Tuesday, January 05, 2021 - 9:00 AM

A Sustainable City: 2020 Year in Review

sustainability icon
Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation. 
  • The City of St. John’s is working in partnership with community organizations to mitigate and adapt to climate change through internal working groups, external multi-stakeholder committees and the Environmental and Sustainability Expert Panel, appointed in March. Public engagement on the Resilient St. John’s Climate Plan is ongoing. 
  • In 2020, Council approved a New Sanitation Bylaw. The four-bag limit will be implemented in February, 2021 and introducing clear garbage bags is set for 2022.
  • The Riverhead Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrade to secondary treatment is currently in the funding approval stage. This facility expansion will add biological treatment, improved solids handling, and UV disinfection and will enable the City to meet the requirements of the federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations. This project is expected to begin in 2021.
Sustainability is about more than environmental initiatives. It is also about economic and financial security, progressive land use planning and being an affordable place to live and do business.
 
Housing
  • In February, seven grants totaling $60,000 were awarded to community groups and others to facilitate and plan housing solutions that will enhance the quality for life for individuals and families; in September, we signed an agreement with Community Housing Transformation Centre that triples the funds available for affordable housing grants to $150,000.
  • In November, the City – in partnership with the housing sector – launched a campaign to address NIMBYism and debunk the myths of affordable housing through a social marketing campaign which will continue into 2021.
 
Heritage Financial Grants
The Heritage Financial Incentives Program is intended to defray some of the development costs associated with maintaining and conserving municipally designated Heritage properties. In 2020, twenty-two grants for an estimated total of $59,070.82 plus permit waiver were awarded.
 
Bowring Park Cantilever BridgeCantilever Bridge Bowring Park
Council designated the Bowring Park pedestrian bridge as a heritage structure and sought provincial heritage designation as well. Staff are working on a restoration plan for the bridge that respects its heritage character.
 
Focus on the Economy
  • By partnering with national colleagues like Invest in Canada we capitalized on opportunities for St. John’s to have a presence on the national and international scene. In 202 we played virtual host to the FCM Sustainable Communities Conference. 
  • A new marketing program is underway that positions St. John's as one to capitalize on the advantages of technology, ocean industries and place connectivity.
  • The signage and wayfinding program continues and into the spring and summer of 2021 we will be installing pedestrian and directional signage.
  • The Local Immigration Partnership will be enhancing the My New St. John’s website in 2021 with some planned virtual chat forums and pop-up events.