Can cities be both ecologically healthy and socially just? There are no easy answers, not even in Vancouver, one of the world’s greenest cities. Yet multiple solutions are emerging with new leadership and new partnerships. Ecocity 2019 is where these breakthroughs and advances will be shared.
Jointly hosted by the City of Vancouver and the British Columbia Institute of Technology, join Mayor Kennedy Stewart and a host of local, regional and global experts converging in Vancouver this October to build the bridge to socially just and ecologically sustainable cities. Pre-Summit Days:
Cutting Edge Urban Research, Academic Presentations and Innovation Deep Dives
Main Summit Days:
Main Messages, Visionaries and Global Thought Leaders, Top Practitioners and Solutionaries
and over 16 more! View all of our Featured and Plenary Speakers here.
President, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Canada
Kathy Kinloch is President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Canada's premier polytechnic institution which serves approximately 50,000 students annually, a position she has held since January 2014. Her focus is broadening and deepening BCIT’s partnerships with business, industry and community within B.C., across Canada and globally to meet the evolving needs of today’s and tomorrow’s workplace.
Kathy is recognized for leading organizational renewal in complex environments. Through a number of senior leadership and executive roles, she has spearheaded successful strategic change initiatives in the post-secondary as well as government and health care sectors.
Acknowledgements of Kathy’s accomplishments include Top 50 Power Lists, Vancouver Magazine; Most Influential Women in Business, BC Business magazine; Influential Women in Business Awards, Business in Vancouver magazine; Woman of Distinction, YWCA Metro Vancouver; Top 100 Hall of Fame and Top 100 Public Sector Leaders, Women’s Executive Network (WXN); and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Royal Roads University. Most recently, Kathy was selected as “Canada’s Most Admired CEO of 2018” in the Broader Public Sector category by Waterstone Human Capital.
Kathy holds a Diploma in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science (Nursing, with Distinction) from University of Alberta, a Master of Arts in Leadership (Chancellors Award) and a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University.
Kathy’s board positions include the Business Council of BC; Surrey Hospital Foundation; the Public Policy Forum and TELUS Corporation. She is also a member of the Business Council of Canada’s Business ‘Higher Education Roundtable’, the Asia Business Leaders Advisory Council of the Asia Pacific Foundation, and is currently chairing the provincial Emerging Economy Task Force.
Mayor, City of Vancouver, Canada.
Kennedy Stewart was elected the 40th Mayor of Vancouver on October 20, 2018, and is the City's first independent Mayor in three decades. Mayor Stewart is committed to building a sustainable, carbon-free economy while making sure housing costs are kept low and the quality of public services kept high. As a long-time renter in downtown Vancouver, where he lives with his wife Jeanette, Kennedy is focused on rapidly delivering housing for all income levels in every neighbourhood to keep our city welcoming and vibrant – a Vancouver that works for everyone.
Councillor City of Melbourne First Vice President, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Senior Enterprise Fellow in Informed Cities, Connected Cities Lab, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Dr Cathy Oke, First Vice President of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, was first elected to the Melbourne City Council in 2008, and has over 20 years’ experience in the sustainability sector. She is chair of Council’s Environment portfolio and deputy chair of the Finance and Governance and Aboriginal City portfolios.
Dr Oke is committed to supporting programs that enable a resilient, vibrant and creative community. She is passionate about engaging the community in strategies and plans for the city of the future, recognizing the need to build stronger relationships and partnerships with First Nations communities to better care for urban environments in line with traditional knowledge and practice.
Dr Oke has an interest in the intersection of arts and science disciplines as a response to the environmental and climate challenges facing cities, is a founding director of Tipping Point Australia and co-producer of The Living Pavilion. She was a member of the Executive Advisory Board for the Ecocity World Summit hosted in Melbourne in 2017, and co-curated the city practice stream.
Dr Oke holds a PhD in molecular science from Latrobe University and currently works as Senior Enterprise Fellow in Informed Cities at the Connected Cities Lab, University of Melbourne.
Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Mayor Mahajan has been involved in community organization for over thirty years, including serving as president of a local indigenous community group with over 32,000 members. A priority for Mayor Mahajan and his administration is to launch an Ecocity Network in Nepal, beginning with and led by the municipality of Lalitpur. The initiative is already underway, and includes brand new bicycle lanes and car free areas, neighborhood sustainability plans, a plastics ban, and local sustainable business development initiatives.
Author, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, UK.
