Developing Livable Northern Communities:

VANCOUVER, BC ? Northern communities in Canada and other Nordic countries are facing unique challenges in designing and developing livable communities that are vibrant, creative, prosperous and sustainable.

The public and media are invited to a discussion, featuring keynote speaker Minister of Environment David Anderson and a panel of experts, who will share their perspectives and engage in a roundtable discussion on issues specific to northern communities. Panelists include Ambassador Jack Anawak, Canada?s Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs; Doug Pollard, Manager of the Sustainable Communities Demonstration Program, Federation of Canadian Municipalities; Peter Oberlander, Senior Ministerial Advisor, United Nations World Urban Forum 2006; Michael Barton, Consulting Architect for the Energy Solutions Centre; and Brigitte Shim, Principal, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects. Award Winning journalist Russ Froese will be moderating the discussion.

The purpose of the Livable Northern Communities Session, organized by Environment Canada, is to bring together a panel of national and international experts and an interested audience to open up discussion about sustainable design and development specific to northern communities. We?re seeing a trend where general principles of urban design, planning and development are being imposed in the north without regard for the social, cultural and other attributes of the specific communities. Recommendations from this session will be brought forward to the 2006 World Urban Forum in Vancouver.

The Livable Northern Communities Session is Friday, April 2, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at the Fairmont Waterfront Centre Hotel, Ballroom A. All attendees will receive free passes to attend that afternoon?s Globe 2004 conference plenary on Building Sustainable Cities and to the trade show.

The presentation will also be web cast live by logging onto http://www.insinc.com/environmentcanada/20040402/ This will give residents outside the Lower Mainland, especially those in northern communities, an opportunity to participate in the panel discussion.