Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mayor Peduto Launches Leading European Sustainability Conference Over Computer Linkup; Promotes Similar Event in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto today launched one of Europe’s leading sustainability conferences, the Futureperfect Festival, and promoted Pittsburgh’s efforts to create globally recognized development practices that promote innovation, equity and development.

Peduto said he is working with the leadership of Futureperfect to bring a similar international sustainability forum to Pittsburgh. The forum would follow a tour of Strip District, Hill District and Hazelwood development sites the Mayor co-hosted in March with Andre Heinz of the Heinz Endowments and Bruce Katz, director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

The Pittsburgh forum would also follow the Mayor’s trip to the Sustainable City Development conference in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in May, which he attended with officials from Carnegie Mellon University and local technology firms.

While still in the planning stages, the Pittsburgh forum “will address how we develop a resilient city, and what steps we need to take to make a city in a different way -- a way that combines sustainability, equity and connections to all neighborhoods," Peduto said.

The 2014 Futureperfect Festival is being held on Grinda island, off the coast of Stockholm, and Peduto opened it with welcoming remarks over a computer link, and then took questions from participants for more than an hour. The festival is hosting up to 500 Swedish leaders in urban development, technology and social enterprise working on sustainable urban development practices.

Mark F. Brzezinski, the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, also addressed the festival in a pre-recorded message that praised Peduto’s work on sustainability issues.

“In the same way Andrew Carnegie depended on the rivers of Pittsburgh to turn it into a manufacturing powerhouse, I am working to innovate again, and build new riverfront developments that will be models the world over," Peduto said.

"While Pittsburgh’s water is abundant, we must be careful with this resource and protect it. I want, and the world demands, developments that contain elements of site reliance, energy-to-waste cycles and self-generation.”

Other speakers at the Futureperfect Festival are set to include TED Fellow Laurel Braitman, Lego’s Director of Mechanics Arturo Pasquel, and 70 other speakers in more than 45 sessions discussing the latest theories in sustainable development.

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