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Ecocity World Summit, Media releases

Speakers announced for the Ecocity World Summit, Melbourne, July

·      Cooling urban heat islands: in Australia, India and Spain

·      Urban transport politics: how did Canadian cities get through it?

·      Australian housing: we’re (sadly) getting what we paid for

·      Women leading sustainable and resilient cities

·      How will India’s coastal megacities cope with climate change?

100 sessions with 300 speakers from 30 different countries will explore these and many other topics.

How do cities become resilient, and how do you measure it? What are the hidden costs of cheap buildings? Can we increase density without losing green space? Can we grow food on rooftops? And what can cities and sub-national governments do when national governments don’t want a piece of the climate action? All this and more are on the agenda of the Ecocity World Summit in Melbourne this July.

“In Australia, we’ve just come through Cyclone Debbie, and seen severe storms and flooding across the Eastern states,” says Brendan Gleeson, Director of Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and Summit co-convenor.

“We urgently need to safeguard our cities, towns and their people, in Australia and across the planet. The Ecocity World Summit program is designed to bring leading thinkers, researchers and practitioners together to share the evidence, strategies and tools we need to keep our cities liveable and sustainable in the face of global challenges.”

The Ecocity World Summit brings leading international thinkers to Australia to share their expertise, including:

  • Mr Mark Twidell, Managing Director, Tesla (Asia-Pacific)
  • Dr Debra Roberts: Climate Change Adviser to ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability (South Africa)
  • Mr Aromar Revi: Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
  • Mr Rachmat Whitoelar: Indonesian President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change
  • Prof Harriet Bulkeley: Professor of Geography, Durham University (UK)
  • The Hon Al Gore: Former US Vice President and Chair of The Climate Reality Project

The program includes three streams—Urban Leadership, Academic, and City Practices—tailoring sessions and workshops to the interests of people from government, university, business and community sectors.

“Melbourne is famous for being the world’s most liveable city, but we also know that this is time dependent—we won’t remain liveable if we’re not also sustainable,” says Arron Wood, Deputy Lord Mayor of City of Melbourne and Chair of the Summit Advisory Board.

“As the host city, we’re looking forward to showing visitors the gardens that are part of our Urban Forest Strategy and stormwater management, and our smart, efficient buildings, such as Council House 2.”

Keynote speaker and ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Kate Auty says this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for academics and advocates alike: “This is the place to show we care about climate change and our future.”

The Ecocity World Summit also features optional site visits and a cultural program, including the immersive 360-degree art installation EXIT, at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne, as part of the ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 festival.

The Ecocity World Summit will be held from 12 to 14 July at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Register now until 28 April for early bird registration rates. The preliminary program is now launched and online.

More at www.ecocity2017.com or @ecocity2017 on Twitter.
Contact Niall on 0417-131-977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or Tanya on 0404-083-863 for interviews

Background

About Ecocity 2017: Changing Cities: Resilience and Transformations

The Ecocity Summit series, held every two years since 1990, has developed into one of the most globally significant forums for addressing the complex challenges facing humanity in a rapidly urbanising world. It was last held in 2015 Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Ecocity World Summit is being hosted by Ecocity Builders, the University of Melbourne and Western Sydney University, with support from the Government of Victoria and the City of Melbourne. The 2017 Summit will bring together a diverse mix of researchers, policy makers and citizens with a common focus on identifying and creating pathways to more sustainable, resilient and equitable cities.

Keynote speakers include:

  • The Hon Al Gore: Former US Vice President and Chair of The Climate Reality Project
  • Dr Debra Roberts: Climate Change Adviser to ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Mr Aromar Revi: Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
  • Senator Ronan Dantec: Director, Climate Chance
  • Mr Rachmat Whitoelar: Indonesian President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change
  • Dr Kate Auty: ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment
  • Prof Katherine Gibson: Professorial Fellow, Western Sydney University
  • Prof Harriet Bulkeley: Professor of Geography, Durham University
  • Mr Andy Merrifield: Author of ‘The New Urban Question’
  • Mr Kevin Austin: Deputy CEO of C40
  • Mr Mark Twidell, Managing Director, Tesla (Asia-Pacific)

Summit program streams:

  • The Urban Leadership stream (Big ideas and global perspectives) includes presentations and panels on topics as important, urgent and diverse as: Sustainable Development Goals and Cities; The New Urban Agenda; Business Creating Sustainable Cities; Retrofitting Suburbia; Creating Regional Ecocities; and Women Leading Sustainable and Resilient Cities.
  • The Academic stream (Evidence, analysis and insight) brings together researchers from around the world to share knowledge about: Risk, Resilience and Change; Green Design and Planning; Cultural Ecologies; Greening the City; Climate Transformations; Healthy and Caring Cities; Smart Cities for People; and Urban Food and Water Systems.
  • The City Practices stream (Strategies and tools for driving change) includes policy and practice workshops and masterclasses on Zero Carbon Cities; Climate Resilient Cities; Citizen Engagement; and Planning and Governance.