Invitation to Grey to Green From Steven W. Peck, President & Founder, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

In the immediate future prosperous, healthy and resilient cities will be those that invest in the protection, development and maintenance of living green infrastructure, within, on, and around buildings, waterfronts, river valleys, transit corridors and parks.  Living green infrastructure is blossoming in Toronto this spring at the Grey to Green Conference.  Here are some quick highlights to look forward to next week, May 8th-10th. 

  1. New Revolutionary Products.  On May 9th, trade show exhibitors will present new products that will help to improve the performance of green infrastructure like hydrofibers, which hold 9 times more water than peat moss, and the latest in LED technology for maximizing indoor plant growth. 
  2. World Class Designers. Learn from world class design professionals who will be sharing their work, from massive integrated holistic projects like Potsdamer Platz in Berlin by Herbert Dreiseitl, Director, Ramboll Liveable Cities Lab; to overcoming challenges associated with growing plants underground using natural sunlight in New York’s Lowline Project, featuring Signe Nielsen, FASLA, Principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. 
  3. Local Design Experts. Local experts architect Craig Applegath, Principal, DIALOG will share brand new designs and business models that may help bring Toronto’s billion dollar downtown Rail Deck Park a step closer to reality.  Many case studies, from New York City to Shanghai will profile the ecosystem and economic performance of green infrastructure projects, many of which are designed not only to pay for themselves but generate net income.
  4. Emerging and New Policies.  Green infrastructure policy is evolving rapidly and John Antoszek, Pollution Control Engineering, MOECC will shed light on the long awaited Low Impact Development Guidelines for Stormwater.  Washington, DC’s stormwater policy guru Hamid Karimi, Deputy Director of the District Department of Energy and Environment will share insights into the workings of the Green Area Ratio policy, the Tradeable Stormwater Credit system and more.  The City of Toronto will share its new Complete Streets Guidelines, and reveal how green infrastructure fits into its plans to strengthen resiliency.  
  5. Climate Change and Green Infrastructure.  The honorable Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray will discuss Ontario’s new Climate Change Plan and Cap and Trade System which is generating an estimated $1.9 billion annual to fund greenhouse gas mitigation projects. 
  6. New Programs.  The Federation of Canadian Municipalities will be sharing information on their new funding programs for green infrastructure, while Michelle Sawka of Green Infrastructure Ontario will explain how the Coalition are working to have green infrastructure included municipal asset management requirements.   Stormwater fees are a hot topic with presentations from Jessica Isaac, Office of the Environmental Commissioner and practical lessons learned around implementation will be presented from the City of Mississauga’s stormwater fee program by Victoria Kramkowski
  7. New Economic and Social Research.  New research findings on health and green infrastructure will be shared by Eco-Health Ontario’s, as well as various life cycle and cost benefit economic analysis of green infrastructure such as the Greenbelt, and their many contributions to our well being. 
  8. Cutting Edge Professional Workshops.  On May 8th and May 10th, cutting edge professional training courses for design professionals, on subjects like Low Impact Development, Designing Buildings for Net Zero Water, Advanced Lighting for Indoor Vegetable Production, Introduction to Urban Agriculture, and Green Wall Design are available for budding and seasoned professionals. 
  9. Fantastic Tours.  Many of the half-day courses are combined with tours, so you can start in the classroom and end in the field – theory and practice.  You can check out Ryerson’s Rooftop Farm, some of Toronto’s amazing green walls, sustainable buildings, and Low Impact Development projects. 

Please join us for the Grey to Green Conference May 8th - 10th where you can advance your knowledge and hone your skills while becoming a larger part of the green infrastructure industry. 

Sincerely yours,

Steven W. Peck
President & Founder, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
Founder, Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition