With the advent of the twenty-first Winter Olympics taking place in February, the majority of the world’s media is preparing to focus its attention on a Canadian coastal city wedged between the Straight of Georgia and the majestic Rocky Mountains. In continuing with the relatively self-serving tradition of attempting to “one-up” the preceding Olympics event, many wondered how Vancouver would set itself apart from all the past locations of the games. It there-fore shocked few when Vancouver’s young and relatively outspoken mayor, George Robertson, already known for her-alding Vancouver as the “greenest city in North America”, postulated that the upcoming Games would be the most environmentally sensitive to date.
The Vancouver Organizing Committee’s (VANOC) agenda included a vast spectrum of supposed projects such as the Sea-to-Sky “Hydrogen Highway” - which will showcase more environmentally sensitive hydro-gen and fuel cell technologies, the tracking and offsetting of all carbon emissions expended throughout the games, and perhaps the most ambitious project of all: the “sustainable neighborhood” idea that has influenced virtually all of the construction in Vancouver. Furthermore, VANOC also made sure social responsibility was well represented in their plans as indicated by the fact that with the close of the olympics, many of the Village units will be sold on the private market as affordable housing for both low-income and senior tenants.