(April 21, 2009) North of the border a controversy is starting to gain steam in the nation’s largest city, Toronto. The city has proposed a by-law that would make ‘green roofs’ mandatory in new construction of condos higher than 7 storeys and office or retail complexes greater than 54,000 square feet (about 1/4 of a Wal-Mart Supercenter). The proposed law would require 30-60% of the surface area of buildings’ roofs to be green (depending on the size of the building) and violators would be subject to fines up to $100,000. Continue reading
(July 21, 2007) This idea, as old as Nebuchadnezzar’s Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, has been pursued throughout history and continues to inspire. Countless organizations raise vegetation to new heights in big cities throughout the western world, for both food and flowers. The latest and most dazzling urban farm scheme yet comes from New York’s Columbia University. Continue reading
(January 13, 2006) The Liberal ad attacking Canada’s military was off the mark in many ways, and not just in being a political gaffe. The Conservative plan to re-equip the military and base some armed forces near cities makes great good sense. Men and materiel will often be best deployed from urban areas, whether at home or abroad. The Armed Forces themselves would benefit in a move from country to city and, most of all, the cause of Canadian confederation would strengthen. Continue reading
(December 13, 2005) After years of neglect under the Liberal government, Canada does not have sufficient capacity to fulfill our national and global defence responsibilities.
http://www.probeinternational.org/old_drupal/UrbanNewSite/ConservativeDefencePlan.pdf Click here to view .pdf document Continue reading
(November 13, 2004) Cities are the once and future centres of agriculture. That’s true in spades for cities that are chic and sophisticated, and chock-a-block with people. Continue reading
(November 6, 2004) Sod atop a building shields it from cold in winter, from heat in summer, and from sound year round. It makes buildings more hospitable for those who live or work within them. Roof vegetation also makes cities more hospitable for the general population: It cleans air of dust and rainwater of heavy metals, reduces smog, ground-level ozone and other pollutants, and moderates the "heat island effect" that raises city temperatures above that of the surrounding countryside. Continue reading
(December 11, 2002) It’s NAFTA’s 10th anniversary and what a great decade for the environment it’s been. Sulphur dioxide emissions are down, ground level ozone levels are down, inhalable airborne particle levels are down and energy efficiency is up. Our air is clearer, our water is cleaner and, as a by-product, we’re healthier, too. Continue reading