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  1. Which Are The World's Cleanest Cities? Robert Malone, 04.16.07, 12:10 PM ET In Pictures: The World's Cleanest Cities There is clean and then there is clean. In the world, as a rule of thumb, the North is clean and the South is dirty. Indeed only two of the top-25 cleanest cities in the world are below the Equator--Auckland, New Zealand, and Wellington, New Zealand. The cleanest cities are largely located in countries noted for their democracy and their industrialization. The only Asian cities represented are in Japan. There are no top-25 clean cities in South or Central America, Africa and Australia. The U.S. has five of the top 25; Canada, a strong five, with the top spot its city of Calgary; Europe has 11 of the top 25; and Japan has three. The 25 cleanest cities are located in 13 countries. It may not be accidental that these countries are among the highest in purchasing power parity according to the World Development Indicator database of the World Bank. Twelve are in the top 20, and only New Zealand lags in wealth, at No. 37 on the list of world's wealthiest. So clean may also mean well-off. In Pictures: The World's Cleanest Cities To be clean a city has to face and solve many problems that otherwise lead to unsanitary conditions and poor health as well as possible economic stagnation. Producing energy for industry, homes and transportation has to be planned and executed reasonably, and this means some form of regulation and control. To be clean means organizing what is done with waste. Landfills are being closed or filled up. Recycling is the only long-range answer, but this takes civic discipline, a system and preferably a system that turns a profit. Green only works well when it results in greenbacks. In addition a city has to look closely at its transportation infrastructure (roads, rail, air, subways) and their impact upon being clean or going dirty or staying dirty. The logistics infrastructure is also critical in terms of efficiency that can translate into money and fuel savings that in turn affect cleanliness (air quality, water quality and ground quality). Taken all together as with clean energy generation, waste control, recycling and various levels of infrastructure reorganization, the challenge is formidable. Some will recommend taking on one challenge at a time, and this may be what President Bush has in mind with ethanol. Bush's advocacy of ethanol is a step towards cleaner fuel and in turn cleaner cities. The idea is also controversial as the resources available for ethanol are directly related to the food supply chain. There can be great friction over sharing such resources. Some are advocating inputs beyond corn grain. "One of the most abundant potential resources we have is the nonfood parts of the corn plant, including the stalks, leaves and husks,” says Dr. Michael Pacheco, director of the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The figures for the cleanest cities are derived from studies by the Mercer Human Resources Consulting that cull from 300 cities, identifying overall quality of living as well as special reports on regions. It is interesting to note that size does not appear to be a factor either in terms of size of population or physical size of the city. The most common trait in common to each is a focus on high tech, education and headquartering of national and international companies along with an extensive public transit system.
  2. The Rules are the following: You give a point to a city and take a point away from another city. The cities are the 20 most populous suburbs in Greater Montreal (all of which are about 25,000 people or more). Each City starts with 10 points, last city standing wins. One Post per person per day. This is a game, so no politics or rude/inappropriate comments. Keep it clean. (In order from the largest to the smallest city) Laval - 10 Longueuil - 10 Terrebonne - 10 Repentigny - 10 Brossard - 10 Dollard-des-Ormeaux - 10 Blainville - 10 Chateauguay - 10 Saint-Eustache - 10 Boucherville - 10 Mirabel - 10 Mascouche - 10 Cote-Saint-Luc - 10 Pointe-Claire - 10 Boisbriand - 10 Sainte-Julie - 10 Vaudreuil - 10 Sainte-Thérèse - 10 Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville - 10 Saint-Constant - 10
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  4. We ought to give each club, lounge, bar, restaurant, pub, it's own thread with reviews, pictures, info, commentaries and all that kind of stuff! I'll start with Opera since it's been the subject of a lot of talk lately with the possible demolition for the redevelopment of the ilot du monument national. Some pix from last sunday: My review: Good spot, huge, clean, modern, great music, (mostly) classy good-looking people but all this comes with a price - definitely one of the most expensive spots in town.
