Urbanization and climate change are at the forefront of issues facing both our local and global communities.
By 2050, the United Nations estimates that 70 percent of the total global population will be living in urban areas. As a result, cities provide a unique and important opportunity for climate action.
The 2017 International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) conference, co-hosted by the University of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver, brought together leading higher-education organizations to explore how city-campus collaborations can advance climate action and sustainability. Over 140 delegates from 80 universities across 30 countries attended the event.
The program provided attendees with practical insights into city-campus collaborations, including a City and Campus Strategic Relationships dialogue session and an Ideas Lab, where delegates were invited to learn about the Greenest City Scholars Program and engage with graduate students working on projects in support of the Greenest City Action Plan.
“This was a great opportunity for the City of Vancouver and our efforts to become the greenest city,” said Doug Smith, Director of Sustainability at the City of Vancouver. “Hosting the ISCN provides a platform to share information, collaborate and problem solve with sustainability experts from around the world.”
As an ISCN first, UBC tracked the conference’s daily travel, food, energy, waste and attendee satisfaction and physical activity as a way to assess conference impact, encourage participants to be sustainable, and inform future conference planning.
“The conference is one of the cornerstone activities of the ISCN, where a cross-section of those deeply involved with campus sustainability gather to cross-pollinate ideas, learn, and further
sustainability in higher education,” said Zena Harris, Executive Director of the ISCN. “ISCN 2017 took place in one of the most sustainability-oriented places on the world, and it was rewarding to work with conference co-hosts, the University of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver.”