Upwards of 80 delegates from Asia, Europe and North America urban regions of similar size and a
common interest in sustainability will share their expertise and experience in energy, waste and
water planning this Sept. 20, 21 and 22.
"Building Future Cities Today", is the theme of the 2011 International Regions Benchmarking
During keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops and one-to-one conversations, elected
officials and others will describe how their urban regions are responding to challenges as complex
and demanding as climate change, water scarcity and solid waste management.
"Metro Vancouver's journey towards a sustainable future, launched a decade ago as the
Sustainable Region Initiative, continues to teach us many lessons," said Lois E. Jackson, chair of
the regional district's Board of Directors.
"And perhaps the biggest lesson of all is that, while we have much to share, we have just as much
That world-class expertise will be accessible to the public through the Internet. After the Metro
Vancouver-hosted conference concludes, video clips of the plenary and workshop sessions will be
available on the regional district's website, www.metrovancouver.org. Delegates will hear presentations from three keynote speakers:
Dr. Toshiyasu Noda, Regional Director, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, UNHABITAT
(United Nations Human Settlements Programme) Gil Peñalosa, a liveable city advisor and social marketing strategist who is Executive
Director of a non-profit group, 8-80 Cities.Bing Thom, Principal & Creative Director of Vancouver-based firm Bing Thom ArchitectsThe conference begins at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue,
with welcoming remarks and a mayor's panel. Mayors from member regions will reflect on the
political challenges and opportunities that are shaping the sustainable development of their
metropolitan regions. At 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, delegates will tour the Lonsdale Energy
Corporation, to learn about the City of North Vancouver's district heating system.
At 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, delegates will tour Metro Vancouver's recently-opened
Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant, the world's largest ultraviolet water treatment facility, before a panel
discussion on the theme of water planning. At 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, delegates will tour the Annacis
Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, the region's largest wastewater treatment facility, in Delta. The third and last day of the conference begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, in Metro Vancouver's head office,
at 4330 Kingsway in Burnaby, and features a series of concurrent workshops on best practices and
case studies related to waste, water and energy planning. The final conference plenary will discuss
how to stay competitive and sustainable in a global economy.