Many Kingstonian’s have latched onto the lofty goal of making this city the most sustainable in all of Canada. But when we talk about sustainabily in relation to urban centres, just what does that mean? Better yet, how can individual citizens contribute? Corporate Knights defines the sustainable city as a place that:
has a viable economy fuelled by a healthy population and leaves the smallest environmental footprint possible. The bottom-line indicator of sustainability for a city is the ability to maintain its population. A sustainable city must be a place where people want to live, work, play, and build their lives…
In recent years, the quality of life for Kingstonians has improved thanks to our organic recycling program, the availability of locally sourced produce at the Farmer’s Market, expanded bike lanes, all those wind turbines spinning across the way and the list goes on. We certainly deserve a pat on the back for our accomplishments thus far, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there’s still a great deal of work to be done before we can hope to break into the top ten most sustainable, similarly-sized cities in Canada. What projects or initiatives do you think we need to implement in order to be recognized at the national level for our sustainabile prowess?
This coming weekend, Sustainable Kingston is taking yet another stride towards becoming Canada’s most sustainable city, as they’re hosting the city’s first annual Community Forum at the Four Points by Sharaton. The inaugural event will showcase Kingston’s sustainability plan as well as exhibits, speakers, success stories, and interactive discussions about sustainability in the Limestone City. Highlights that are a part of this year’s Community Forum are as follows:
- Feature Presentation: David Miller, Former Mayor of Toronto: Toronto’s 63rd mayor (from 2003-2010) is a leading advocate for the creation of sustainable urban economies. Under his leadership, Toronto created and implemented innovative strategies that helped create a significant building boom, a stronger economy, and an environmentally and socially sustainable city. Mr. Miller continues to be a strong and forceful champion for the next generation of jobs through sustainability, and advises companies – and governments – on practical measures to make this happen.
- Showcase Presentations: Sustainable Kingston Partners who are currently implementing projects and programs as part of the Sustainable Kingston Plan will talk about their success stories and how they all link together to reach the vision of Kingston—Canada’s Most Sustainable City
- Interactive Symposia on the Four Sustainability Pillars: Cultural Vitality, Economic Health, Environmental Responsibility and Social Equity — An opportunity to learn more about what is happening under each pillar in Kingston, and to share your perspectives on moving forward to reach Kingston’s sustainability goals.
- Exhibits: dynamic displays of sustainability in action, such as projects currently in the works, innovative business solutions, and diverse media used to communicate sustainability.
As the world continues to tackle greater social, economic and environmental challenges, it is vital that Kingston’s develops and implements policies and programs that enable us to become more self-sufficient and a leader on the sustainability front. If you’re passionate about being a part of the team that will get us there, then I hope you’ll consider attending the first annual Community Forum on Sustainability.