Kate Raworth is an economist dedicated to making economics fit for the 21st century. Her book Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist is an international bestseller that has been translated into 15 languages, and it was long-listed for the 2017 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year award. She teaches at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, and is an advisor to the Global Challenges programme of the Stockholm School of Economics and to the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity at the University of Surrey. Over the past two decades Kate has worked as Senior Researcher at Oxfam, as economist and co-author of the UN’s Human Development Report, and as a Fellow of the Overseas Development Institute based in the villages of Zanzibar. She holds a BA and MSc from Oxford University and an honorary doctorate from Business School Lausanne.
Head of the Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit in eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa.
Dr. Debra Roberts heads the Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit in eThekwini District Municipality, Durban, South Africa. Previously, she founded and managed the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department in eThekwini (1994-2016). She co-chairs IPCC's Working Group II, Sixth Assessment, and she was lead author of Chapter 8 (Urban Affairs) and contributing author to Chapter 12 (Africa) of the IPCC's Working Group II Fifth Assessment. Debra is also an advisor to the Global Commission on Adaptation. Dr. Roberts is an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the School of Life Sciences. She has written widely in the fields of urban space planning, environmental management and urban climate protection. She has received numerous awards for her work.
Emeritus Professor, University of British Columbia, former director of the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at University of British Columbia, Canada.
William E. Rees
Prospects for Cities in the Age of Anthropocene
Dr. William Rees is a population ecologist, ecological economist, former Director and Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning. His research focuses on the biophysical requirements for sustainability and the implications of global ecological trends. He has developed a special interest in modern cities as ‘dissipative structures’ and particularly vulnerable components of the total human ecosystem, and in the socio-cognitive barriers to sound environmental policy. Best known as the originator of ‘ecological footprint analysis’, Prof Rees has authored over 160 peer-reviewed papers and numerous popular articles on (un)sustainability. Rees’ academic work has been widely recognized: he was elected Fellow of Royal Society of Canada in 2006 and has since received a Trudeau Foundation Fellowship, an Honorary Doctorate from Laval, the international Boulding Prize and Herman Daly Awards in Ecological Economics, and a Blue Planet Prize (jointly with Dr Mathis Wackernagel).
Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, USA.
Just Sustainabilities: Re-imagining Equality, Living Within Limits
Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and sustainability defined as: "the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now, and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.”
He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embedded relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity. For example, are we, as urban planners, as good at fostering belonging (recognition, reconciliation, difference, diversity, inclusion) as we are at developing prescriptions for what our cities can become (smart cities, sharing cities, sustainable cities, resilient cities)? His conviction is that just sustainabilities, which foregrounds belonging and becoming, can help us think through both, together.
Worldwide, he is recognized as an expert, an innovator and thought leader. One of the 15 most highly cited urban planning academics in North America, he is the author or editor of 11 books and is Editor-in-Chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, Series Editor of Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice published by Zed Books and Co-Editor of the Routledge Equity, Justice and the Sustainable City series.
Founder of the International Ecocity Conference Series, and the NGOs, Ecocity Builders, 1991 and Ecocity World, 2018, USA.
Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature
He is the author of Ecocity Berkeley — Building Cities for a Health Future, 1987; Ecocities – Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature, 2006; World Rescue – an Economics Built on what We Build, 2016; and forty years of Richard’s drawings: Ecocities Illustrated, 2016.
Richard is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science (based in India) and International Consultant, Chinese Society for Urban Studies, Eco-Cities Planning and Construction Center, Beijing.
He has spoken in 36 countries and is happy to relate that in China the National Government has instituted a program of building “eco-cities” adopting the term “Eco-city” from his book, Ecocities, as translated into Chinese.
Register has participated in two design charrettes with British Columbia Institute of Technology for applying ecocity principles and features to their Burnaby Campus.
Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc, UK.
Dr. Marilyn Hamilton is a city (or Human Hive) evolutionist, futurist, PRAQtivist, author and independent researcher. Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc; author of the Integral City Book Series, Reframing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hives (2018), Inquiry and Action: Designing Impact for the Human Hive (2017) and Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive (English 2008, Russian 2014), she has created several international communities of Integral City practise. Through care for self, others, place and planet Marilyn believes cities can become “Gaia’s Reflective Organs”. Partnering with Findhorn International Centre for Sustainability she convenes Beyond Smart, Beyond Resilient & Beyond Complexity Integral City workshops and webinars. Guest Editor of Integral Leadership Review, Canada Issue 2015, and Producer of the Integral City 2.0 Online Conference 2012, she designs and delivers “learning lhabitats” for the 4+1 Voices of the city, in multiple modes. She has held the position of CEO, COO, CFO and CIO in the private and civil society sectors. Formerly of Abbotsford, BC, Canada, she now resides in Findhorn Foundation, Scotland, serves on the Board of Findhorn College and F.I.R.E. CIC; is Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University, U of Victoria; and academically supervises, lectures and keynotes at universities and conferences around the world.
