Building a more ecologically resilient city is the main theme at the Grey to Green Conference, which takes place at the Evergreen Brick Works. Over the next several years, cities across the continent will receive billions of dollars in investment to address the challenges created by climate change, urban heat islands and water management. But these factors also provide opportunities to improve urban infrastructure on a vast scale, and this symposium promises to engage participants in these issues through an exploration of innovative approaches to project design, utility infrastructure and city maintenance methods.
At the heart of the conference is a series of walking tours that use examples from Toronto’s changing cityscape to illustrate the problems facing city designers, engineers, utility managers, planners, developers and policy makers. The tours explore the sustainable infrastructure and revitalized areas of Toronto’s waterfront, including green walls and roofs, the Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests areas that comprise Toronto’s parks, and the Evergreen Brick Works (the conference home) – a success story of revitalizing a former industrial site into a green community centre.
Rounding out the program is a lineup of talks by nearly four dozen international speakers addressing topics that range from green roofs and living walls to porous paving systems and rain gardens, and finally, to supportive technologies such as engineered soils and water storage systems. The keynote speakers include: John Campbell, the head of Waterfront Toronto; Karen Kubick, director of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Aaron Koch, Chicago’s sustainability deputy commissioner; and Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.
Conference-goers can also peruse a selection of exhibitors that include conservation authorities, green product manufacturers and educational institutions.
The Grey to Green Conference runs May 21 and 22 at the Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., Toronto.