Ecocity World Summit 2008

Richard Register and Wang Rusong, Conference Co-Conveners

The International Ecocity Conference Series brings together the key innovators, decision makers, technologists, businesses and organizations shaping the conversation around ecological and sustainable city, town and village design, planning and development. We intend to put these issues on the economic and environmental agenda for 2008 and beyond.

The time to act is now. Life-threatening global environmental problems and limitations on resource consumption demand a restructuring of cities and transportation systems worldwide for long-term energy efficiency and conservation. Concerned citizens in every community - in every city, town and village - must get involved in formulating and implementing new land use and transportation policies and practices, preserving agricultural lands and open space, and reclaiming natural habitat.

The San Francisco Ecocity Declaration

An ecocity is an ecologically healthy city. Into the deep future, the cities in which we live must enable people to thrive in harmony with nature and achieve sustainable development. People oriented, ecocity development requires the comprehensive understanding of complex interactions between environmental, economic, political and socio-cultural factors based on ecological principles. Cities, towns and villages should be designed to enhance the health and quality of life of their inhabitants and maintain the ecosystems on which they depend.

Ecocity development integrates vision, citizen initiative, public administration, ecologically efficient industry, people's needs and aspirations, harmonious culture, and landscapes where nature, agriculture and the built environment are functionally integrated in a healthy way.

Ecocity development requires:
  1. Ecological security - clean air, and safe, reliable water supplies, food, healthy housing and workplaces, municipal services and protection against disasters for all people.
  2. Ecological sanitation - efficient, cost-effective eco-engineering for treating and recycling human excreta, gray water, and all wastes.
  3. Ecological industrial metabolism - resource conservation and environmental protection through industrial transition, emphasizing materials re-use, life-cycle production, renewable energy, efficient transportation, and meeting human needs.
  4. Ecoscape (ecological-landscape) integrity - arrange built structures, open spaces such as parks and plazas, connectors such as streets and bridges, and natural features such as waterways and ridgelines, to maximize biodiversity and maximize accessibility of the city for all citizens while conserving energy and resources and alleviating such problems as automobile accidents, air pollution, hydrological deterioration, heat island effects and global warming.
  5. Ecological awareness - help people understand their place in nature, cultural identity, responsibility for the environment, and help them change their consumption behavior and enhance their ability to contribute to maintaining high quality urban ecosystems.
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