Excellence in Sustainability

The Community Excellence Awards recognize and celebrate UBCM members that exhibit excellence in meeting the purposes of local government.  This week we are highlighting the City of Castlegar, the 2019 winner in the “Excellence in Sustainability” category, for its Columbia Avenue Complete Streets Project. 

The Excellence in Sustainability category acknowledges UBCM members that incorporate a long-term sustainability lens by considering the four pillars - cultural, social, economic and environmental issues - in planning, policy and practice. 

In 2018, the City of Castlegar undertook an $8 million project to turn the community's main roadway into a “complete street”. The project transformed a commercial street into the centrepiece of the downtown core using green infrastructure to attract citizens and businesses.

The final project included raised bike lanes that were separated from motorized travel lanes by a roll-over concrete curve along with improved amenities for pedestrians. The sustainable nature of the project extends below the surface, where a modular suspended pavement system was installed to use soil volumes to support large tree growth and provide rainwater management through absorption, evapotranspiration, and interception. 

The Village of Harrison Hot Springs was the runner up in this same category for its project retrofit of 75 streetlights with LEDs along 14 streets and eight cul-de-sacs in the village. The new LED lights have reduced energy consumption by 70 per cent in the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, saving the local government approximately $4,500 a year in residential street lighting costs.

The new lights were developed with the University of the Fraser Valley and tailored to each location to reduce back lighting, up-lighting and glare.  

The streetlights replaced through this project were shared with a community in El Salvador, as part of a partnership between an Agassiz company and the University of the Fraser Valley.

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