"GLOBE Revolves Around Smart Cities" by The Province
Imagine a city where traffic lights
and adjust signal timings on their
A city whose water system alerts
you to leaks and whose buildings
tell you if they’re occupied and how
much energy they’re using.
A city blanketed with free Wi-Fi,
with apps that’ll guide drivers to
book on their smartphones.
These are a few examples of what
has become known as “smart city”
lyze and react intelligently to urban
goal of improving efficiency, sus-
tainability and quality of life.
for the future; some are already in
use in cities around the world.
Smart Cities Council.
“Every city is in a fight with every
other city on the planet for jobs,
investment and talent.”
Younger generations are espe-
cially willing to pack up and move,
said Berst, and “they’re looking for
a smart city where they have fast
universal broadband access, where
startups can access fibre optics,
where energy is cheap and clean.”
Berst is one of the speakers at
GLOBE 2014, which is expected to
Convention Centre from March 26
to March 28.
The biennial gathering, part con-
ference and part trade show, is
all about what Vancouver-based
GLOBE Foundation CEO John Wie-
be describes as “the business of the
often pitted against business and
industry, Wiebe said the two can
work toward a common goal.
“Environmental problems are
business opportunities,” he noted.
Berst will be speaking as part of a
series called Building Resilient Cit-
ies, focused on the future of urban
development in the face of climate
“The world is urbanizing,” said
Wiebe. “Cities need to be sustain-
able and resilient and plan ahead ...
is moving so fast. You don’t want to
now you’re locked into that’s irrel-
evant. How do you plan ahead and
make it resilient?”
Building a smart city is one of Sur-
rey Mayor Dianne Watts’s goals for
her fast-growing metropolis, which
later this spring.
“The city is in a unique position
because we are building a city from
to the construction of new down-
town core Surrey City Centre in
northern Surrey. “We have a num-
ber of great opportunities to really
shape the city of the future.”
ers at the conference, cited the
tem and a planned organic biofuel
facility that will turn organic waste
into natural gas as ways the city is
aiming to reduce greenhouse gases
and become smarter.
The district energy system uses
thermal energy to heat, cool and
provide hot water for the new Sur-
rey city hall, library, the SFU Surrey
campus and RCMP E-division.
Surrey’s efforts to take organic
waste out of the waste stream have
already reduced landfill garbage by
70 per cent, said Watts.
fuel to power the city’s fleet of gar-
loop waste management system in
“The evolution of technology is
occurring at lightning speed. There
are so many things we can do bet-
ter. We can be more efficient and
streamlined and really engage the
public in what we’re doing,” said
According to a 2013 report by
research firm Frost and Sullivan,
tial in smart cities by 2020.
Berst concurs. “They’re one of the
biggest economic opportunities,”
“It’s growing really rapidly and,
on top of it, there’s money to be
› March 26 to 28
Rates: Full conference $1,595,
$995 for municipal/NGO mem-
bers, $495 for students. One day
For more information:
GLOBE revolves around smart cities
Theme of Vancouver conference is creating efficient, sustainable urban centres
In addition to the big players,
›this year’s conference also plans
to highlight emerging or grow-
ing B.C. companies that offer
clean technology solutions.The
30 companies to be featured at
the Powerhaus Pavilion include:
Aquatic Informatics: AVan-
couver-based company that
develops software used to col-
lect and analyze water data.The
Water Survey of Canada and
the U.S. Geological Survey are
among its clients.
Nomad Micro Homes: Pro-
poses 100-square-foot homes,
shipped in boxes and assem-
bled on site, that push the enve-
lope in the small-living move-
Urban Barn Foods: Grows
green leafy vegetables in mod-
ular containers indoors, allow-
ing fresh produce regardless of
season or climate and reduc-
ing shipping times and spoil-
Emerging B.C. companies
Nomad Micro Homes’
100-square- foot homes are
shipped in boxes.
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, left, and the city’s district energy manager, Jason Owen, chat in the geothermal energy room in the basement of
the new city hall, where thermal energy is used to heat, cool and provide water. Watts is among the speakers at GLOBE 2014. RIC ERNST / PNG
SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 2014A12 | NEWS | THEPROVINCE.COM