Climate Conference Season Starts

You know it must be Spring when the conference season starts. Both the World Bank's Urban Research Symposium and ICLEI's World Congress are now open for registration. The symposium will be held in Marseille, France, June 28 - 30 on the theme of "Cities and Climate Change: Responding to an Urgent Agenda."

The program (pdf) promises a blistering two day tour covering urban climate change from pretty much every conceivable angle. I'll be attending both conferences. If you are going to be there as well, let me know. (more info after the jump)
The Symposium's five key clusters are :
  • Science and Indicators of Climate Change and Related Impacts: Understanding and measuring how cities impact, and are impacted by, climate change.
  • Infrastructure, Built Environment, and Energy Efficiency: Planning efficiently and effectively to increase the resilience of cities.
  • The Role of Institutions, Governance, and Urban Planning: Improving management, coordination, and planning of cities to meet climate change challenges.
  • Incentive policies, economics and finance: Understanding how and why cities respond to climate change.
  • Social aspects of climate change: Understanding and reducing vulnerability of urban populations to climate change.
Notables include the Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and an impressive number of sidepanels on everything from governance, to green buildings, energy efficiency and sea level rise. The WB's Jean-Jacques Helluin wrote to ask me to mention that seats (and hotel rooms) are filling up. Register here.

The ICLEI congress runs from June 14-18 in Edmonton, Canada. (Just a few kilometres from the infamous tar sands explorations) The draft program is now up(pdf) and registration for the event closes on April 15th. The schedule includes a talk by David Suzuki, and sessions structured ICLEI's six global scenarios:
  • Welcome to the Urban Revolution
  • From Cradle to Cradle – The Global Material and Product Cycle
  • Demography and Health
  • Climate Change and Natural Resources
  • Energy
  • Financial Crisis = Ecological Crisis? The Future of Financing Local Sustainability
ICLEI conferences always provide a forum for cities to experience their successes and setbacks. It's interesting to see what seems to be a new focus on the need for more fundamental and far reaching change. Given the multiple interlocking crisis covered in the scenarios though, it's not hard to see why. Some of the more ambitious sessions and include:

"Faster and More Radical: Visionary Solutions for Eco-efficient, Resilient and Just Communities"


"Peak Everything – Let’s Face it All"
Register here.


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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

Info on my consulting work, c.v. and current research focus is all here.

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