About the Vision
We’re a do tank, not a think tank.
Let’s leapfrog to First! BANFF NATIONAL PARK NET ZERO 2035 is a grassroots, bottoms-up initiative to create sustainable vehicle and visitor transit systems and low-carbon energy and waste solutions to transform Banff National Park into North America’s first net zero emissions community by 2035.
Increasing visitation to Banff National Park, Canada’s jewel and flagship National Park, is leading to more vehicle congestion, degrading the ecosystem and visitor experience, and contributing to climate change. For perspective, although Banff National Park is the 6th most visited National Park in North America, its total gross transportation greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) is five times higher than the highest emissions National Park in the U.S.
More alarmingly, Banff has 63 times the per visitor transportation GHGs than Zion National Park. Why is this relevant? Zion attracts a similar visitation to Banff’s 4.2 million annual visitors, and it has similar topography where the vast majority of the visitors’ experience is limited to a central valley.
According to a 2019 survey, 30% of visitors cut their trip to Banff National Park short due to congestion, 20% of visitors will not return due to congestion, and 38% of visitors believe that local authorities should do more to address congestion.
The time for transformational change is now.
You can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while improving the visitor experience.
We believe we can begin by looking at the “Best Practice Per Visitor” models that have been proven by world leaders in mountain town and National Park vehicle management—Zion National Park in Utah and Zermatt, Switzerland.
Combine these models with the latest low-emissions technology and Banff can move from being a laggard in transportation emissions and leapfrog ahead to achieve net zero by 2035. Using a science-based, data-driven approach, Banff can create innovative, integrated transportation solutions that serve as a “Green Transit Laboratory” for the rest of Canada.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park, like Banff, has a central valley where most visitors congregate and this leads to increased congestion. More than 20 years ago, Zion created a shuttle-only service to points of interest. By combining intercept parking and a “hop-on, hop-off” service, Zion became the global leader in National Park mass transit.
For more than 50 years, Zermatt, Switzerland’s most sustainable mountain community, has had a unified, multi-modal transportation system, including passenger rail, intercept parking, aerial transit and shuttles. This seamless transit system, serving visitors and residents alike, allows guests to enjoy a large Pedestrian Zone in the centre of town.
Why They Work
The core magic of both Zermatt and Zion is they have each created integrated transit systems. Once visitors reach a central arrival hub, they no longer need a personal vehicle. These mass transit solutions lower the environmental footprint of each visitor. Prioritizing pedestrians over vehicles also creates an experience extremely popular with visitors. These transportation systems enhance both the ecosystem and the visitor experience.
Best Practices Per Visitor
Banff National Park can adopt the “Best Practices Per Visitor” approach to create an integrated mass transit system. Visitors can arrive at the world-class destination by train or park at the train station intercept lots or at their hotel. Visitors can then walk to a Banff Pedestrian Zone or travel on shuttles throughout the town. A shuttle-only service to points of interest can transport visitors to popular spots including Lake Minnewanka, Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and more.
Take the Pledge
We are not a think tank,
We are a do tank.