The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) announced the next Ecocity World Summit (ECWS) is to be hosted in Abu Dhabi from October 11th to 13th 2015. The announcement was made at the 2013 biennial Summit in Nantes, France, in the presence of nearly 2000 delegates from over 44 countries.
The Ecocity World Summit (ECWS) is also a leader in issues of democratic participation in the decision making process that plans and develops cities, changes them for the better, and confronts the challenges to our built communities. The ECWS is convened approximately every two years in a different host city around the world to facilitate the attendance of a wide diversity of thinkers and address diverse local issues.The Ecocity World Summit series focuses on key actions cities and citizens can take to rebuild our human habitat in balance with living system. In the process we seek to slow down and even reverse climate change, biodiversity collapse, loss of wilderness habitat, agricultural lands and open space, and social and environmental injustices.
The ECWS addresses the way humanity builds its home – its cities, towns and villages.
The ECWS, also known as the International Ecocity Conference Series (IECS), was the first and is now the longest running conference for ecological city design, development and functioning in the world. Sustainable urban pioneer Richard Register convened the first Ecocity World Summit in Berkeley, California in 1990. Mr. Register went on to found the non-profit corporation Ecocity Builders, which has played a key role in organising the summit and propagating the lessons of ecocity planning worldwide.
From its first stages of planning, the ECWS has been committed to being the premier forum for leading innovative ideas, designs, policies and education about cities in balance with living systems. For over twenty years it has been the vanguard conference on urban problems and solutions regarding climate change, renewable energy, bicycle and transit infrastructure, environmentally healthy architecture and city organization. The ECWS is also a leader in issues of democratic participation in the decision making process that plans and develops cities, changes them for the better, and confronts the challenges to our built communities.
Past conferences have featured a wide range of leaders and innovators, including environmentalist David Brower; Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell; Rusong Wang, member of the Chinese Peoples Congress and head of the environmental sciences division of the Chinese Academy of Science; renowned architect and urban planner Jamie Lerner, former mayor of Curitia, Brazil; architect/philosopher Paolo Soleri; Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom; and Denis Hayes, director of the original national Earth Day in 1970 and keynote for the first Ecocity Conference.
“Ecocity,” alternately “eco-city,” was introduced and used consistently since by Mr. Register since 1979. The term is now in common use in much of the world, particularly in China and South Korea. “Sustainable city” and “green city” are popular as well, even “low carbon city,” which is a useful concept but extraordinarily narrow considering the richness of urban life and its connections to resources, biosphere and climate systems of the Earth. In the IECS tradition of going directly to basic principles for the design and organisation of cities, the conference series has stayed committed to “eco‐” since the prefix is derived from “ecology,” the science of life and living systems on our planet. The terminology is particularly important because life gives us not only our very existence, but also useful models from the complex living organisms we all are for the design and building of the complex living organisms of cities.