Founder of World of Walas. Urbanist. Author. Speaker. Dedicated to sustainable urban development, ethics, and innovations, Canada.
Gerben van Straaten
Founder and CEO Gerben van Straaten, has over 25 years of experience in urban development. He founded World of Walas in 2010 to offer a fundamentally different approach to sustainable urban development. Walas has been experiencing significant growth since then, doubling in size at least once per year. Walas is now a collection of over 25 companies with projects operating in the Netherlands, Germany and Canada, and global partnerships focused on bringing real change to the urban development industry.
Gerben is an international speaker and published author on sustainable urban development and new ideas for old buildings. His unique experience bridges between academic best practices and the traditional real estate industry. He works with governments, cities, NGOs and other organizations on policy for urban planning and development to bring about real change. He is a signatory partner for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and Special Commissioner for Cities for Earth Charter International. Follow him on Twitter @gerben_walas and @worldofwalas
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Cities Unit, France.
Sharon is coordinator and manager of the Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities which develops practical tools, conducts research, and brings solutions to implement urban metabolism, systems thinking, and circular economy approaches to cities in developing countries. An urban planner by profession, she also coordinates partnerships and joint resource mobilization on sustainable urbanization for UN Environment.
Sharon started her career in the late 90s, as a technical expert on the award-winning UNDP Private Sector Participation in Managing the Environment (PRIME) Project which has the distinction of being one of the first eco-industrial initiatives in Asia. She continued to develop her expertise in sustainable urbanization working for 2 years on rehabilitating old urban areas in Hong Kong with a private architecture and planning firm. After winning several design competitions, she was awarded “most promising urban planner” by the HK Institute of Planners in 2004. She then established herself as an expert in post-disaster reconstruction and risk reduction with UNDP and the Australian Government Aid Agency. Sharon was instrumental in conceptualizing and implementing the first multi-hazard mapping project in the Philippines bringing together scientists in different fields and linking them with local government actors. She also worked for over a year as Planning Advisor in Zambia where she focused on capacity building on land distribution and gender equality. Sharon joined UN Environment in 2012 to manage a project on mainstreaming the environment issues in city planning and management.
Sharon has a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University New York’s School of International and Public Affairs. She studied urban planning at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Architecture as a Japan/ADB fellow. She speaks English, French, and several Philippine languages.
Building the Bridge to Socially Just and Ecologically Sustainable Cities
The Summit will help to build an infrastructure of ideas, strategies, and actions we can all use to promote cities that are socially inclusive and ecologically healthy. This year’s primary theme is “socially just and ecologically sustainable cities.” Important sub-themes include: climate action, circular economy, and informal solutions for sustainable development. These themes weave through the Summit tracks. The 2019 Summit brings focus to the International Ecocity Standards (IES) by using its four pillars as the Summit tracks:
From October 7–11, 2019, Ecocity World Summit will be held in Vancouver, Canada, recognized as one of the world's most livable and greenest cities. This is a great time to visit Vancouver because the City is wrapping up the first phase of its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. Vancouver is one of the few cities around the world that is achieving net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions despite a growing population. Vancouver is a diverse and multicultural city that represents International Ecocity Standards in action, achieving high-density, mixed use living with nature at the doorstep, and a commitment to manage its ecological footprint to achieve one-planet living.
BCIT Training the Next Generation of Ecocity Builders
The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is a public, post-secondary, polytechnic institution with an educational approach that combines small classes, applied academics and hands-on experience. BCIT is proud to be working with the City of Vancouver and other strategic partners to convene the Ecocity World Summit in 2019. With six schools where students learn how to turn big challenges into new solutions, BCIT strives to embrace the complex world and explore opportunities within it. From green roofs and living walls to smart, micro grids, high performance buildings, zero emission transportation solutions, innovative health care and data analytics, BCIT is leading the way in training the next generation of ecocity builders.
BCIT BCIT School of Construction and the Environment
Explore the World's First Double LEED Platinum Convention Centre
Located on Vancouver’s downtown waterfront with a dramatic mountain backdrop, the world’s first double LEED® Platinum certified convention centre offers one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre demonstrates a multitude of LEED® certified building and LEED® certified operations.
The Ecocity World Summit 2019 will start in
The Ecocity World Summit addresses the way humanity builds its home — its cities, towns and villages. The aim is to unite people through a new way of living on the planet that provides the best possible cities while enhancing, not destroying, the biosphere.
Keep up to date with Summit News & Alerts. Sign Up