Gaining Ground – Sustainable Urban Leadership Summit

This conference takes place June 15-17, 2006 in Victoria, BC, immediately prior to the UN Habitat World Urban Forum 3 in Vancouver. It is a unique opportunity for sustainable urban development leaders to come together, discuss, and create solutions to the many barriers hindering sustainable development in North America.

Attracting over 200 professionals in government, development, policy, industry, and design, Gaining Ground is conceived as a series of keynote speeches, showcase presentations and themed salons. Scheduled speakers include: James Kunstler, Maurice Strong, Ed McMahon, John Knott, and Storm Cunningham. Showcase focus is on three major North American developments: Victoria’s own Dockside Green, the Noisette Project in North Carolina and Loreto Bay Village in Baja, Mexico.

The most recent salon theme announced is Finance: Digging for Dollars. This theme will cover the “real” cost, finance, and value issues associated with sustainable development. Anticipated salon leaders include: Jacques Khouri from Vancity Enterprise and Chris Corps, an expert in valuation techniques.

Industry leaders want to know how to make green development profitable. Governments need to know how to support innovative development through policy and tax credits. Developers want to identify which institutions and organizations will support their projects. Everyone involved requires the knowledge of how to work in an integrative fashion to keep costs down and assist with overall functionality.

The response to Gaining Ground has been overwhelming. The president of The Centre for Urban Innovation (CUI), Gene Miller, is overjoyed with the enthusiasm of the development industry. As host sponsor of the event, he is encouraged by the support of organizations such as Canada Green Building Council, Smartgrowth BC, and most recently Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Gaining Ground promises to be a satisfying, inimitable event that will provide leaders in the sustainable urban development field with the knowledge, tools, and resources they require in creating innovative projects that are truly sustainable. The intention of this summit is to shift policy, regulation, and outlook concerning the built environment. To learn more about or register for the conference visit the Gaining Ground website at