Greening the World's Capital Cities
September 14 - 19, 2008
The National Capital
Planning Commission (NCPC), the federal government's planning
agency for America's capital city, brought
together capital city planning officials and policymakers from
around the globe for a series of thought-provoking discussions
on greening the world's capitals. International delegates started
the week on Sunday, September 14. Public sessions began
Monday, September 15 and ran through Thursday, September 18. An
optional day of touring was held on September 19.
Capitals Alliance 2008 highlighted the timely
and important topic of creating a more sustainable planet.
Throughout the week, we
explored the role of national
capitals in creating a greener world; learned about
successful green strategies from champions of
environmentally-friendly policies; and
sustainability initiatives from dozens of national capitals.
Attendees heard insights from some of the
world's most prominent thinkers, urban designers, and activists
working to create more sustainable cities. Speakers included:
Herbert Girardet, director
of Programmes for the World Future Council in
London, provided the opening keynote address.
Girardet is a renowned author, documentary filmmaker, and recipient of
a United Nations Global 500 Award for Outstanding Environmental
Falah Al Ahbabi, general manager, Abu Dhabi Urban
Planning Council. The UPC is leading the way to establish Abu Dhabi
as a global capital renowned for its architecture and
member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and a landscape
architect recognized for innovations in environmentally
chairman, Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty at
the National Capital Commission in Ottawa. Former planning director for
the city of Vancouver and current
president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon, 3rd
District) has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since
1996. A member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence
and Climate Change, he is a strong advocate for the environment
and sustainable development.
Majora Carter, founder
and executive director of the environmental justice organization
Sustainable South Bronx in New York. Currently heads the Majora
Carter Group, LLC.
Laurel Colless, executive director, Energy
Efficiency Partnership of Greater Washington, a program based at
Virginia Tech University, that is devoted to helping communities
George S. Hawkins,
director of the District Department of the Environment for
Tom Hicks, vice
president of the U.S. Green Building Council, where he oversees
the Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) Neighborhood Development Program.
associate principal with the architectural firm Busby Perkins + Will.
Roger K. Lewis,
professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Maryland and author of "Shaping the
City," an architecture and urban design column for
The Washington Post.
president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and
Changing Places: Rebuilding Community in the Age of Sprawl.
Tom Murphy, senior
resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute and a former
three-term mayor of
Daniel K. Slone,
expert in land use and environmental law. Counsel for prominent
green organizations including the U.S. Green Building Council
and Congress for the New Urbanism.
Robert Stacey, executive
director of 1,000 Friends of Oregon, a public
interest group advocating smart growth in land use planning.
director, District of Columbia Office of Planning.
David L. Winstead,
Commissioner of Public Buildings for the U.S. General Services
The signature event,
World Leaders on
Sustainability, was held in the Great Hall of the National Building
Museum. Officials from cities recognized for good urban planning
and progressive ecological policies discussed their unique
experiences with sustainable development projects.
Participants included United States
Congressman Earl Blumenauer,
chief executive officer
former mayor of
past chairman of Ottawa's National Capital Commission facilitated the discussion.
Discussions and workshops were devoted to
topics such as building community support for green and
sustainable policies; addressing the challenges facing capital
cities; balancing tourism and responsible energy consumption;
and the effect of green design on world-class architecture and
Partners included the U.S.
Commission of Fine Arts and the National Building Museum and
participating entities included the
Embassy of Sweden, and Onuma, Inc. The conference took place at several of
DC's most renowned venues, including the
National Press Club, the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American
Art and Portraiture, and the National Building Museum, an
institution committed to the promotion of sustainable building
practices. International delegates took part in special events throughout the week, including poster presentations and site visits to Washington's top green