Toronto Makes Green Roofs the Law, Approves Controversial Bike Lanes
Robertson Building Green Roof
Roofs make up 21% of the area of Toronto, so it is logical that they should be put to good use. Now they will be green; by a stunning 36-2 vote, council approved new rules that require green roofs on residential buildings next year and on industrial buildings in two years. Like most good legislation, people at both ends don't like it; Steven Peck of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities says in the Globe and Mail that "We would have liked it [the Toronto bylaw] to be more aggressive," while the real estate industry lobby group says Cost is an issue,The market is so price-sensitive now."
Photo CreditSusanne Jespersen
In his press release, Steven Peck was more supportive.
"Toronto's by-law provides a new opportunity to strengthen the emerging practice of integrated green building design," said, Steven W. Peck, President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, which supported the by-law against pressure from developers opposed to the policy. "The by-law breaks new ground on how to structure a mandatory green roof requirement and the construction standard also contains important best practices that may prove to be a model for other cities," he added.
According to GRHC, The green roof by-law consists of a green roof construction standard and a mandatory requirement for green roofs on all classes of new buildings. The by-law requires up to 50 per cent green roof coverage on multi-unit residential dwellings over six storeys, schools, non-profit housing, commercial and industrial buildings. Larger residential projects require greater green roof coverage, ranging anywhere from 20 to 50 per cent of the roof area.
In another note of progress in Toronto, the controversial bike lanes on Jarvis street were approved. It was part of a battle framed by suburban polititicans as a "war on cars" by Mayor Miller. He was blunt in his defense of the Jarvis Street proposals, and another to revamp a west end street, as quoted in the National Post:
"The suggestion that this has something to do with the so-called war on the car lies uneasily in the mouths of those who speak it," Mr. Miller said, as council debated a revamping of Roncesvalles Avenue, which would include bike lanes, wider transit platforms and the removal of some parking. "To suggest that it interferes with commuting from the suburbs is nonsense, it's factually false, it's ridiculous, it's not worthy of a member of this council. Period."
Green talk is finally really becoming green action. Congratulations to Mayor Miller.