  5. Quebec funds effort to build $130M river turbine farm on St. Lawrence River BECANCOUR -- The Quebec government is helping to bankroll a $130-million project by RER Hydro, Hydro-Quebec and Boeing to generate clean energy on the St. Lawrence River in what officials say would be the world's largest river-generated turbine farm. The three-phase project could eventually culminate in nine megawatts of renewable power being generated in Montreal from 46 riverbed turbines, with installation beginning in 2016. The province could contribute up to a maximum of $85 million in equity and loans. That's on top of the $3 million it has already provided RER Hydro Inc. for its initial $230-million prototype testing phase that lasted three years. Quebec, which is a leader in production of hydroelectricity, hopes that the technology will take off and support the manufacture of about 500 turbines annually and some 600 direct and indirect jobs at RER Hydro's plant in Becancour, near Trois-Rivieres. Premier Pauline Marois said at the plant's official opening on Monday that the government is actively helping new industries that hold promise for the Quebec economy, such as its strategy to support the electrification of transportation. "Our participation in this partnership agreement will promote the development of the industrial sector of turbines, which has great economic potential for Quebec, particularly because of the significant export opportunities," Marois said, while also stressing the job creation potential of the project. The technology has global market potential and could supply electricity to isolated communities in Northern Quebec not currently connected to the provincial power grid. The second phase of the project, estimated to cost $51.5 million, would install and test six turbines generating three-quarters of a megawatt of power near the Pont de la Concorde bridge near the Montreal Casino on Ste Helen's Island. About 25 jobs would be created in Becancour and Montreal. It would mark the first commercial sale of RER Hydro's technology. If results are successful, about $81 million would be spent to install a demonstration fleet of 40 turbines beginning in 2016. That would create 90 direct jobs and 80 indirect jobs from various suppliers. Unlike dams, the "hydrokinetic" turbines generate clean power without disrupting the river flow or the natural habitat of fish or other marine life, said RER Hydro CEO Imad Hamad. "This new industry will help to further transform Quebec's natural resources for the benefit of Quebecers," Hamad said. RER and Boeing (NYSE:BA), the U.S. aerospace and defence giant, signed an agreement last year giving Boeing exclusive rights to market and sell the turbines around the world. Boeing is providing program management, engineering, manufacturing and supplier-management expertise, in addition to servicing the turbines. "This agreement between industry and government will deliver renewable power while protecting the environment," said Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "It also builds on Boeing's long-term, strategic partnership with Canada, supporting customers from aerospace and defence to clean energy, generating high-quality jobs and making a difference in the community." Boeing says it works with 40 suppliers in Quebec, contributing to the $1 billion in economic activity the company generates annually across Canada. Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/quebec-funds-effort-to-build-130m-river-turbine-farm-on-st-lawrence-river-1.1539132#ixzz2kRX062Vp
  6. (Courtesy of The Huffington Post) Plus there is a little demonstration how the system works, if you go to the link
  7. CNN's Alex Zolbert shows how a 40-story building is being demolished the clean and environmentally friendly way in Japan.
  8. Abolish Montreal's 'Little Kingdoms' Posted by: Michael Dudley 8 January 2008 - 1:00pm Owing to political fragmentation and 20 different mayors, the Canadian city of Montreal is becoming increasingly dysfunctional and must be simplified, writes Lysiane Gagnon. "How many mayors does a city with 1.8 million people need? In Montreal, no fewer than 20." "Mayor Gérald Tremblay chairs city council. Nineteen "smaller" mayors chair the conseils d'arrondissements; these municipal districts have become responsible for zoning, housing, parks, street maintenance and so on. The arrondissements often collide with the central administration, and some of the mayors, riding on their inflated status, behave like feudal lords." "Montreal [is] divided...into 'arrondissements' (some carved out of the main city, and others corresponding to the former suburban municipalities) [to which are] delegated massive powers. Montreal was stuck with 19 cities within the city." "More and more, Montrealers complain about the disintegration of services. They don't even know who to blame because there is no tangible political accountability." "The absurdity of the system...was especially obvious in the wake of two consecutive snowstorms that descended on the metropolitan area before Christmas. Since boroughs are responsible for snow removal, the clearing operations varied from one district to another." "In Côte-des-Neiges, the streets surrounding two hospitals were still clogged days after the snowfall, while the quiet residential streets of Rosemont were thoroughly clean. The worst was in Ville-Marie. Sherbrooke, Montreal's major east-west artery, was still lined with giant snowbanks when the second snowfall hit. On Ste-Catherine, Montreal's major commercial street, the Ville-Marie workers never managed to spray salt or sand on sidewalks covered with black ice. "It was the worst performance in memory," wrote Gazette city columnist Henry Aubin, who believes that snow clearance, like firefighting and policing, should be subject to a unified policy." "Actually, Montreal is ready for more: The city should be recentralized and its little kingdoms abolished." Source: Globe & Mail, Jan 07, 2008 http://www.planetizen.com/node/29179 Full Story: Down with Montreal's 19 kingdoms
  9. Push for tidier city starting to pay off But more work to do, mayor says. 'If the streets look clean today, it's because of the rain we had Tuesday,' merchant maintains JAMES MENNIE, The Gazette Published: 4 hours ago As far as Raffi Kotchounian is concerned, if the streets aren't paved with cigarette butts it isn't so much because of an act of city council as an act of God. "I was walking down Ste. Catherine St. the Wednesday before the Grand Prix. The street was a mess - papers everywhere, garbage everywhere. ... It was filthy," Kotchounian said. "If the streets look clean today, it's because of the rain we had on Tuesday," he added. Kotchounian is the owner of the Vasco cigar store on Ste. Catherine east of Crescent St. He has been doing business on the street for 30 years. When it comes to assessing how clean - or not - the neighbourhood has become since Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay and Ville Marie borough mayor Benoit Labonté declared separate wars on downtown litter, he gives credit where credit is due. "I have to tell you, the cigarette butts weren't as bad as the flyers," he said, referring to the handbills handed out by various nightclubs and businesses to downtown pedestrians. "They were a real problem. But with the police cracking down, it made a big difference." But Kotchounian's take on the big picture of downtown cleanliness is one that perceives the trash can as half empty rather than half full, presuming, of course, the trash can was even there to begin with. "There was a trash can at the corner of Ste. Catherine and Crescent that was taken away during the riot after the Canadiens-Bruins game (on April 21). "It still hasn't been replaced." Last Tuesday, the city of Mont-real kicked off its annual cleanliness campaign with Marcel Tremblay, the executive committee member in charge of the operation, meeting members of the media on a street cleaning vehicle as he explained how 200 cleaning crew members would be deployed in the city's 19 boroughs. That announcement was made a week after the downtown Ville Marie borough announced its own cleanliness crackdown, noting that more than $1 million in tickets were handed out last year. They were issued for infractions ranging from improperly recycling garbage to the lack of an ashtray outside a commercial establishment. The cleanliness campaigns have been going on for three years. While their effectiveness remains a matter of dispute, a stroll through the quadrilateral formed by Ste. Catherine St., de Maisonneuve Blvd., Atwater Ave. and St. Laurent Blvd. suggests that something has changed. Cigarette butts that could once be found by the score, piled at street corners or along sidewalks, were noticeable by their scarcity, popping up in ones or twos at the sidewalk's edge. City trash cans, once overflowing, had been cleaned and emptied, while the drifting paper, plastic bags and other lunchtime junk that seemed to be part of every summer breeze were absent. Tremblay, who once berated a passerby who was littering while the mayor was in the middle of a cleanliness photo op, acknowledged yesterday there was still work to be done. "Sometimes when I go up St. Laurent or St. Urbain, I'll see trash cans that are full. Perhaps we have to improve the logistics of emptying them," he said. "And when I drive around the city, I have these portable ashtrays in my car, and when I see a citizen throw their cigarette butt out of their car window or on the sidewalk, I'll stop, and I hand them an ashtray. "We're calling upon the civic duty of citizens, and it's starting to have a major impact. Mont-realers are proud. And they weren't proud to see that the city wasn't up to their standard. "But we still have a lot of improvement to do," the mayor said. [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=fade8e50-eebb-4878-a41a-eecc8d1c4181
  10. I know its not a story about Montreal or another Canadian city, but it does have an affect on us all. Video Interesting video though. James Corner does make a good point though. If you clean something up and make it better, life comes back to that part of the city and people will pay.
