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January 31, 2012

Global cities: Vancouver can lead the way

Global cities: Vancouver can lead the way

Vancouver Sun

By Gregor Robertson

Picture 180,000 people packing up their possessions, leaving their rural homes and moving to a city.

That's what happens around the world every day. Over the next year, the planet's cities will see an influx of 65 million people.

It's the largest and fastest migration in human history: the urbanization of the human race.

It's in this context that Vancouver will host the first Cities Summit. On Wednesday and Thursday, we'll welcome a delegation of over 400 participants, with senior executives from Google, Cisco and IBM joining participants from 31 cities, including London, Vienna, Copenhagen and Singapore, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Our goal with the Cities Summit is to bring together international urban and business leaders to find creative, workable solutions that can secure a sustainable future for the world's cities - and create new economic opportunities in the process.

Our city is uniquely suited not just to host this conversation, but to lead the change it will spur. This is a chance to showcase Vancouver's talent in city-building and leadership in sustainability, to promote our local businesses and connect them with new opportunities around the world.

But we can only grasp the opportunity we're facing if we understand how enormous this urban change really is. Over the next two generations, the world's urban population will double in size, with three billion more people making their homes in our cities. We will have to duplicate a scale of housing and infrastructure that took centuries to build - in only 40 years.

All told, cities will need to invest $350 trillion over the next three decades on infrastructure alone. And that's only part of the mammoth political, economic, social and environ-mental upheaval such a massive, rapid change imposes.

This is change with the scope of the Industrial Revolution - only world-wide, and switched to fast forward. How we deal with it will shape the future of every person on the planet for generations to come.

Failure is not an option, because it's in our cities that many of our biggest opportunities and most potent challenges are playing out.

Cities are the source of 70 to 80 per cent of greenhouse gas pollution today; doubling that would be disastrous. We must dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.

Communities and local economies that can withstand our current levels of energy consumption and waste will find them far more damaging as cities scale up rapidly. Cities that deplete their resources and degrade their environments in a race to build the tallest or fastest or biggest will find their victories short-lived as global demand shifts toward efficiency and sustainability.

It is this shift that offers real hope that we can still get it right.

Because rapid urbanization holds tremendous promise alongside that risk. Done right, it creates jobs, con-serves resources and improves quality of life.

We can build the cities we need to build for future generations, and create economic opportunity in today's climate of uncertainty.

Our cities can grow in a way that strengthens our economy, with opportunities for entrepreneurs and good-paying jobs.

We've spent the past three years working together to craft a strategy to make Vancouver the world's greenest city. We're home to a thriving clean technology hub with globally competitive companies. No city on Earth can top the innovative spirit and sustainability expertise in our businesses, neighbourhoods, community organizations and non-profits.

Hosting the Cities Summit will put us at the centre of the conversation about the future of the world's cities, as we bring business, political and urban thought leaders together to catalyze investment, job creation and new urban ideas.

No city is better positioned than Vancouver to lead this change and to prosper from that opportunity.

Gregor Robertson is the mayor of Vancouver.

January 26, 2012

Vancouver to Host 2012 Cities Summit in Less Than One Week

VANCOUVER TO HOST 2012 CITIES SUMMIT IN LESS THAN ONE WEEK

Business, political and urban-thought leaders to come together on job investment and city-building

 Vancouver, Thursday, January 26, 2012 – Less than one week from today, Vancouver will host the inaugural global Cities Summit, connecting urban leaders with innovative businesses, both locally and internationally, to focus on investment opportunities in how we can build better cities in the 21st century.

From February 1-2nd, the City and the Vancouver Economic Commission will welcome an audience of over 400 participants, including senior executives from Google, Cisco and IBM joining participants from over 30 cities, including London, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Singapore. Business matching, networking for local businesses with new international partners, and further establishing Vancouver's brand as a business destination for building smarter, greener cities will be among the goals of the Summit.

“The Cities Summit is an opportunity for us to connect urban leaders with businesses from around the world to leverage the opportunities that exist in building better cities,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver has proven itself to be a leader in emerging sectors like clean energy, transportation and green building technology, and we want to showcase our local businesses while at the same time learning the best practices that are taking place around the world.

