“Biggest” vs. “Best” (Part II)

Last week I spent some time reviewing ReNew Canada’s special report on the “Top 100” infrastructure projects in the country, and then posted the top three contenders for the most innovative projects across 10 categories (click here to view).  This week, it’s time to announce the winners—in my humble opinion—in each category.  Here they are: Transportation—Roadways and Bridges

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UBC as a sustainability sandbox

If we take sustainability seriously, the magnitude of required change is great. One prominent way of approaching that requirement is to talk in terms of doing less damage, reducing project-specific impact and generally utilizing an overall perspective based on cutting back or sacrifice. It’s not a very motivating approach. At The University of British Columbia

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Biggest” vs. “Best” (Part I)

ReNew Canada bills itself as the country’s “Infrastructure Magazine.” That’s not braggadocio.  No matter what aspect of infrastructure you’re involved in—finance, research, engineering, policy, construction, whatever—the magazine is a virtual “must-have.”  The January-February issue has just hit the newstand, and it features a special supplement on the 100 biggest infrastructure projects in Canada. ReNew’s “Top 100” adds

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Having Our Cake and Eating it Too: The Environment, the Economy and Market-based Instruments

I sometimes find myself getting weary of ideologues on environmental issues. One argument I find particularly tiresome is the insistence that there are significant tradeoffs when it comes to the economy and the environment. The conclusion of these extreme viewpoints is that we can be prosperous polluters or penniless hippies. Apparently, there is no middle

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Innovation by Accident

Last year my little commuter car suffered more than its fair share of scrapes and scratches. It started with some fancy BMW almost side-swiping me.  A few weeks later a Nissan finished the job in beijing.  For reasons unknown, a Mustang became infatuated with my car’s rear bumper, and then my car got smoked—twice—while it sat

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Social license to build and operate: The missing part of the energy debate in Canada

As the debate about an energy strategy for Canada has unfolded, several core themes have emerged. Carbon pricing needs to be pursued if we ever hope to deal with climate change. Regulatory efficiency is critical to energy development. Energy efficiency and conservation is important for reducing both economic and environmental costs. In 2009, the Energy Framework

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