  11. Inspiré par le jeu que nous propose MTLskyline dans un autre fil, voici ma version! The Rules are the following: You give a point to a street and take a point away from another street. Each street starts with 10 points, last street standing wins. One Post per person per day. This is a game, so no politics or rude/inappropriate comments. Keep it clean. Voici 20 rues d'importance au centre-ville (ou proche): 10 - Rue Sainte-Catherine 10 - Rue Crescent 10 - Rue Sherbrooke 10 - Boul René-Lévesque 10 - Rue Notre-Dame 10 - Boul Saint-Laurent 10 - Boul de Maisonneuve 10 - Ave du Mont-Royal 10 - Rue Peel 10 - Rue Saint-Jacques 10 - Rue de la Gauchetière 10 - Ave McGill College 10 - Rue University 10 - Rue Saint-Denis 10 - Boul Pie-IX 10 - Rue Atwater 10 - Ave du Parc 10 - Rue Saint-Paul 10 - Ave Papineau 10 - Boul Saint-Joseph
  12. Chevron had warned it couldn't clean up Canadian coastal oil spill Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Chevron+warned+couldn+clean+Canadian+coastal+spill/3048813/story.html#ixzz0oRKon7wr Someone knock sense into the Newfies and don't let Chevron drill for oil.
  13. New broom sweeping Montreal clean INGRID PERITZ June 8, 2007 MONTREAL -- In Montreal this spring, a new army of enforcers is taking command of the streets and spreading fear in back alleys. They're tough, eagle-eyed - and armed with big brooms. The city in Canada best known for its insouciance and laissez-faire ways is suddenly aspiring to be Singapore on the St. Lawrence. This year, Montreal has declared war on trash. Besieged by criticism that downtown had become an open-air dump of litter and bulging trash bins, city hall made a clean sweep of it by adopting a bylaw on "civility, respect and cleanliness." Since last Friday, property owners downtown have become responsible for cleaning up in front of their homes and businesses. Fines start at $125 and reach $4,000 for repeat offenders. "This is probably the toughest bylaw of its kind in Canada, if not North America," said Benoît Labonté, mayor of Montreal's downtown borough. "There are no warnings, just tickets for violations. We mean business." Mr. Labonté has scheduled a news conference this morning to reveal the fruits of the new crackdown: In just seven days, the city's "trash troopers" issued about $70,000 in fines. Montreal was inspired by cities like New York and Paris, which turned around their notoriously unkempt appearance in a few years, Mr. Labonté said in an interview yesterday. "If it's good enough for New York and Paris, it's good enough for Montreal." Montreal has always had anti-trash rules on the books, but it put muscle this year into applying them: Ten more trash inspectors downtown, 189 young "cleanliness brigadiers," as well as 1,400 new garbage bins, 700 ashtrays and four solar-powered trash compactors valued at $4,700 apiece. Some people worry Montreal will get so clean it will be antiseptic. And the more cynical wonder if Mayor Gérald Tremblay isn't picking an easy target because it's a lot tougher to solve intractable problems like his woeful revenue sources. Still, many agree the city had let cleanliness slide in recent years, and civic pride with it. Complaints mounted about overflowing garbage cans, oozing back-alley dumpsters, and cigarette butts outside office buildings after no-smoking rules went into effect. "We'd let things go in the last few years, and it was visible," said Claude Rainville, head of a business development group in Montreal's Latin Quarter. "The industrial quantities of butts. The trash containers. It just wasn't welcoming." And the tough anti-litter talk isn't the only effort aimed at making Montrealers less unruly. Montreal police last year added 133 officers to its traffic squad to curb the notoriously bad habits of city drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. In the first four months of this year, police issued nearly 3,500 tickets for jaywalking, and plan to crack down on the habit through the summer, said Chief Inspector Réjean Toutant. "I understand that this is part of Montreal's culture. But that's no reason to let things go," he said. No smoking, no jaywalking, no littering - is Montreal losing its joie de vivre? Éric Montpetit, a political scientist at the University of Montreal, studied the city's litter problems and said the new efforts are long overdue. But the trash crackdown does appear to fit into a larger pattern. "Montrealers have long been the exception in Canada. We've been less disciplined and maybe a little less polite. But that wild side is also part of the city's charm," said Prof. Montpetit, who has lived in Ontario and Saskatchewan. Now, the efforts at behaviour reform may signal a shift. "Maybe," he said, "we're starting to Canadianize Montrealers."