Surrey BC’s Sustainability Charter

Here are some tree-relevant extracts from Surrey’s Sustainability Charter. If you read this, you expect something like Portland. In practice, well, see my latest blog for an example. At least they know what we want!

I looked up their 2013 annual report, and I don’t see any progress in reaching these goals, though I’m sure they’re trying to figure out how to do it. They say “The City aims to maintain vegetation on at least 50% of the total urban area (excluding the ALR)” but they say they have insufficient data to evaluate their progress there. It seems to me that to reach this goal they’d have to maintain 50% vegetation on each new development…….

Here are excerpts from the Sustainability Charter (bold added):

“Surrey values and protects its natural environment through stewardship of its rich tree canopy, and enhancement of its natural areas and biodiversity. It is a safe City, with a vibrant City Centre and livable communities that provide a range of affordable and appropriate housing options. Surrey leads the way in sustainable design, “green” buildings and “green” infrastructure.

Be a model for the Protection and Conservation of the Natural Environment and Trees and Enhancement of Natural Areas and Biodiversity Surrey will celebrate its rich biodiversity, protected fish bearing streams and its corridors connecting areas of natural habitat. There will be a lush tree canopy throughout the urban area integrating nature into Surrey’s neighbourhoods.

Protecting to the extent possible, existing urban forests and natural coverage, protecting trees and maximizing the city’s tree canopy;

The design of the public streets, public rights-of-way, linkages, parks and natural areas, is an important element in the achievement of sustainability. In many urban areas, up to 30% of the land area is allocated to streets and parking. Design of public streets, sidewalks, walkways and the spaces between shall minimize negative social, economic and environmental impacts, and maximize comfortable, safe and beautiful streets.

Retaining and planting more trees and promoting the use of native and low-impact species of trees and plants in new developments.

Green Infrastructure: Green infrastructure uses elements of the natural environment to replace or supplement traditional infrastructure, such as drainage, sewers and water that contributes towards sustainable resource management. It is a network of facilities that can include parks, local woodlands, gardens, Greenway corridors, streams, street trees and built structures such as on-site water detention facilities and green roofs.

Natural Area: These are Areas with significant flora and fauna, including fish, terrestrial wildlife and bird habitats and connecting corridors, ravines, treed areas, open fields and bodies of water including ocean frontages, watercourses and wetlands. While natural areas are generally thought of as being outside developed areas, habitat is Increasingly, being re-introduced into urban areas.

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