology’ which the city will build on for its overall sustainable energy strategy for Toronto.

David Miller, Mayor of Toronto and Chair of the C40 said: “We can’t reach our carbon reduction goals without everyone – all city divisions and agencies, business and residents - doing their part. The C40 UrbanLife workshop was an important step towards understanding what actions different groups must take and how the benefits of acting together can be coordinated in the most effective way.

Mark Watts, Arup director commented on the workshop: “Through this first C40 UrbanLife workshop Toronto has again demonstrated its leadership, by starting to map out a neighbourhood by neighbourhood programme to move to a low-carbon environment and improve the lives of its citizens. It has been a privilege for Arup to work with the Mayor and his officers and we look forward to being able to take what we have learned in Toronto as we move on to support other leading cities around the world as the C40 UrbanLife programme travels to cities across six continents.”