Welcome to the September 2011 edition of Ecocities Emerging, an initiative of Ecocity Builders and the International Ecocity Conference Series.
During August 22-26, over 1,500 delegates from 70+ countries gathered in beautiful Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at Ecocity World Summit, the 9th International Ecocity Conference. We gathered with hope, determination and no lack of talent and creative solutions for ushering in what late cosmologist and philosopher Thomas Berry coined The Ecozoic Era. You can read all about the conference in this edition of Ecocities Emerging.
Along with excitement and enthusiasm, it was also with unexpected sadness that we began the event. Minutes before the opening ceremonies commenced, the news broke across Canada and the world about the untimely passing of Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party and Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada. Jack was becoming legendary in his time for his compassion, enthusiasm and down in the streets activism. When Richard Register met him in 2003 he announced he had bought Richard’s book Ecocity Berkeley around 1990. Richard was about to give him a new copy of “Ecocities” but Jack insisted on paying, and, “Keep the change, looks really good.” He was getting famous for seeking out the best he could find everywhere. As the conference unfolded, we continued to reflect upon Layton’s legacy, as well as contemplate the future of the direction of politics and decision making in Canada and the United States.
The big questions of how to evolve a shared vision of sustainable development and chart a pathway away from the gray towards a green economy will be forefront on the world stage at the upcoming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 4-6, 2012. The conference will mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg as well as the 40th anniversary of the first UN Environment Conference in Stockholm, 1972. It is envisaged as a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government. The Conference will result in a focused political document and will emphasize two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.
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