“The Cities Summit is bringing business, political and thought leaders together to catalyze investment, job creation and great urban ideas.”

The Cities Summit has assembled a wide range of speakers from both the public and private sectors, including Gerry Mooney, GM of Global Smarter Cities at IBM; Milo Medin, VP of Access Services for Google;  Ingrid Goetzl, Chair of the Eurocities Knowledge Society Forum; Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of the City of Calgary, and Gordon Feller, Director of Urban Innovations at Cisco. As well, internationally renowned author Douglas Coupland will be delivering a keynote speech on the future of cities. In total, there are currently 31 cities represented at the Cities Summit, with dozens of CEOs and executives among those represented.

“Our speakers are global leaders who will share their thoughts and best practices on how cities can address the pressures they face in the global tug-of-war for resources, markets and environmental restraint,” said Lee Malleau, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission. “The real discussion is about finding ways that cities can become better partners with business and vice-versa, and how better partnerships can transform our urban ecosystems into living laboratories of supportive innovation.” 

The Cities Summit sponsors include IBM, Shaw, EDF, Veolia, BC Hydro, Car2Go, Corix Utilities. This summit has been organised in partnership with CityAge.  For more information, please visit www.vancouvercitiessummit.org

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Media Contact- for interviews and to obtain media passes:

Tania Parisella, Manager Communications

Vancouver Economic Commission

Tel: 604-336-8013  cell: 604-889-2019

tparisella@vancouvereconomic.com

 

January 24, 2012

Media Advisory: Cities Summit 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY

January 24, 2012

 Cities Summit 2012 - Vancouver Economic Commission Welcomes International Business and Urban Leaders to discuss the business of city building

WHAT:       

The Cities Summit 2012, hosted by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vancouver Economic Commission.

DESCRIPTION:

Vancouver is hosting a global Summit on the pressures city regions must address as the world urbanizes at an increasingly rapid pace. International speakers, thought leaders from both the public and corporate sectors, and participants will be engaged in discussions on the solutions urban centres and their citizens can apply to address strain on cities and their environments, while supporting responsible growth and innovation.

WHEN:                    Wednesday, February 1 and Thursday, February 2, 2012

                                 Media registration opens at 7:15 a.m.

                                 Summit starts both days at 8:00 a.m.

WHERE:                   Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building

                                  1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC

                                  Ballroom A

WHO:                       Over 40 confirmed  national and international speakers including: Keynote speakers – Douglas Coupland and Barb Stegemann, Panellists include: Herbert Bautista, Mayor of Quezon City (Philippines), Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary, Milo Medin, Google, Vice-President of Access Services, Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners, Courtney Pratt, Chairman, Toronto Region Research Alliance, David Helliwell, CEO of Pulse Energy, and many more.


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For more information on the Summit, please visit: www.vancouvercitiessummit.org

To obtain media credentials or request interviews, please contact:

Vancouver Economic Commission  

Tania Parisella, Manager, Communications

tparisella@vancouvereconomic.com               

Office: 604.336.8013  Mobile: 604.889.2019

 

January 23, 2012

Summit Explores Growing Cities of the Future

Gillian Shaw of the Vancouver Sun interviews featured speaker Mayor Sly James of Kansas City. What will internet speeds one hundred times faster than your current connection mean to the cities we live in? How will it impact public services, and the future's business models? http://www.vancouversun.com/news/todays-paper/Summit+explores+growing+cities+future/6036451/story.html

January 15, 2012

NYC's Move to High Tech

Led by Michael Bloomberg's innovative vision for a school of applied sciences near Manhattan, New York City is taking practical steps to become a high tech hub on a par with Silicon Valley. Here's how they're doing it. 

