[permaculture] ECOCITY WORLD SUMMIT August 23-26, 2011 in Montreal Canada

Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network lakinroe at silcom.com
Sat Apr 9 21:54:00 EDT 2011


http://www.ecocity2011.com/accueil/default_e.asp

August 23-26, 2011 in Montreal Canada

ECOCITY WORLD SUMMIT:  http://www.ecocity2011.com/

PEOPLE. ECOLOGY. URBANITY. MOVING TOWARD ECOCITIES.

The distinctive conference program will build on work of past Ecocity
World Summits while adding new conference themes, participatory
methods, and projects that will last beyond the life of the conference.
Detailed conference content and design will be developed in
collaboration with local and international partners, making sure that
the particular urban ecological expertise of Montreal is highlighted.

People. Ecology. Urbanity. Moving Towards Ecocities.

The distinctive conference program will build on 
work of past Ecocity World Summits while adding 
new conference themes, participatory methods, and 
projects that will last beyond the life of the 
conference. Detailed conference content and 
design will be developed in collaboration with 
local and international partners, making sure 
that the particular urban ecological expertise of 
Montréal is highlighted.

INTERCONNECTING THEMES
CONFERENCE TRACKS
                  
Interconnecting Themes
The Ecocity World Summit program is organized 
around six interconnecting themes that explore 
leading edge research and showcase practical 
solutions that contribute to the development and 
management of Ecocities. All speakers will 
present lessons from their specific area of 
expertise and explain how their work relates to 
the broad range of issues - social, economic, and 
biophysical - that are integrally related in the 
Ecocity concept.
Special crosscutting panels have also been 
developed that focus on the interconnections 
between several themes to offer a holistic view 
of Ecocity principles. Examples include: design 
of living buildings in sustainable communities; 
new technology for eco-infrastructure such as 
waste to energy facilities; planning solutions 
for ecomobility; economic strategies to sustain 
ecocities; and citizen engagement and empowerment.
Our goal: a shared agenda for building Ecocities. 
Conference participants will have the opportunity 
to expand their networks, to learn from 
innovative research and experiences elsewhere in 
the world, to contribute to the evolution of 
ecocity thought and the ecocity movement, and to 
leave the conference with new knowledge, tools 
and approaches that they can adapt to the 
contexts of their own cities and countries.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ECOCITY
Cities must be part of the solution to climate 
change: up to 70% of GHG's are generated in 
cities, home to more than 50% of the world's 
population. An ecocity will address climate 
change by meeting the challenges of urban sprawl, 
mass transit, waste reduction and treatment, as 
well as building standards, materials and design. 
Ecocities will also become more flexible and 
resilient to adapt to the threats and increased 
risks to infrastructure resulting from climate 
change. Sessions in this theme area will focus on 
how climate change challenges can best be 
addressed by ecocities. The sub-themes are: 
combining mitigation and adaptive strategies to 
address climate change; housing, urban design and 
climate change; economics of climate change in 
cities: impacts and opportunities. This theme 
will be of particular interest to those who 
provide technologies which reduce greenhouse gas 
(GHG) emissions in cities.

ECOMOBILITY, URBAN PLANNING, PUBLIC SPACE
How should we organise cities and suburbs to 
enable sustainable forms of mobility? How can we 
activate public space? Cities and suburbs are 
dynamic entities-constantly in transformation. 
They are ceaselessly being recalibrated and 
adapted, like any ecosystem, to their changing 
populations. The transformative qualities of 
urban areas present ongoing challenges and 
opportunities. Many metropolitan areas are now 
automobile-dependent because they have been built 
and rebuilt to favour motoring. Other modes of 
travel, such as walking and cycling, are not only 
poorly-supported, but often dangerous. We have 
not yet come to terms with dominant approaches to 
planning, which have turned so much urban space 
over to the automobile. We must instead strive 
for conviviality in how we meet our basic needs, 
namely housing, food, self-development, leisure, 
and transportation. The challenge is 
fundamentally a question of design. Sessions in 
this theme area will explore the following key 
questions. How and why should we rethink the 
organisation of our cities in a long-term 
perspective while taking transformative steps in 
the short-term? On what inspiring examples can we 
draw, and what are the conditions for their 
emergence? What outcomes can we anticipate, and 
with what tradeoffs? What roles can planning and 
design play in developing realistic strategies to 
encourage walking, cycling, and the use of mass 
transit, as well as the implementation of these 
strategies?

GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY IN THE ECOCITY
Transforming our cities into ecocities implies a 
new vision of not only their physical form, but 
also of the way they are governed. It will be 
necessary to re-think the roles and 
responsibilities of municipal government, as well 
as those of other orders of government, to bring 
them into line with an integrated vision of 
sustainable development. Citizens must also be 
oriented to new and more significant forms of 
participation in urban planning and management. 
Sessions in this theme area will be guided by 
three sub-themes: civic involvement; social 
change and innovation; and government and 
governance. A number of key questions will be 
explored. What are the political and 
administrative conditions required to effect 
these changes? What experiences do we have for 
guidance?

ECONOMICS OF THE ECOCITY
What is the purpose of the economy in an ecocity, 
and how do we define terms like "sustainable 
development," "prosperity," "well-being," and 
"quality of life" in line with that purpose? 
Three key sub-themes build on this foundational 
question. First, how can we favour local 
economies? Here, we will examine ways to keep 
wealth and prosperity within an ecocity as we 
consider how its inhabitants feed and entertain 
themselves. Important challenges must be 
addressed in regard to financing the economy, 
confronting the trend toward globalization, 
balancing public and private sector engagement 
and managing relations between the ecocity and 
its surrounding regions. The Transition Town and 
post-carbon city social movements may produce 
instructive new approaches. Second, how can we 
encourage decent work in an ecocity? Here, we 
will consider green jobs and possible new modes 
of work, such as work sharing and shorter work 
weeks, as well as sectors that are best suited to 
an ecocity. Third, how should we manage energy 
and materials needs of an ecocity? Here, we will 
consider issues related to systems of production, 
consumption and waste management, and the details 
of how a low-carbon economy would function in an 
ecocity. What, for example, is the ecological 
footprint of an ecocity? What systems of water 
management and wastewater treatment are best 
suited to ecocities, bearing in mind their 
geographical setting? How are economic and 
environmental prosperity maintained in an ecocity?
HEALTH AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
An emerging body of research shows that urban 
living conditions influence the health of 
individuals and populations and that the uneven 
distribution of environmental conditions, 
resources and amenities in urban areas result in 
social inequalities in health outcomes. This new 
field of public health study touches on several 
subjects including but not limited to air 
quality, urban heat islands, pedestrian and 
cyclist safety, active transportation, water 
quality, obesity, heart and lung disease, and 
mental health. This theme area will focus on ways 
and means of urban development that result in 
health promoting environments for all (e.g., 
acting on building, street and sidewalk 
configurations, quality of public spaces, 
greening of public spaces, promoting social 
engagement and social cohesion, etc.). Specific 
sub-themes include: (i) determinants and 
processes through which urban living conditions 
influence health and social inequalities in 
health; (ii) interventions, programs, and 
policies to improve urban living conditions which 
improve health and reduce social inequalities in 
health; and (iii) measuring and evaluating the 
impact of interventions, programs, and policies 
designed to improve living conditions and which 
improve health and reduce social inequalities in 
health.

BIODIVERSITY AND URBAN AGRICULTURE
Biodiversity, green spaces and urban agriculture 
are inter-related concepts which contribute 
(directly and indirectly) to our general 
well-being: to health, the environment, and the 
quality of our lives and that of the landscape 
around us. Over the past few years, science has 
made possible many advances in social, economic 
and ecological services. Among these are solar 
shading and the cooling effect, the capture of 
rainwater and atmospheric pollutants, and food 
safety. Furthermore, it is widely recognized that 
protecting the greatest possible number of living 
species is necessary for the preservation of 
healthy ecosystems. With community outreach, 
these efforts have extended to involvement in our 
economic health, taxation system and social 
development. Despite recognition of the value 
that biodiversity, green spaces and urban 
agriculture have delivered, a part of this 
heritage still requires development, 
solidification and enhancement.
                  
Conference Tracks
1. NORTHERN CLIMATE CITIES: ECOCITY POLICY, PLANNING AND DESIGN
2. RE-BUILDING BETTER IN HAITI AND OTHER POST-DISASTER ZONES
3. ECOCITY MONTRÉAL
4. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT/CITIZEN AND YOUTH PARTICIPATION
5. MEASURING ECOCITY PROGRESS: INDICATORS, STANDARDS AND BEST PRACTICES

6. CLEANTECH FOR ECOCITIES
Clean technologies actively contribute to the 
development of greener and prosperer cities and 
regions. In accelerating the design, development, 
adoption, commercialization and export of clean 
technologies, clusters in this area play a key 
role in the emergence of genuine ecocities. 
Organized by Ecotech Québec, in partnership with 
the Global Cleantech Cluster Association (GCCA), 
this track is the first international meeting of 
GCCA. Open to all Ecocity participants, the 
meeting will centre on sharing of best practices 
and developing win-win strategic partnerships 
between stakeholders.


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