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Ecuador Dispatches, Jan/Feb 2001

Ecological City Plan for the Development of Canton Sucre (Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador)

[Versión en Español]

February, 2001
Final version approved Feb. 15, 2001 by the Public Meeting

I. Introduction — The need and purpose of a plan to create an ecological city.

A) Need

1. Ecological City Declaration

a. Fragility of Bahia, Civil Defense map of risks and environmental problems
b. The present opportunity: the effect of El Nino disasters
c. Disaster prevention, mitigation plan

2. Understanding, coordination and participation with all ecological endeavors

a. Projects and activities — government and private
b. Public participation — consult and assist in developing various activities and projects
c. Public information — government, schools, media, visitors

B) Purpose

1. Guide activities toward shared purposes (present and proposed)

2. Create timelines

3. Stand as a document of intention

II. Areas of consideration

A) Statement of inclusiveness and invitation for additional activities

1. Request new public and private efforts

2. List needed and potential new activities

3. Regular updating of plan

4. Invite participation and collaboration of neighboring cantons, such as San Vicente.

B) Plan format requirements

1. Geographic scope, including a map of the bioregion concerned

2. Listing of existing projects and recognition in appropriate sections

3. Timelines need to be developed short, medium and long term for each item

C) Water

1. Supply

a. Requirement to supply water equally to all areas of the Canton, including marginal neighborhoods.

b. Planning in the case that water is not available, including methods of obtaining and transporting water, and the price of water.

c. A regular maintenance plan for the water system/pipes.

2. Testing and treatment

3. Equal Distribution

4. Conservation, reuse, recycling, and waste

D) Food

1. Public garden spaces, connected with composting programs

2. Private small farm and garden spaces

3. Availability of tools, seed, compost, and instruction

E) Energy (public, industrial, agricultural, and household)

1. Conservation and cost reduction of existing types

2. Renewable forms

a. Determining appropriate types
b. Developing plans for sharing of new production
c. Construction and installation of renewable forms

F) Transportation

1. Evaluation for suitability of various private means (cars, bicycles, etc.)

a. Priorities for alternative fuels
b. Restrictions or encouragement of use, including downtown traffic flow, type of fuel, etc.

2. Evaluation and suitability of public means (buses, taxis, etc.)

a. Priorities for alternative fuels
b. Restrictions or encouragement of use

3. Re-design of highways and streets for traffic reduction, traffic calming, etc.

a. Pedestrian streets in downtown (mall)
b. Bicycle paths, for example between Bahia and Leonidas Plaza, and designated bicycle rack areas
c. Small plazas for discussions, culture and music
d. Parking regulations, including no-parking zones, designated parking lots far from downtown areas

G) Recycling

1. Zero garbage policy — The following is a timeline for implementation, and may contain duplicated information 

a. Short Term
i. Analysis of recyclable and unrecyclable products
ii. Education campaign for the separation of household waste (within homes)
iii. Portable model for the separation of waste in residential areas.
iv. Marketing of returnable and recyclable product packaging
v. Model neighborhood with differenciated receptacles in modules for separation
vi. Municipal recycling center for uncollected materials featuring auctions of formally used items.
b. Medium Term
i. Placement of differentiated receptacles throughout the city
ii. Recycling bins within private residences for the separation of waste.
iii. Portable model for worm composting in areas with limited space.
iv. Initiate city-wide recycling program.
v. Inter-municipal agreements to exchange technology and information.
c. Long Term
i. Designated bins in public spaces: streets, beaches, parks.
ii. Monetary incentives for participating businesses.
iii. Sanctions, fines, restrictions.

2. Citywide recycling program

a. Industrial and agricultural
b. Offices, businesses, schools, and universities
c. Household compost for gardens, recycle bins
d. Public education

3. Government office and operations recycling system

a. Roadside and beach clean-ups
b. Markets and commercial centers
c. Public areas such as lawns, parks, etc.

4. Public waste reduction and uses for reused and recycled materials

a. Evaluation and ordering of municipal stocks and equipment prioritizing waste reduction qualities, and then recycled materials possibilities (paper, furniture, construction items, etc.)
b. Encouragement of local remanufacture businesses
c. Initiatives for waste reduction within existing businesses
d. Compost fertilizer, humus
e. City plant nursery as a base for recycling organic material.

5. Trash Collection and Disposal

a. Organize groups to collect waste for periods when the Municipality is unable to collect waste
b. Re-evaluate landfill location/policy
c. Regulate toxic waste materials from packing plants, other agroindustries, and hospitals

H) Sewage

1. Public biological treatment facilities, artificial wetlands

2. Private alternative facilities

3. Redesign of sewage piping system

I) Wild habitat and species (ecosystems)

1. Bioregion and watershed mapping and inventory, including biodiversity study, mapping of fragile areas, and areas inhabited by endangered species

2. Habitat and species protection

a. Private, community, municipal, and national nature reserves
b. Research centers, scientific stations

3. Habitat and species restoration

a. Purchase and exchange of land

b .Tax breaks for land owners and formation of land owner networks to incentivize restoration

4. Field programs (observation, experience, education, etc.)

J) Human resources

1. Volunteers

a. Creation of a volunteer center to include schools, universities, and other groups

b. Volunteering requirements for school students

2. Skill bank

3. Special mobilization

4. Employment counseling and service

K) Education

1. Schools and universities — incorporate environmental education in the curriculum for all levels

2. Public classes and workshops

a. Public theater and other arts involvement

b. Teacher certification programs

3. Government statements and regular media

4. General education workshops, preparation to make study plans with environmental emphasis

5. Teachers Ecology Club

6. Scolarships in environmental studies for high school students and teachers

7. Creation of Educational Resource Center with an ecological library/video library

L) Culture celebrating natural systems and ecological practices

1. Public information and installations (Green Map, murals, paths, consumer ecological switchboard, markers, etc.)

2. Arts, culture and crafts workshops

3. Awards program

4. Events

5. Camps for training ecology leaders

6. Adoption programs

M) Business development

1. Sustainability emphasis and incentives (incubators, consultation and guidance, etc.)

2. Visitor services (eco-tourism, facilities, etc.)

3. Environmental Interpretation Centers

4. Creation of eco-business associations, including minimum standards for membership, and monitoring

5. Partial subsidization of electricity costs for use in ongoing ecological activities

N) Funding

1. External (international, national, foundations, etc.)

2. Internal ("green tax", sales, benefits, donations, bequests, etc.)

3. City budget for specific items (working projects)

O) Municipal environmental planning

1. Legal aspects

a. Creation of use ordinances (permits): transit, recreation, green areas, pedestrians, nature reserves.
b. General environmental enabling law to create environmental ordinances: hygiene, health, and visual contamination noise and garbage
c. Signage for public and tourist information

2. Creation of Municipal Environmental Department.

a. Environmental planning, including zoning, and structural dynamics planning for buildings in high risk areas
b. Committees with neighborhood components, including legal requirement for the Municipality to work with neighborhood associations
c. Environmental study scholarships for municipal staff
d. Exchange of municipal staff with other green cities
e. Environmental Impact Studies

3. Environmental Audit

a. Evaluate desirable and undesirable commerce in terms of an ecocity.
b. Environmental considerations for use permits in public areas and streets
c. Environmental enforcement
d. Management of environmental complaints
e. Model environmental audit of one barrio to serve as template for other neighborhoods