The Economist: Reimagining the Future

January 12, 2012

Douglas Coupland to Provide Keynote Address at Cities Summit

VANCOUVER CITIES SUMMIT ANNOUNCES DOUGLAS COUPLAND AS KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Douglas Coupland caps week of top talent announcement for Cities Summit speakers

VANCOUVER, January 12, 2012 –The City of Vancouver is pleased to announced that Douglas Coupland, renowned author of iconic novels such as Generation X, Microserfs and an artist of international recognition will be the keynote speaker at the first inaugural Cities Summit hosted by Mayor Gregor Robertson being held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on February 1 and 2, 2012. The announcement  follows a week of top business talent from around the world signing on to the Cities Summit including Milo Medin, Vice President of Access Services at Google, Gerry Mooney, General Manager of Global Smarter Cities for IBM, and Cam Kernahan, Group Vice President, WiFi at Shaw Communications, all bringing their insight to the Summit.

The Cities Summit, an international investment summit, organized by the Vancouver Economic Commission, will showcase Vancouver's urban model and the leaders who are part of the business of city building in the 21st Century. It is designed to explore the creative, business-oriented opportunities required for a sustainable and prosperous urban future and will feature forward-thinking mayors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, major corporations, city planners and urban thought-leaders.

Mr. Coupland will address the role of cities in the 21st Century. "I'm delighted to be speaking at this amazing convergence of city builders from Vancouver, Canada and around the world,” said Coupland. “We're living through the greatest rate of urbanization in human history.  How we build and rebuild our cities is an urgent challenge. This event is an opportunity to dive into the new era of city building." 

"Douglas Coupland is one of Canada's most influential creative thinkers," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.  "His insight into contemporary urban issues, as expressed through his multidisciplinary artistic work, never fails to capture the imagination of people from around the world.  I am excited that he will share his unique perspective on city-building as part of The Cities Summit." 

“Douglas Coupland is the type of visionary the Twenty First Century needs. His uncanny ability to understand today’s circumstance with clarity and think forward to options and solutions for humanity will add an incredibly compelling discussion to The Cities Summit,” said Lee Malleau, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission. “We are privileged to have Douglas as a keynote, and City builders everywhere will be inspired by his way of approaching projects.”

Participants at the Cities Summit are already shaping our urban future. Some of the confirmed speakers include: Herbert Bautista, Mayor of Quezon City (Philippines), Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary, and Sly James, Mayor of Kansas City, who is partnering with Google on the digital future.

To learn more about The Cities Summit please visit: www.vancouvercitiessummit.org.

The Cities Summit would like to recognize its generous sponsors IBM, Veolia, EDF, Shaw Communications, Car2Go, and Corix Utilities.

The Vancouver Economic Commission, an agency of the City of Vancouver, works to strengthen the city's economic future by helping existing businesses, attracting investment, researching the business environment and making policy recommendations. 

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Media Contact:

Tania Parisella, Manager, Communications, Marketing & Sponsorship

Vancouver Economic Commission

T: 604-336-8013

C: 604-889-2019

 

 

January 9, 2012

Londoners to Receive City-Wide Wifi

In another example of the move to wifi becoming a broadly accessible service, O2 is set to roll out city-wide wifi throughout London. Join us at The Cities Summit to learn more about the business opportutities being created as partners begin to providing broadly accessible wifi to city residents. 

Europe's Biggest Wi-Fi Zone Set for London

December 19, 2011

Google Aims to 'Silicon-Ize' Cities

Google has already invested significant resources in laying next generation fibre in Kansas City, and now they've announced funding to help cities use technology to better connect with citizens. It's pretty clear that the giants out of Mountain View understand he business opportunities in building cities:

Google Invests in Code for America

December 15, 2011

Britain Unveils a 'Core Cities' Agenda

Lost amid the EU's recent domination of the news was Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's release of a "core cities' agenda in Britain. Eight cities will be given new powers to raise and spend capital for local development - in exchange, of course, for less support from the national government. 

View Huffington Post article.

December 15, 2011

Lighting - The Next Great Software Industry?

Lighting consumes up to 40% of a building's electricity, and most of it is wasted. A new industry is emerging in the software applications that can manage lighting throughout a building, and it stands to be a very big business, with very significant efficiency benefits.

http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/11/lighting-next-great-software-industry/?dhiti=1

What are the economic models that make it profitable to apply practical software innovations such as these throughout an entire city?

