The LCF2017 Program will explore building low carbon, resilient communities through several key topics, posted below.

Curious about last year’s program? Click here to download the official conference program from the 2016 Livable Cities Forum!

Click through the day tabs below to see our three day program.

Sunday, September 17

Join us Sunday evening for the LCF Dine-Around!

The Sunday dine around event provides an opportunity for delegates to dine at local restaurants and get to know the people attending the Forum.  You can sign up for the dine-around when you register for the Forum.

Please note that delegates are responsible for the cost of their own dinner.


450 Swift St, Victoria

Located in designated heritage site on Victoria’s inner Habour, the  The timeless waterfront location, the soaring timber frames and rustic brick architecture at CANOE create a vibrant and versatile atmosphere. CANOE handcrafted beers have become legendary in Victoria and throughout the Pacific Northwest for their crisp, clean & pure flavours.  Great food made sustainably, including local seafood.


611 Courtney St, Victoria

10 Acres Bistro Bar and Farm are pioneers in the local Victoria locavore and the farm to table movement. The 10 Acres Farm is located on the Saanich Peninsula and supplies the restaurant with the finest seasonal and organically grown produce and livestock. Their commitment to the farm to table movement and purveyance of locally sourced products has garnered national and international attention.  10 Acres’ locally inspired menu guarantees you that the freshest, often most innovative ingredients available, are used to prepare your meal.


536 Yates St, Victoria

Ferris’ Oyster Bar features deeply coloured wooden floors and rich brick walls accented by candlelight – all of which is supported by a great wine list and the best in fresh seafood from our local waters.  It’s a great place to lounge and enjoy what Vancouver Island has to offer.

Meeting place: The Victoria Conference Centre, first floor registration area. Time to be determined.

Please contact if you have any questions about the Dine-arounds.

Day One

Monday, September 18


7:30 – 8:30 Registration and Buffet Breakfast


8:30 – 9:45    OPENING PLENARY

9:45 – 10:15    COFFEE BREAK

10:15 – 11:45

Blue, Green, and Gray Infrastructure: Integrated Solutions for Low Carbon Resilience

Learn about innovative ways that blue, green, and grey infrastructure have been used to meet challenges in urban water management. This session will explore how the three shades of infrastructure can be integrated, merged, and optimized to improve low carbon resilience along with several other co-benefits.

Climate Communications: Part A

What is the role of communications in building low carbon and resilient communities? Learn from experts about tools, tricks, and trends in climate communications across Canada. Find out how climate communicators have engaged communities and helped to mobilize climate action through innovative, targeted strategies.

Revenue Strategies for Financing Low Carbon Resilience Initiatives

Explore mechanisms for financing low carbon resilience in your community. Hear about best practices for ensuring the uptake and success of revenue strategies for resilience. You will also learn about current opportunities and strategies for securing the funding needed to advance and implement mitigation and adaptation actions in a meaningful way.

Working Together Towards Low Carbon Resilient Communities: Public Sector Organizations and Local Governments

How can public sector organizations, such as conservation authorities or health units, work with local governments to build low carbon, resilient communities? Join us to learn about the projects and partnerships between public sector organizations and local governments that are improving resilience across Canada!

12:00 – 1:30    NETWORKING LUNCH

1:30 – 3:00

Getting from Global Targets to National Frameworks to Local Action: Lessons on How to Apply Multilevel Governance at the Local Level

Session description to come.

Inspiring Climate Action: The Unusual Suspects

If you’ve ever felt like you’re just preaching to the choir on climate change mitigation and adaptation, join us to learn about engaging the more “unusual suspects.” You might be surprised about who can play important role in low carbon resilience in your community.

Designing Resilient and Low Carbon Buildings: Emerging Technologies, Codes, and Standards

What are the “key ingredients” for low carbon buildings that meet standards and codes, integrate new technologies, and optimize resilience? Learn about the design of low carbon buildings and the co-benefits for community adaptation and urban resilience.

Climate Communications Part B: Workshop

How can we convey the risks of climate change while ensuring communities have the tools they need to stay safe and build resilience? This session will build on Climate Communications Part A to explore specific strategies in framing, messaging, and outreach surrounding climate communications. The workshop will explore the use of gamification to improve stakeholder engagement and motivate action on building low carbon resilience.

3:15 – 4:15

Canada's Most Costly Disasters: Exploring Wildland Urban Interface Fires

Development in Wildland Urban Interface areas, coupled with the the impacts of climate change, exposes thousands of households to costly and life-threatening wildland fire hazards. This session will analyze “state of the art” standards, codes and design approaches that have been applied in Canada and internationally to reduce structure ignition risk associated with wildland fire hazards.

