From 12-14th July over 900 participants from around Melbourne, Australia and overseas attended the Eco City World Summit to hear from international experts, government, industry and community leaders, on all topics connected with meeting the major sustainability challenges of this century.
The headline keynote speaker was formed US Vice-President Al Gore, who delivered a sobering and up-to-the minute presentation of the increasing pace and impacts of global climate change. Participants were visibly shocked following this presentation, which finished on an upbeat note regarding the exponential expansion of solar and other forms of renewable energy in the past decade.
Dozens of presentations took place in concurrent sessions throughout the three days covering energy, transport, citizen and community engagement, new forms of economic thinking and practice, and of course, food systems. One of the highlights was permaculture co-founder David Holmgren’s presentation of his forthcoming book, Retrosuburbia. Sustain is delighted that David has agreed to be one of the keynote presenters for our second national Urban Agriculture Forum, scheduled for 24-25 February, 2018.
Nick Rose attended on behalf of Sustain and presented on the Cardinia Food Circles project with Healthy Communities Coordinator Pieta Bucello. Nick also presented with Councillor Natalie Abboud from the City of Moreland, Sustainable Food Officer Lee Tozzi from the City of Darebin, and Associate Professor Adrian Hearn from Melbourne University, on Sustain’s work with several Victorian local governments in developing the Position Paper on the Role of Local Government in food systems. We intend to work with local governments and the broader food movement across Victoria to progress the reform and practice agenda outlined in this paper, particularly with 2018 being an election year in Victoria.