Following on from Berkeley, Adelaide, Dakkar, Curitiba, Shenzen, Bangalore, San Francisco, Istanbul and Montreal, the 11th series of Ecocity World Summit will be the first edition to be held in the Arabian Gulf - the Host City Abu Dhabi.
The 8th Ecocity World Summit was the first edition to be held in the European Union. One year after Rio + 20, ECOCITY 2013 focused on how to create a platform to accelerate the transition on a global scale, in partnership with the United Nations.
Ecocity 9, Montreal, contained a special track focuses on ecocity solutions for cold climate regions.
Theme: City planning
Ecocity 8 convened to support and illustrate the need for long-range ecocity planning and regional planning. The conference resulted in local and regional dialogue between planners, environmental ministers and city builders, enriched by the support of international experts and ecocity practitioners, including Mayors and city planners from leading cities such as Vancouver and Friberg. Local and regional initiatives emerged around environmental initiatives, transportation, land use planning, housing and long range planning.
Theme: The Future of Cities
In April 2008, Ecocity Builders brought the conference back to the Bay Area. The 7th International Ecocity Conference (Ecocity World Summit) focused on how cities and citizens can stop and reverse global climate change, biodiversity collapse, loss of wilderness habitat, agricultural lands and open space, and severe social and environmental injustices.
Theme: Urban Design & Transportation
Ecocity 6 highlighted the capital of high tech, the Silicon Valley of India, alongside the challenges of ecocity development in a regional context. Several alliances were formed through the experience of the conference, including a partnership between Ecocity Builders and the British Colombia Institute of Technology to develop International Ecocity Standards and Measures. Additionally, a relationship was forged with a community health orgnaization based in Bangladesh. This organization launched an ecocity program that now reaches out to a number of countries with dozens of cities served.
Theme: Industrial Ecology
Hosted in China for the first time, Ecocity 5 presented scientific discussion of the ecological challenges of rapid and dense urban construction at a large scale. The conference focus on ecocity planning, regulation, and sustainable development of urban ecosystems, and construction of ecocities in this context. Presented principles of the social-economic-natural complex as well as ecosystem and traditional Chinese ecological concepts primarily promoted through the work on convener Wang Rusong. Later the participants turned their attention to an holistic approach to urban planning that integrates a highly efficient eco-industry, harmonious eco-culture and eco-landscapes. The Shenzhen Declaration on Eco-City Development was adopted by the attendees at the end of the conference. The declaration aims to promote the construction of ecological cities, not only in China but also around the world. The Shenzhen Declaration was published and presented at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa later that year.
Theme: Model Ecocities
In 2000 the Ecocity World Summit was convened inside the world’s leading ecocity example: Curitiba. Ecocity 4 was an experiential conference where participants spent as much or more time outside of the event venue, learning by example and visiting the many ecocity projects and programs offered by Curitiba. The experience led to a film, A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil by Giovanni Vaz Del Bello, Director, Writer.
Theme: Village Wisdom
Ecocity 3 brought participants to the traditional village of Yoff and the city of Dakar to compare first-hand the traditional village society in juxtaposition to a larger urban center. The conference discussed the rural-urban continuum, its problems and solutions. The book “Village Wisdom/Future Cities” was published as the conference report, giving all speakers substantially long and throughful representation with the support of photos, maps and drawings.
Theme: Cities, Social Justice & Ecology
When cultivating a new idea, first adopters are crucial, as are those who extend, refine and rededicate efforts on its behalf. In the case of the International Ecocity Conferences, Urban Ecology Australia, founded and led by Paul Downton and Cherie Hoyle, took the single International Ecocity Conference into a series of events. In so doing, they advanced a growing intellectual, social and political movement for ecocities. Ecocity 2 was characterized by the passionate desire to build a real project. The chief effort was to use the conference to organize action for securing community support for an ecocity project for downtown Adelaide, Australia. The conference produced a declaration calling for cities for people and laying out the basic parameters of an ecologically healthy city. At the end of the conference came an unveiling of plans to build several ecocity projects, including Christie Walk, in the heart of the city of Adelaide, as a small "urban village" of 27 homes and gardens on 2,000 sq m (half an acre). The development thrives to this day.
Theme: The City’s Impact on Nature
In 1990 Ecocity Builders founder Richard Register convened the first international conference on the topic of ecological cities, towns and villages. The event sparked a movement and many local ecocity projects, including: The Berkeley Milvia Slow Street Project advanced by Richard Register and members of Urban Ecology became one of the nation’s first city projects to promote traffic calming and bicycle lanes. 2) Richard Register and Berkeley citizen volunteers brought awareness to the urban watershed by stenciling designs on hundreds of intersections throughout the city to demark where underground streams lay buried underneath concrete and asphalt. The stencils exist to this day. 3) Berkeley “daylighted” (brings to the surface) a section of Strawberry Creek and turned an abandoned rail yard into a park.