City of Calgary
Calgary, in Alberta, Canada, is a city of one million residents situated approximately 70 km east of the Rocky Mountains. Due to rapid economic and population growth and increasing pressures on the environment, the Mayor and Council of the City of Calgary are utilizing the Ecological Footprint to engage the community and City government in advancing the goals of their 100 year sustainability vision – imagineCalgary.
The City of Calgary has launched an Ecological Footprint Project with Global Footprint Network to take ecological impact into account as leaders develop and plan for the future of Canada's second-fastest growing city.
In 2005, the City of Calgary participated in an Ecological Footprint study that showed Calgary’s Footprint exceeding the national average by over 30%, at 9.86 global hectares per person. The study prompted the city council of Calgary to prioritize reducing Calgary’s Ecological Footprint, and to develop an Ecological Footprint team to create a more sustainable city that works to protect the health and well-being of its citizens.
Now, as city leaders make infrastructure and planning choices that will shape the way residents live for years to come, they are using the Ecological Footprint as an important tool in their decision-making. As a direct result of the Footprint project, officials decided to halt new development on green space for at least a year until they can develop a policy that takes the Footprint and long-term sustainability goals into account. Calgary has also become the first city in North America to power its public light rail transit system with 100 per cent emissions-free wind-generated energy, through an initiative called Ride the Wind.
The city is working to spark awareness among residents of Calgary’s Ecological Footprint and raise discussion about what can be done to change it. It released the report Reducing the Ecological Footprint: A Calgary Approach describing Calgary’s efforts to lighten up, and offering residents resources for individual action.