December 8, 2011

Media Advisory: Vancouver to Host The Cities Summit

Media Advisory

VANCOUVER TO HOST THE CITIES SUMMIT 2012

Investors, Entrepreneurs and Urban Leaders come to Cities Summit to take part in the business of city building

VANCOUVER, December 8, 2011 -Two years after hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, The City of Vancouver will host The Cities Summit on February 1-2, 2012 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

This international investment summit, organized by the Vancouver Economic Commission, will showcase Vancouver's urban model and the businesses leaders who are part of the business of city building in the 21st Century. The Cities Summit will gather forward-thinking mayors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, major corporations, city planners and urban thought-leaders from Canada and beyond.

"Vancouver is a world-leader in the business of city building, and we want to capitalize on our global reputation as a way to strengthen our local economy," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We are a city with lots to offer, both in terms of shaping a sustainable urban future and building a competitive economic climate.

"It's fitting that as we approach the two-year mark of hosting the 2010 Winter Games, The Cities Summit is another chance for Vancouver to show the world our innovation, talent and entrepreneurship in the business of city building." 

Vancouver is a recognized leader in innovative urban thinking and is a model for urban growth. The Cities Summit will provide a unique platform to address these vital issues and to promote Vancouver's companies to an international audience and attract investment to Vancouver and British Columbia.

"The Cities Summit is a major piece Vancouver's economic development platform," said Lee Malleau, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission. "It levers the global profile Vancouver has built, and engages the international community in a discussion on 21st Century solutions to building strong cities and supporting prosperous economies. This Summit will provide a great platform for business- matching, networking with potential new international partners, and further establishing Vancouver's brand as a business destination."

Participants at the Cities Summit are already shaping our urban future. Some of the confirmed sponsors include IBM, Shaw Communications, VEOLIA and EDF. Delegates and representatives from various cities including the City of London, Copenhagen, and Kansas City will also be attending.

Over three and a half billion people now live in cities. Two billion more will join them by 2030.  How we develop cities in a manner that combines economic opportunity and sustainability is the 21st century's greatest challenge. It is also an unprecedented business opportunity.

Interested participants in The Cities Summit can learn more by visiting: www.vancouvercitiessummit.org<http://www.vancouvercitiessummit.org/>.

The Vancouver Economic Commission, an agency of the City of Vancouver, works to strengthen the city's economic future by helping existing businesses, attracting investment, researching the business environment and making policy recommendations.

Media Contact:

Tania Parisella, Manager, Communications, Marketing & Sponsorship

Vancouver Economic Commission

mobile: 604-889-2019  email: tparisella@vancouvereconomic.com<mailto:tparisella@vancouvereconomic.com>

December 7, 2011

The Role of Communications Technology in City Building

A new report oulines the importance of communications technology and associated digital infrastructure to urban economies.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said the world’s cities “sit on vast untapped resources of data and infrastructure” that could be integrated to accelerate the clean revolution while also improving the convenience and quality of urban life.
“To unlock that potential, cities need the right leadership to create a vision of social, environmental and economic goals that can be achieved by a more integrated application of smart technology,” he said.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said the world’s cities “sit on vast untapped resources of data and infrastructure...To unlock that potential, cities need the right leadership to create a vision of social, environmental and economic goals that can be achieved by a more integrated application of smart technology,” he said.

http://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/item/24883-are-cities-missing-out-on/

December 1, 2011

Experts Exchange Views on Planning the Future of Cities

The China Daily notes that today's decisions on urban development will shape the next 100 years. "Urbanization of the planet will have finished by the end our childrens' lifetime and will last forever. We only have one opportunity to do urban development properly. We can not afford to repeat the mistakes of the 20th century," Anthony Townsend, Research Director at the Institute for the Future, told China's major english daily.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2011-12/01/content_14195270.htm

December 1, 2011

The Best Smart Growth Projects in America

The Environmental Protection Agency has highlighted the best smart growth options in the United States. The Atlantic Cities website says the success stories "include a green learning center in a small South Dakota town, a green, affordable apartment building in New Mexico and an innovative civic gathering space in Illinois." It's the tenth year the EPA has carried out its assessment.

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2011/12/best-smart-growth-projects-america/617/

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