Two sustainability projects based in B.C. have been named among the 100 most innovative and creative urban infrastructure projects in the world.
The University of British Columbia’s Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility in Vancouver and Harvest Power’s Energy Garden in Richmond won the designation as part of KPMG’s “Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition.”
KPMG, an international professional services network headquartered in the Netherlands, focused on inspiring examples of urban infrastructure projects that are changing cities around the world.
Cities across Canada are refreshing and expanding post-war infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of Canada’s urban populations.
− Brad Watson, KPMG
UBC was recognized in the urban energy category for its development of a clean energy project that will be the world’s first biomass fuelled heat-and-power generation system operating on a scale suitable for communities.
Harvest Power’s Energy Garden is Canada’s—and North America’s—first high-efficiency system for producing renewable energy from food and yard waste.
The project will see up to 27,000 tonnes of food and yard waste per year diverted from the landfill. A demonstration plant will be built to generate enough energy to power up to 700 homes, while also producing high-quality compost.
The project is currently in progress and expected to be finished by the end of the summer.
Profiles of these and other projects in Canada are featured in the second edition of KPMG’s Infrastructure 100 awards, which was released at the World Cities Summit in Singapore earlier this month.
The edition provides insight into the infrastructure projects that make great cities, with a particular focus on the innovations that make them “Cities of the Future”—places where people want to live and do business.
“Cities across Canada are refreshing and expanding post-war infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of Canada’s urban populations,” says Brad Watson, partner and head of KPMG’s global infrastructure advisory practice in Canada.
“It’s exciting to see Canadian projects setting an example when it comes to building sustainable and environmentally conscious cities that are providing citizens with great living spaces.”
Other Canadian infrastructure projects named include SAIT Polytechnic’s Trades and Technology Complex in Calgary; the $1.95-billion expansion of the Calgary International Airport; Durham York Energy Centre in Courtice, Ontario; and Waterfront Toronto.
Waterfront Toronto is one of the largest regeneration projects in North America that will include 40,000 new residences (20 percent will be affordable housing), 40,000 new jobs, new transit infrastructure, and 300 hectares of parks and public spaces.
KPMG says development of sustainable urban infrastructure is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. With more than half the global population already squeezed into cities that collectively make up less than two percent of the planet’s land cover, unprecedented pressure is being placed on urban infrastructure.
“A focus on innovative infrastructure solutions that drive economic renewal, create jobs, and deliver tangible long-term impact is critical when balancing the needs of the population, the economy, and the environment,” Watson says.
The projects showcased in Infrastructure 100 were selected by independent judging panels of industry experts from five regions of the world, including Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, and Africa.
The 10 project categories are: urban mobility; global connectivity; urban regeneration; education; health care; water; new and extended cities; recycling and waste management; urban energy infrastructure; and communications infrastructure.
Melissa Shaw is a journalism student living in Toronto.