Posts Tagged ‘green’

a touch of nature…

Friday, March 18th, 2016

a touch of nature…

…makes the whole world kin. At least that’s what Shakespeare wrote. Everyone wants to help out the environment, even just a little. And the key to making that happen is to weave it into what you do. At vivaNext, we do what we can to help out by incorporating environmental and sustainable standards into what we do.

saving…

When we built a transit facility in Richmond Hill, more than 95% of construction waste was diverted from landfills by recycling. This equals about 582 tonnes, or enough to fill 32 city buses. The facility was built to LEED Silver standards, and includes a rainwater recycling system for the bus wash, which saves about 5.5 million litres each year. When we build rapidways, the old asphalt is taken to local recycling centres, saving valuable construction material for re-use.

planting…

Every rapidway project includes tree-lined sidewalks with special under-sidewalk root systems and tree and shrub species chosen to best suit their location. Including greenery in our communities has important side benefits, including improved health for residents, increased property values, better business outcomes, and reduced energy costs. Each project is unique, and where there are creeks and culverts, our work includes natural restoration, which creates better conditions for wildlife and aquatic species. For a peek at how we connect with nature, check out our video.

building!

And don’t forget the most important thing we’re doing – building rapid transit! Adding sustainable travel choices to our landscape is the most important thing we can do to help our communities thrive. Each bus can replace up to 70 cars and during peak hours along rapidway routes, can be up to 42% faster and certainly reduces emissions. Having fast, reliable transit within walking distance helps support the growth coming to our downtowns in Markham, Newmarket, Vaughan and Richmond Hill – and this central growth helps prevent suburban sprawl.

We’re doing what we can to help the environment and making it part of what we do. Earth Hour is 8:30-9:30pm this Saturday, and we’ll do that little bit extra by powering down and we hope you will too.

 

one with nature

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

see video: one with nature

As York Region transforms our key development areas from suburban locations to more urban one it’s important that we create attractive and welcoming public spaces. This means designing buildings with aesthetics in mind, considering the accessibility of civic spaces, public transit and incorporating the natural environment into the urban landscape.

It’s important to create urban settings that integrate natural elements for a number of reasons. It beautifies public spaces, and also provides health and economic benefits to the community. One way to ensure that York Region’s urban centres are one with nature is to invest in green infrastructure. This includes trees, shrubs, grasses, and other plants that will become a part of our urban forest.

Mature trees absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone and particulates, cleaning polluted urban air. In addition, research suggests that investing in green infrastructure will result in improved health for residents; People living on Toronto blocks with 10 or more trees are less likely than other residents to report conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or obesity. There is also documented evidence that investing in green infrastructure will result in increased property values, better business outcomes, and reduced energy costs [read our previous blog on the topic].

On top of our commitment to green infrastructure, vivaNext is committed to respecting the natural environment that already exists in York Region. Our work to extend bridges and culverts along the Region’s corridors includes natural restoration plans, which will create better conditions for wildlife and aquatic species. Intensification of the urban centres and corridors means that municipalities will be building up instead of out. With population densities increasing in these areas there will be less pressure for sprawl to reach farmlands and green spaces. Greenery of the future York Region will be a harmonious mix of urban forest and open green space – providing something for everyone!

Along the Highway 7 East rapidway, vivaNext has already planted 1,250 new trees and 10,000 new shrubs. To watch how this investment, and future investments, will benefit York Region check out our video.

 

our buses are blue but we think green

Friday, March 6th, 2015

our buses are blue but we think green

In York Region, we’re lucky to have nature around us. From the Oak Ridges Moraine to our woodlands, waterways and wildlife, life is better when we’re surrounded by it.

Rapidway projects are designed with future growth in mind – including supporting population growth and supporting a large variety of new trees and shrubs. Along with dedicated lanes for rapid transit, each project brings urban renewal with wider sidewalks, updated utilities and plenty of trees, shrubs and plants. Since these are construction projects that include widening the road, some of the existing roadside and median trees need to be removed.

We’re currently removing trees located in York Region’s right-of-way for the Yonge Street rapidway project in Richmond Hill and Newmarket. All trees marked for removal were carefully evaluated first, to see if any could be transplanted. Due to the health of the trees and the potential conflicts with overhead and underground utilities, relocation was not possible. Crews will remove the majority of the trees before bird nesting season begins in mid-April. Any trees that still need to be removed after that will first be assessed by a Certified Arborist. Remaining trees around the construction area will be fenced and protected.

Once complete, each rapidway will be a tree-lined street, with attractive landscaping and trees and shrubs chosen for hardiness, appearance and height [to fit under hydro lines once mature]. An urban setting can be tough on a tree, so we use soil cell technology – a rigid framework under the sidewalks in rapidway areas that holds much more planting soil – to protect roots and ensure soil and water stay in place [e.g., see the soil cells we used on Highway 7 East]. New plantings have a guarantee, so if we have especially harsh weather, any that don’t make it will be replaced.

It takes a lot of effort, patience and planning, and the construction itself isn’t pretty. But our communities are growing and the rapidways let us connect faster using transit while keeping our connection to nature and greening our corridors. After this long cold winter, we will all be happy to see a few buds on the trees this spring!