Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A couple of exciting weeks!

For the past couple weeks I have not been blogging about what has been going on in sustainability, international development and design because SO MUCH has been going on in those fields and I have been running around trying to get to all of them!

1. West Coast Green

The West Coast Green conference took place in San Francisco from October 1st - 3rd and I had the opportunity to attend under scholarship. It was amazing. The quality of speakers was incredible and I was inspired at every turn! A couple of the highlights from the 3 days include:
a. Cameron Sinclair with Architecture for Humanity was one of they keynote speakers and I had an opportunity to sit with him in a more intimate discussion afterwards. I also purchased his book Design Like You Give A Damn which showcases some of the incredible designs and work done by architects and designers around the world to promote sustainable development. Ethics is Aesthetics!
b. John Knott discussing the Noisette Company discussing his work with the Noisette Community and his learning that social durability is at the foundation of economic durabiltity.
c. Ray Anderson from Interface on the new civilization and incorporating happiness into the the impact equation.
d. Sim Van der Ryn discussing human evolution and the great shifts in human kinds history.
e. Dewpoint's revolutionary water from air techonology
f. Many other really incredible speakers and ideas which can be found on the West Coast Green website.

West Coast Green garden

2. Metro Vancouver's Sustainable Community Breakfast on October 7th

Metro Vancouver's breakfast series on Exploring Rail Transporation featured Michael J. Shiffer from Translink, Steve Hall from Bombardier and Dale Bracewall on the new Olympic Line street car. Michael has recently relocated to Vancouver from Chicago after transforming Chicago's public transport systems into one of the greenest in the world. He discussed the history of public transport in his breakfast talk. Steve Hall with Bombardier discussed the major trends and growth areas in public transports - specifically rail. Dale Bracewall was happy to discuss the role of streetcars in urban areas and announce the streetcar that is being brought over from Europe for the olympic games. The presentations from the breakfast can be found on "">Metro Vancouver's website.

3. STOP: Steps to Overcome Poverty, October 17th

STOP: Steps To Overcome Poverty was a day-long public forum at Vancouver Community College to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The day featured guest speakers, panel discussions, and opportunities to learn and share strategies around ending local and global poverty. The event was also an opportunity for people to Stand Up and Take Action against poverty.

4. Inhabitat talk with Tom Hicks of the US Green Building Council

Inhabitat has been offering a number of free webinars called Inhabitat Green Talks. These talks are with a number of different people who are working in sustainable issues in their communities. On October 19th the talk was with Tom Hicks from the USGBC on how to build performance initiatives into the LEED rating system. Some of the key points that emerged from this talk was the need for an occupant satisfaction survey and the potential to include a year's proof of performance before gaining LEED certification.

5. “RE-MEMBERING” the WORLD: How We Can RE-SET, RE-CLAIM and RE-NEW our Future

Cascadia Regional Green Building Council sponsored a talk by Dianne Dillon-Ridgley on October 22nd. Dianne gave an inspiration talk on the importance of taking a global view into account when making decisions for the future. She touched on the role of the corporation and the need to encourage leadership in and of communities not to just rely on specific leaders. Sustainability is an orchestra and for it to work well, all parts have to play together.

6. October 24th - Global Day for Climate Action

On October 24th, people in 181 countries came together for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history. At over 5200 events around the world, people gathered to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis. Vancouver had Bridge to a Cool Planet where Cambie Bridge was closed off so that 10,000 people could parade from the bridge to Science World to show their support for climate action. This marked the biggest advocacy mark in Vancouver since the peace march in 2003. Fantastic!

Canadians Care -Climate Action Now!

Anyway, now that the month of sustainability action has wound down, I should be able to blog more regularly about exciting upcoming events, new designs and fantastic actions that are taking place around sustainability.