Electric buses ASAP & free as they arrive!
Let's be one of the first cities in Canada with an all-electric bus fleet!
Let's also make it free for all to use!
E-buses are coming. Let's fast-track and lead the future! Let's prioritize and get them ASAP. The planet can't wait. Let's be leaders and show the way! Let's make them FREE as we phase them in for residents and visitors to use to explore our great City!
FREE fares will have multiple economic and social benefits. No fare anxiety and no more empty buses. Eventually, you will be able to have free 'hop-on, hop-off' service to enjoy a short or long trip to explore your city. With more people taking the free bus, less congestion on our city roads. By making it easier to be a one-car family, citizens can save $100k every 10 years by eliminating one car in their household. Condo buyers can save up to $70k by not having to buy a parking space. This makes home ownership more affordable.
Free fares will especially benefit low-income households.
Residents on bus routes will appreciate the quiet and clean air.
This will encourage people to shop and dine locally.
Employers can easier attract staff who can take transit. A win-win!
When we add electric car share and bike share partnerships, we make sustainable mobility even better.
FIrst step. Let's test free transit. 'Free-Key Friday's': free Friday transit trials to guage uptake. Take the bus to work on Fridays and have a social after work, and we will take you home for free. Friday night will be social night in the B.
"Community Engagement Officers" (formerly Bylaw) -
Mainly educational outreach
The bylaw department needs to be reinvented to be more effective. Policies that are punitive in nature don't often lead to behavioural change; they only make citizens more angry.
Our focus will be to have our Community Engagement Officers, formerly known as Bylaw Officers, engage and educate the community on our City bylaws and guidelines.
A proposed Citizen's Users Manual will also be a one-stop resource to educate residents and newcomers about our City services rules, regulations and bylaws and 'guidelines'.
"Sorry, I won't do it again" environmental citizen and business fleet engagement strategy will leverage positive edu-warnings instead of punitive ticketing. 'First ticket amnesty will be granted within 7 days for first-time vehicle idling offenders if they contact the City to request their fine be waived, having understood the value of behaviour change. A happy and engaged climate convert and citizen is the end goal! Community-Based Social Marketing 101 will be applied to other city communications strategies to reduce citizen apathy towards city hall.
We need to make working for and dealing with City Hall a more positive experience.
View Steve's presentation made to the Climate Caucus on 2021 as he was asked to share some of his ideas and innovative approaches to the 'Community Engagement Officers' concept and the need for cities to 'walk-the-talk.'
'Smart' Development is good! "
"Grow up and down!"
"Grow up and down!"
As we are planning new developments, let's push the boundaries to make them as modern and eco-friendly and enjoyable as possible.
Imagine living close to inviting community spaces, where people would want to gather and meet. Let's do what other cities are doing and create innovative developments that take our city into the future. Let's build smartly. With new condo developments let's build 'up and down'.
With any planned large-scale condo complexes and developments, let's preserve our greenspaces while creating inviting underground recreation and community gathering spaces like other cities, mimic the PATH in Toronto. Imagine libraries, recreation facilities, gyms, swimming pools, restaurants and retail spaces underground and close to home. No need to drive.
We will partner with developers to help create a vision and challenge the imagination to create more livable communities with rooftop gardens and more.
Business developments will be asked to consider adding outdoor gardens for employees to de-compress in a mini-nature setting. This will help them attract employees who want to work in a more welcoming workplace that is enjoyable and puts mental well-being as a priority and a value-added mix.
Nature, greenspace and experiences is the future of green development.
Developers are partners in building the city of the future.
All that we need is a VISION.
What can we do to create jobs in the climate economy?
Climate will challenge society and cost humanity if we act on it or not. We have the freedom to choose to act or not.
It is both a challenge and an opportunity to come together to solve it. Innovations, inventions, new businesses and leaders need to be developed to solve it. From 'The Future Leaders Now' program to massive investments in people and technology, we need innovations in Government, business and education to accelerate climate action.
This means education systems, businesses, government and communities, need to collaborate and join forces, strategically, to solve climate. It will be costly either way but the longer we wait and delay action, it will be more costly.
From 2010 to 2020, climate costed an estimated $3 trillion. From 2020 to 2030, estimates are closer to $10 trillion globally. Total costs to get to netzero by 2050 plus the costs of damage from climate, are estimated to cost the global economy over $100 Trillion by 2050. ( some estimates are $129 Trillion! These are massive estimates.
