Big Green Conference Coming to Windsor
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities Conference
By Doug Schmidt, The Windsor Star
WINDSOR, Ont. -- Windsor has landed a big and really cool national gathering for 2013.
Over 500 delegates and an estimated 50 exhibitors from every province and territory will be here next February for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Sustainable Communities Conference and Trade Show.
We might not be super kind to urban wildlife in the eyes of the world (see PETA's anti-Windsor skunk campaign), or terribly friendly to serious cyclists (ride a bike down Tecumseh Road and embrace the feedback of nervous motorists), but Windsor is surprisingly green, and it's those efforts that caught the eye of FCM organizers.
"I'm thrilled that we're participating in this, it's a significant achievement for our city," said Coun. Bill Marra, who is an FCM board member.
Many of those delegates will be visiting Windsor for the first time, said Gordon Orr, the CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee who submitted the bid. The conference will fill hundreds of hotel rooms at a traditionally slow time in the local hospitality industry, and Orr said it will inject about $1 million into the local economy over a three-day period.
The focus of the gathering is on sharing stories and experiences and learning new things about sustainability and climate change adaption at the municipal level. Senior government elected officials and opinion makers usually congregate at what has become an annual event.
Ottawa hosted this year's gathering, and London and a slew of other applicants lost out to Windsor's 2013 bid.
Some of the things Windsor (which is co-hosting the event with Essex County) will showcase include the city's new brownfield development strategy and community improvement plan, the Detroit River remedial action plan and renewable energy projects.
Marra said the conference includes plenaries and workshops at which municipal delegates share their experiences and discuss possible partnerships.
As we sweat out another brutally warm and record-breaking March day, it's a good time to think about how we learn to adapt at the local level to a changing climate.
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