Waterloo Sustainable Development Group’s (WSDG) Chief Strategic Officer, Ian Chow, took part in the “Inclusive Cities Summit”, which explored the UN Habitat’s New Urban Agenda at the University of Toronto. During the two day event, discussions centered on themes such as governance, accessibility, affordability and healthy communities and creating resilient cities that can withstand future stresses and shocks. The summit helped put into context the New Urban Agenda – which falls under the umbrella initiatives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG’S) – into a Toronto and Canadian context.
This was the first such large scale event to be held in Canada in the post-Habitat III era. The format of the summit, which brought together social innovation experts from post secondary institutions, researchers, Toronto City staff and sustainable development leaders, included an action piece that provided participants with an opportunity to contribute their voices into shaping future sustainable policies for Toronto, Canada’s business and financial capital and North America’s fifth largest city.
Keynote speakers included Elliott Cappell, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Toronto, Sharon Avery, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Foundation and Gil Penalosa, Chair, 8-80 Cities and World Urban Parks who called during his keynote summit closing address for Toronto residents to become politically involved at all levels in order to create a sustainable, vibrant and healthy city.
At the summit, Chow shared WSDG’s insights on sustainable development within a Canadian cities context and ways to move forward. He also discussed common goals between WSDG and other industry partners participating in the event and means by which to strengthen local renewable energy proliferation efforts.
WSDG continues to be an active participant and contributor in Canadian sustainable development-related events.