Vancouver: The Challenge of Becoming the Greenest City

  • Reference: SM-1612-E

  • Year: 2013

  • Number of pages: 24

  • Geographic Setting: Canadá

  • Publication Date: Jun 20, 2014

  • Fecha de edición: Jan 28, 2021

  • Source: IESE (España)

  • Type of Document: Case

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The case describes the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan that the City of Vancouver formally launched in 2011 and whose aim is to make Vancouver the greenest city on the planet. Gregor Robertson, mayor of Vancouver, is the main champion of the ambitious strategic plan. While he has had past success as a social entrepreneur and has implemented several green urban initiatives in his role as mayor, he struggles with some areas and aspects of the plan. Moreover, a recent report indicates that the reputation of the city has fallen. In the context of the imminent elections, Robertson is questioning the true value of the plan as a valid vehicle to improve the Vancouverites' quality of life and as a tool to attract voters.

Learning Objective

Given the focus of the case, it is well suited to urban managers and consultants, policy makers and other governmental representatives involved in city planning and urban development. In particular, it is designed as an introductory case for courses related to urban strategic planning. The current note is aimed at this audience. The breadth of the case allows for a number of different perspectives, from the broad aspects of an urban strategic plan to the specific elements of an environmental urban strategy. The case is also suitable for MBA students and senior executives as it can be used: 1. To introduce the concept of city strategic planning and its different definitions and levels; 2. To discuss the true value that a strategic plan can provide to urban areas; 3. To teach students and participants to assess the pros and cons of urban strategic initiatives; 4. To help participants understand the associated risks and challenges in the implementation of an urban strategic plan; 5. To illustrate the complexities involved in managing a city; 6. To introduce participants to the interrelated nature of activities in a cluster and the different stages of its evolution.

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