Three Important Factors For Adapting to Climate Change: Location, Location, Location

In this session, representatives from three geographically adjacent regional districts (Metro Vancouver, the Capital Region, and Cowichan Valley) will compare and contrast recent experiences with climate adaptation planning initiatives. Each is at the regional district level, made use of the same future climate projections from the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, and even involved the same third party consultant to assist with authoring respective reports about the climate projections and impacts. All these similarities help to highlight the very different ways that information was received and used in each case. The lessons learned from this comparison should be useful to anyone carrying out adaptation planning in Canada.

Plan4DE: Tools to Embed District Energy into Municipal Planning

District energy is a key strategy in the transition to renewable heating and cooling as well as increasing resilience of the energy system. Plan4DE (Plan for district energy) is an open source tool designed specifically for planners to facilitate consideration of district energy into official plans and neighborhood plans. Municipal planning can either enable or prevent the feasibility of district energy and Plan4DE is designed to embed district energy into the planning process. Attend this session to learn about Plan4DE!

Using Zero Emissions Vehicles to Improve Post-disaster Resiliency

Adopting zero emissions vehicles has multiple benefits including energy emissions reduction, but how can EV’s improve climate change adaptation and post-disaster resilience? Learn about municipalities leading the way in zero emissions vehicles and explore ways that zero emission vehicles can significantly increase community resilience.

Day Two

Tuesday, September 19


7:30 – 8:30 Registration and Buffet Breakfast


8:30 – 9:30 Morning Plenary: The Power of Partnerships: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Building Low Carbon and Resilient Communities

9:40 – 11:00

Changing Urbanism and Smart Growth

Exploring the importance of sustainable urban design, net zero neighbourhoods, and walkable cities.

Climate Change and Human Health: Identifying Connections, Assessing Risks, and Moving to Action

This session will explore multilevel perspectives on the impacts and importance of climate change and health. Questions to be discussed will include: What are the implications of climate change on health? How do these impacts affect communities and sectors differently?  How can public sector organizations work with local governments to reduce impacts of climate change on health? Applying the human health lens, what are the co-benefits of working on adaptation and mitigation?

Managing Flood Risk: Extreme Rainfall, Overland Flooding, and Sea Level Rise Risk across Canada

Climate change impacts facing coastal communities are exacerbated by risks of extreme weather, storm surge, and flooding. Innovative advancements to address flood risk at the community level across Canada. This session will highlight new findings and best practices in adaptation to flooding, while exploring the low carbon opportunities that stem from these initiatives.

Decentralized and Locally Generated Energy Systems

This session will explore district energy, local renewables and the carbon and resilience implications and opportunities for pursuing cheap, local, energy now and into the future! Get inspired by practitioners and municipal leaders who are spearheading innovative renewable energy in their communities!

11:30 – 1:00

Integrating Ecology and Nature into Low Carbon Resilience

What is the interaction between biodiversity, resilience, and climate change? What is the role of the natural environment in building low carbon and resilient communities? This session will explore case studies of organizations and initiatives that work to integrate ecology into resilience and low carbon planning, as well as the multiple co-benefits of doing so.

Climate Justice, Gender Inequality, and Resilience

Climate justice looks at the root causes of the climate crisis, including unsustainable production, consumption and trade, as well as the consequences and impacts on vulnerable communities and minorities. This session will explore the importance of accountability, equality, ecological sustainability, and social justice. Particularly looking at climate change challenges in low income areas and the role of gender dynamics in climate change leadership and policies.

Innovative Approaches to Implementation

Pushing traditional boundaries of decision making and implementation requires creativity and local innovation.This session will explore unique and effective ways that communities have been able to bolster the implementation of low carbon and resilient action using partnerships, innovative financing, and communication and engagement.

Using the Collective Impact Framework to Create Resilient, Low Carbon Food systems

BC Healthy Communities and collective impact coaches have been supporting BC communities to focus their collaborative food system work to achieve a defined, measurable impact. All communities are at different stages and have focused on different food system topics, but all are using a collaborative impact framework.  This panel discussion will include BC Healthy Communities and community representatives to talk about how they are using the collective impact framework to build and mainstream more local/low-carbon and resilient food systems.

