Saturday, 4 August 2012
Vancouver - A Place That Is Clear on its Purpose
The Mayor of Vancouver - Gregor Robertson
Last night I attended a reception at Canada House in London's Trafalgar Square as a guest of Lee Malleau who works for Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancover to celebrate Canada's partcipation in the London Olympic Games and the achievements of her young athletes and to hear from him and the Canadian High Commissioner, Gordon Campbell, about the great work the city is doing to become a leading, if not, the leading green city in the world in terms of being truly sustainable.
During their remarks I was struck by a number of things they were saying that conveyed to me their clarity of understanding of the role of their city, not just locally in British Columbia but in the wider world - the role it plays as a gateway to the Pacific Rim for their own and European businesses who wish to access the markets of the Rim and, in the context of its green aspirations, the many ways in which their place, their city, is now hosting and nurturing green businesses - those making green technologies and those putting them to effective use in business and urban planning.
This is a city that is active in its manor and that manor is the wider world, or at least a number of carefully selected places where it can do business and be a major player.
Seen in this way their presence in London during the Games is a no brainer; they are here to share their place, their ambitions and to welcome others to become citizens of their place even if its just through a trade connection, which, as a Canadian official responsible for trade and investment accurately commented, is now the premier and most effective way of places making beneficial and lasting connections with other parts of the world.