So...what are we waiting for?
Young people are learning how to think critically, solve puzzles at schools, given challenges to grow and practice leadership skills. They are then taking secondary school programs that develop these skills and creating innovative climate solutions as a result. 'Hope-based education', combined with innovations-based thinking and processes, allows us to create leaders of the future who are best prepared to solve climate.
We can do this too!
1. Climate damage & repair will make the supply chain and inflation rise even more. ( 1 week of hurricanes alone will take 10 years to fix)
We need jobs to be ready, to rebuild , but also for the supply chain.
The unfortunate consequence of climate is this means we need to cut more trees for lumber and resources.
An unfortunate necessity but will create jobs. The opportunity, is to replace tree seedlings en mass and innovate. (ie. A solar-powered, robotic seedling planter, designed and built locally, is an example of 1000's of opportunities that climate solutions need. )
2. We will need jobs locally to re-build as weather and tornadic modeling shows stronger storms in coming years.
"It's going to get worse, before it gets better!"
We need to be prepared and have contractors and labour on stand-by, while also building new buildings that are electric, stronger and pre-wired for solar panels and EV's and heat-pump systems. All these will be opportunities for youth to future-think their career options and education. To help, we can create partnerships with industry and colleges to create pseudo co-op based education programs as an opportunity to give real-world training and theory.
As a former E-learning entrepreneur, we can combine this with hydrid-e-learning options.
We can even help train contractors online, how to install EV- chargers or pre-wire homes or offer sales training to appliance retailers to sell electric appliances over natural gas options, selling the benefits to consumers. Dozens of opportunities like this can help.
Education needs to be accessible and targeted with outcomes as the focus. That is the opportunity for entrepreneurs and companies to create.
3. We need to help train and supply our 'vision-friendly partner developers' with designers and workers who can create ultra-green developments to build the city of the future.
Ultra-green developments abroad are due to a highly skilled workforce, trained on the latest building technologies and options. If we want to partner with developers, we can help them source the teams they and what other businesses need to build the city of the future.
4. We need to recruit young leaders of the future into city hall to drive our climate plans. The passion, energy and vested interest in the future of our young and ambitious grads and experienced staff, need to be given the opportunities to shine.
They want to create a better world. Let's let smart people be smart.
Give them the influence and city role and direction and support to do what is needed.
The goal is to have 99% of staff to be environmental stewards who will do their part, for the common good, while reducing the personal or system barriers that stall progress or slow it down. Less words, more action. Less meetings, more discussions. Less reports, studies and conferences to whine and complain about the climate crisis and how urgent we need action - we get it and know what needs done - let's focus on the solutions not the problems. We need more support systems, shared resources, training and coaching to learn what to do and more teaching other cities what works and how they can do it too. Let's copy what works in countries like Germany, who are 20 years ahead of us, and do things here.
We need to create a collective conscious approach to solving climate instead of each city re-inventing the wheel and writing reports every year for 20 years. If our staff member is an expert in implementing and installing bike paths, we will cross-pollinate to share their time and expertise with a city that has another expert in reducing idling in the community, to fast-track projects. ( an example)
Let's partner and skill share with other cities and bring in community leaders who have a shared passion, purpose or expertise that we can tap into as a community.
We need to do the simple things and the hard things. We need to think small picture ( what we mainly do & what cities do) and big picture ( what scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs do) with a focus on the planet.
Small picture thinking is simple and what we can do now to create jobs and businesses now.
We need to make it easy for businesses to adapt their business plans to buffer the potential risks from climate, economy, COVID ver 2.0 or other potential risks. We cannot do it for them, but be a resource and use the city to think about strategies that can help and share with them.
We can help the city and businesses know about and apply for funding to green their businesses, retrofit energy and buildings, infrastructure, buying electric fleets, source more local or climate-friendly alternative suppliers, contract teammembers or resources.
We can help accelerate training to be a voice for and work with post-secondary educational institutes and private job training start-up's, to help supply our ultra-green developers with a steady stream of workers to build the city of the future and other businesses doing their part.
