My New Year’s goal of writing more frequent blog posts – even just short ones – is being challenged by my schedule. So as part of ongoing lemonade-making efforts, I will make a blog post out of my too-busy-to-write-anything-useful day today.
I attended a meeting this morning where the lead researchers of the Southwest BC Bioregion Food System Design Project reported out results of the first phases of their ongoing study. There is a lot to digest (pun!) here, and the actual reports are going to be made publicly available in a couple of weeks, so I will wait until then to have a longer discussion about what this research project means, to the region and to a City like New Westminster (we were one of 8 Local Governments that provided a little funding to help bring this research to life).
Long version short – we are challenged to supply all of our food locally in this rapidly growing region, and without significant change in how and what we eat, the region will never be self-sustaining no matter how much ALR we protect. However, there are some significant economic and other advantages to encouraging increased use of ALR land for local food crops, and less reliance on food imports. There are also (somewhat paradoxically) some potential environmental/ecological disadvantages to this approach. It is a complex problem, as might be expected from an analysis of so many interweaving complex systems.
After this meeting, I took my first ever trip on the Evergreen Line to Coquitlam City Hall to meet with members of Coquitlam Council and staff to continue our discussion of the Brunette Overpass project. Nothing exciting to announce yet here, except for continued progress in finding common ground on the principles and challenges of the project. I remain positive about this file.
It may be telling about our biases that the New Westminster contingent (Council members and Staff) rode the Evergreen together to and from the meeting, reducing at least by one or two the number of vehicles trying to get through the constricted interchange that connects our City. Its almost as if there are alternatives to more lanes…
Finally, this evening members of the New Westminster Advisory Committee on Transit, Bicycles and Pedestrians, and the Parks and Recreation Committee had a joint meeting to talk about potential design and functional elements of a waterfront connection between the Pier Park and Sapperton Landing.
We are *really early* in this process, and although making a connection here is a Council priority, we have a lot of jurisdictional, engineering, and budget issues to work through. However, some high-level understanding of what people would want or expect from the connection is useful in setting some terms and developing concepts.
These are all projects I hope to be able to write more about soon. I’d love to hear your opinions about any of them.