Ecocities Emerging to Support Humanity’s Transition to the Ecozoic Era
In just a few weeks the global ecocity movement will converge for the 10th time since ecocity pioneer Richard Register launched the series in 1990, in Berkeley, California. This time we will gather in the Loire River Valley in the beautiful City of Nantes, France. Ecocity World Summit 2013 coincides with Nantes’ recognition as European Green Capital 2013 and will be the first of the conference series to be held in the European Union.
In order to face up to the challenge of sustainable cities, a broad collaborative approach to designing the conference program was adopted: the call for contributions was launched to institutions, associations, public and private researchers, businesses, and financiers. Over 500 proposals from 43 countries were submitted to the program committee.
The ECOCITY 2013 program is focusing on four priority challenges for the sustainable city.
- THINKING: How can we get out of a silo approach? How can we simultaneously address global and local concerns? How do we balance the short term and with the long term?
- SHAPING: How can we implement solutions applicable to all cities, beyond testimonials? How can we speed up deployment in a context of crisis?
- FINANCING: How can we finance the transition when funding is limited? What economic models and financial instruments can cities adopt?
- GOVERNING: How do we engage and combine public and private sectors and form successful partnerships? How do we manage multi-layered regional organization? Above all, how can we achieve greater civic involvement?
The proposals chosen are in line with the spirit of the event and constitute a useful contribution to a set of workable solutions in relation to the current challenges of sustainable cities. The program attempts to answer the four challenges through five major themes that are crucial for today’s cities:
- reducing the environmental footprint
- addressing the energy challenges of the city
- organizing the sustainable city
- strengthening solidarity
- mobilizing enabling factors
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Ecocity Builders and the International Ecocity Conference Series Steering Committee, welcome to the ecocity movement. Whether or not you can attend Ecocity 2013 in person, we invite you to participate with us, through your actions and intentions, as global eco-citizens and practitioners working to help usher in the Ecozoic Era.