We can help create a vision, 10 years downstream, and look back at what is needed to get there. Then we can backfill by sharing the vision and letting entrepreneurs do their magic to help hire teams and do it for us. We can hire staff to do what is needed and outsource what is beyond the capabilities or resources of the city. This will create jobs.
Backgrounder: I believe the real opportunity is to support 1% of the population who will lead climate for the rest of us. This is the 1% that is the leverage point or 'Elon-factor' as we call it. 'The highly skilled uber-innovators and visionaries'. Many call them entrepreneurs, who see climate as an opportunity and a challenge, not a crisis. They use their businesses as a way to make the world a better place, either directly or indirectly. Social ventures. Social entrepreneurs. Just good people who are blessed and want to give back. I know them, and they are all inspiring and energize and challenge each other to try crazy things...like running for Mayor. ;)
From training people to think like innovative entrepreneurs with crazy ideas, to starting companies, to tapping into the energy and passion of people like Greta to motivate action, we need passion, purpose, meaning, integrity and bold visionaries to start climate-mitigation and accelerating business ventures and climate thinktanks that can support them.
We only need 1% of the population to lead climate. These are the IDEAS + INNOVATORS, INVENTORS, INVESTORS and of course, the most important piece, which can be learned, INITIATIVE.
Governments just need to support the middle three and then get out of their way.
I see a 4 year window of opportunity to start to train our young people to be leaders, inventors, innovators and such.
AS an innovations consultant, I am dedicating my career to climate-focused innovations and ways to accelerate climate action.
The old way of innovating is to 'think outside the box'. The new way of innovating, called 'hol-innovating' is to ask 'why do we need the box in the first place.' - clean slate thinking, based on outcomes and ways to get there.
Jobs will be needed to design and build cities of the future - ultra-green with new building technologies and materials supplied by one of 1000's of new supply chain opportunities to feed climate-friendly ventures. All designed by a new workforce that is focused on leaving the old way behind, upgrading skills, and then helping to build and repair.
Front-line climate jobs is one category, which we tend to focus on.
We need to recruit inspiring and motivated climate advocates into city hall, to pay them for their passion, purpose, energy and ideas.
I have met many who are volunteering to PUSH ideas to a system that is buried in paperwork, meetings and politically-motivated word games that stall and demotivate the best of them. Some, like me, have given up trying to move a slow system. After 20 years of climate work, I have seen first-hand, that the system is not supportive of accelerated climate action. Slow and steady, reactive and fearful of change is not uncommon.
Some public servants share their concern about how slow things move. They are inside the system and need to be unshakled and allowed to shine and do the rig
Eventually the most eager climate staffers will learn to give up and just do what they can and follow party or politically motivated direction. A missed opportunity!
or put Staff at city hall and Government through a city-focused climate action training program that focuses on supporting climate actions while training how to reduce bureaucratic barriers preventing climate action. at are passionate about climate and put into 'committed teams' that are 100% committed to using their roles, responsibilities and influences to enable change. No 'we don't have budget' excuses. The team is committed to finding a way. The team creates and directs the "Climate Emergency Declaration version 2.0 - We mean it this time!" with all resources from Feds/Province/community groups to act locally and share best practices with other cities in collective collaboration to share what works.
I believe Innovations and training young leaders and entrepreneurs of the future IS the bigger opportunity in the next 4 years. Innovations, inventions we cannot imagine today, and crazy pie-in-the-sky visions of what is possible, is what is needed to create what is called market-driven-solutions to solve climate. These are accelerators. Ie. Do what Elon did.
We need to create entrepreneurial innovators like Elon and combine the urgency and passion of Greta.
Cleantech (research, engineers, start-up team on stand-by to take to market, etc).
Green building and developments ( Design, experiences, tech and construction workers trained to build ultra-green developments with our developer partners).
There will be direct jobs, indirect jobs and future jobs ( the biggest opportunity). We have, not only and opportunity, but can lead in many ways.
A Mayor's Special committee of climate thought leaders will try to help make Burlington ( and the west GTA) a Cleantech-friendly innovation and climate economy-friendly economic development opportunity.
The priorities are to train young climate leaders and engineers of the future, now ( part of a 'future leaders now' program) .