1:00 – 2:00    NETWORKING LUNCH

2:00 – 3:30

The Role of Municipal and Regional Governments in Building and Mainstreaming more Local, Low-carbon, and Resilient Food Systems

The Toronto Food Policy Council is a pioneer in municipal/urban food system planning, whereas Victoria’s Growing in the City urban food initiatives are more recent. The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance (ON) and the CRD Regional Food and Agriculture Strategy (Southern Vancouver Island) are two different regional approaches to a more coordinated and integrated approach to retaining/expanding regional food and farming viability. This panel discussion will compare municipal and regional food system initiatives, highlight how this area has evolved over the past 20 + years, and look ahead at what is to come from a low-carbon perspective.

Building Low Carbon Resilience with First Nations

Ensuring First Nations communities have the tools they need to pursue climate change mitigation and adaptation is extremely important for all of Canada. Learn from First Nations climate leaders about the challenges, successes, and opportunities for working together to support the advancement of low carbon resilience.

Highlight Reel: Municipal Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plans

This session will feature cities that have worked on combined climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Learn about the successes and challenges of doing so, and discuss ‘failing forward’ toward stronger frameworks for integrating mitigation and adaptation into municipal plans and policies.


4:00 – 5:30

Role of Placemaking in Building Low Carbon Resilience

What are some of the strategies and tools that groups, organizations, and communities can use to accelerate low carbon resilience through placemaking? Learn about the role of public spaces in advancing low carbon resilience in cities.

The Circular Economy: Advancing Resilience and Reducing Carbon

Exploring concepts such as the sharing economy, Cradle-to-Grave thinking, lifecycle accounting; this session will look at how moving towards a circular economy can help reduce carbon footprints and promote economic and social resilience.

Renewable Energy: Moving Beyond Commitments to Implementation

Less than a handful of cities in Canada have committed to 100% renewable energy. Being the first to do so means that these cities will face new challenges (and opportunities). This session will explore some of the tools cities can use to move from commitment to implementation. Discussions will explore how to support cities through the transition to 100% renewable energy, and the importance of maximizing the co-benefits and opportunities for resilience.

Active Transportation: Getting People out of Cars and into Cities

Session description to come.


Day Three

Wednesday, September 20


7:00 – 8:00 Buffet Breakfast


8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast Plenary

9:00 Study tour meet up and depart


Tour of Dockside Green

Dockside Green is a landmark sustainable development project located on 15 acres on Victoria’s Inner Harbour. This project is an excellent example of brownfield redevelopment and green building design including LEED for Neighbourhood Development certification, on-site wastewater treatment, water management, renewable energy technology, diverse mobility, and affordable housing options. The tour will include a historical and current review of the property and tours of the biological wastewater treatment plant and biomass gasification plant.

Heritage Building Tour

Much of Victoria’s lasting charm and character stem from its unique collection of well-preserved historic buildings, many of which date back to the earliest days of settlement in British Columbia. During this current period of high economic activity, a range of important issues must be considered to maintain the City’s commitment to preserve its heritage including seismic upgrades, affordability, and the low-carbon goals of the City. This tour will visit several development examples where the City and the development committee have looked to find solutions to these broad challenges.

Bicycles, Buses, & Boats– Oh My!

Victoria is a city on the move. In order to accommodate new growth and support objectives on climate action, health, economic development and community resiliency, the City of Victoria is transforming the built environment to increase mode share for cycling, walking and public transit. This multi-modal tour will showcase examples of transportation infrastructure and services and provide delegates with insights on land use and development policies that help to reduce demand for parking. The tour will feature protected bike lanes, double-decker buses, car sharing, harbour ferries, bike parking, pedestrian paths and much more!

Explanatory note: This tour will be a true multi-modal experience. Participants should expect moderate physical activity and be prepared for the weather. Tour Size minimum of 10, maximum of 24.

Local Food Tour

Not only does Victoria have excellent local restaurants, gardening and urban food production are popular year-round activities in Victoria, the City of Gardens. Come learn about the innovative ways that the City of Victoria is helping to increase the amount of food grown in the city. Hear about commercial urban agriculture, backyard chickens and bees. Visit a community commons garden, a community orchard, and boulevard gardens. We will also visit a small-scale commercial urban food producer, growing and selling food crops right here in the City.


Program Topics

This year’s program will be delivered in a variety of unique formats and several interactive and dynamic sessions.

Showcasing local leadership in low carbon resilience of local governments and practitioners from across Canada and internationally.

Building the business case for investing in resilience, economic tools for measuring and financing actions, and ways the financial sector can be engaged in the conversation.

Maximizing the co-benefits of synergizing low carbon and resilient initiatives.

Integrating local solutions and building innovative, community-wide partnerships to enhance low carbon resilience.

Moving from planning to action on climate change adaptation and low carbon initiatives.