Ecocity Centre of Excellence will provide transformative tools for cities and businesses
The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) announced the opening today of an Ecocity Centre of Excellence that will advance applied research, training, and guidance in support of cities becoming ecologically sustainable.
“There are few more pressing issues today than helping humanity find ways to lighten its ecological footprint and live within the planet’s ecological carrying capacity. The BCIT Ecocity Centre of Excellence will contribute applied research, tools and training to help cities, in Canada and around the world, meet this essential challenge,” said Kathy Kinloch, President of BCIT, prior to the closing session of the Ecocity World Summit.
The Centre will be led by Dr. Jennie Moore, a leader in the advancement of sustainable cities and lifestyles and the BCIT Director, Institute Sustainability. The Centre will support applied research and provide the tools, metrics, expert planning, and policy advice, training and other services that cities and their partners need to become genuine ecocities. An Ecocity is a human settlement modeled on the self-sustaining resilient structure and function of natural ecosystems.
A legacy of the 2019 Ecocity World Summit in Vancouver, the Centre will anchor the global leadership of BCIT in the restructuring of cities to reduce their carbon and ecological footprints while simultaneously regenerating natural habitat. This approach leverages BCIT’s leadership in green roofs and living walls, smart micro-grid technology, and ecological restoration. It adds new capabilities to assess a city’s energy and materials requirements, relative to climate stability thresholds and ecological carrying capacity.
Through a range of easy-to-access tools and apps, the Centre will help identify the top actions a city and its citizens can take to close the sustainability gap through urban restructuring and changes in lifestyle related to food, buildings, consumables and wastes, transportation, and water.
“This is a game-changer that will help cities take real climate action,” said Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver. “This new Centre builds on Vancouver’s global leadership and we plan to partner closely with it as we advance our ambitious work at the intersection of sustainability and equity, including the goals of City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan and the upcoming City Wide Plan.”
William Rees agreed. The UBC Professor Emeritus, who co-authored the concept of ecological footprinting in the 1980s, and later supervised Jennie Moore as a doctoral candidate, said, “The world needs this Centre now. Jennie is a visionary planner, researcher and agent of change–her new Centre should strengthen the arm of cities that seriously intend to lighten their footprints.”
Jack Wong, CEO, Real Estate Foundation of BC, which has generously contributed funding to the Ecocity Centre of Excellence, said: “To reduce carbon and ecological footprints, we need action at the individual, city, provincial and state levels. The Ecocity Centre at BCIT renews leadership on ecological footprint analysis, helping cities and citizens adopt more sustainable practices and habits.”
For further information, please contact Jocelyne Leszczynski, Manager, Communications, BCIT, 604-250-9251