WE need to add in creative thinking, innovations design thinking to stretch our future engineers and thought leaders to find new solutions and crazy ideas. Elon's vision of mass production of EV's was seen as crazy and he almost went bankrupt. If that happened, we would all be still driving what all car manufacturers build, gas cars. WE cannot wait for government to solve climate. We need entrepreneurs, visionaries, innovators and access to risky investments to take crazy ideas to market. I have seen this personally.
Your 25 by 25 plan hopes to get 25% of households to have 1 EV in their driveway. How?
First of all, it's a goal & challenge. People like a challenge.
25% of households to have 1 EV by end of 2025.
If you can afford it, put in a pre-order now! That is the opportunity.
Why? You have to wait 6 months to 2 years due to demand for EV's. So we want to give car buyers a 'heads up' not to wait or they will miss their opportunity and have to suffer another 10 years with another gas car. ;)
Basic EV education and awareness needs an added call-to-action. Simply telling people 'EV's are good' is just another data-point of info in their busy minds with little motivation or guidance.
My thinking is that we have to show that Burlington is in a sweet spot that makes owning and operating an EV ideal, especially for commuters. We have to show people the benefits of owning an EV, so they envision themselves in one.
I was an EV educator when I did consulting work with the EV non profit Plug'n Drive. I literally gave 100's of EV test drives and love understanding buying behaviours. My marketing psychology curiosity plus my passion for EV's can help.
There are so many benefits to driving an electric vehicle. My wife loves driving a clean EV and not having to go to gas stations anymore, especially in on cold winter days with blowing snow, to refuel. No need to touch those gas pumps or breathe in those odorous fumes to recharge.
Now, citizens can simply plug in their EV vehicles for overnight charging, spending $10-15 vs $100 in gas. The fact that Burlington Hydro is their fueling station means they are supporting their local utility and jobs.
Charging overnight uses the surplus of electricity which makes EV's such a good option in Ontario and is CLEAN! No emissions makes our community air cleaner.
Some like the cost savings. Some save $3000/yr on fuel, plus brakes, no oil changes or other maintenance. Saving $35,000 over 10 years makes owning an EV cheaper than a gas car in the long run. The bonus is saving 1/2 hour (per day) on HOV lane commuting to Burlington, makes EV's a smart choice for commuters.
So, the '25 by 25 EV challenge' is basically, a goal of 25% of driveways with 1 EV, by end of 2025.
How? Educate - show our citizens the benefits, then show them how to pre-order their EV or at least be put on the list for one for when their lease expires or it is time to buy a new car. Many go to buy a car, see the delay and end up buying a gas car again. This pre-order strategy offsets the manufacturers supply chain limitations. Refundable deposits with most dealers makes this a low-risk option to secure our citizen's choice to buy an EV.
So, the OPPORTUNITY and solution is to pre-order your EV now as demand for EV's is high and waiting lists are 6 months to 2 years!
Making EV charger installation easier with contractor education and awareness can help too.
What is the future leaders now program?
"Future leaders now" program -
The future leaders now program is a way to find the gems in the system and provide a way for them to grow and develop their skills to build their career.
The fact is we are all facing a hiring challenge. Cities are losing staff who move to more innovative cities. On top of filling the gap, let's give our staff the chance to design their future and build our city. We need to provide a vision that is exciting and let them see where they want to fit in and help develop the skills needed to do it.
This is simply a way to find, attract and encourage our most leadership-ready staff to develop their skills to help them prepare for and enter more strategic and management roles. We need new creative ideas to help move our city forwards as other innovative cities are doing.
If other cities are recruiting our best talent, we have to upgrade our employee engagement programs to try to retain them.
This idea came to me after meeting young climate-focused staff who worked at other cities in Ontario. They were passionate about climate and wanted to make the world better, but were told to 'slow down' and not to be so eager as their eagerness as would make others look bad. WE NEED to tap into that positive energy. 'WE need new ideas' is what staff tell me. The old systems need to be transformed. We need future leaders to lead the way. They have a vested interest in developing a city of the future and we should support them.
We will recommend HR to try to hire based on ambition and attitude with a focus on future career ambitions and interests. We need to develop leaders who will take our city into the future. We need to develop young leaders of the future by a mix of coaching. mentoring, project stress testing to develop skills and other opportunities. As senior managers retire, they will be involved in coaching, mentoring to blend people into a succession transition plan that is smooth, seemless, and ensures all information and resources are in place so they are able to retire, feeling good knowing their role and the city are in good hands.