By Alex P. Vidal
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — In his first ever trip in Canada, Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista of Quezon City, Philippines will be one of the panelists when some 40 international business and urban leaders discuss various issues particularly the business of city building during the two-day Cities Summit 2012 Feb. 1-2 at the Vancouver Convention Center West Building.
“It’s my first time in Canada and I have just signed a reaffirmation of our (Quezon City) sisterhood with New Westminster (British Columbia’s oldest and former capital city) Mayor Wayne Wright,” Bautista said in an exclusive interview Monday (January 30) night.
Bautista said he and Wright discussed the possibility of expanding their ties not only in the area of education and culture but also in technology, economic and human resources.
“Our cities have one thing in common,” Bautista pointed out. “Quezon City is the former capital of the Philippines, while New Westminster is the former capital of the British Columbia.”
Quezon City and New Westminster City signed a sisterhood pact in 1991, Bautista disclosed.
He clarified that Quezon City and Vancouver City don’t have any sisterhood agreement but he was tapped as panelist along with Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, Milo Medin, Google, Vice-President of Access Services; Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners; Courtney Pratt, chairman of Toronto Region Research Alliance; David Helliwell, CEO of Pulse Energy, among other mayors and business leaders.
The Cities Summit 2012 is hosted by Vancouver City Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vancouver Economic Commission.
Vancouver is hosting a global Summit on the pressures city regions must address as the world urbanizes at an increasingly rapid pace.
International speakers, thought leaders from both the public and corporate sectors, and participants will be engaged in discussions on the solutions urban centres and their citizens can apply to address strain on cities and their environments, while supporting responsible growth and innovation.
The world is reportedly urbanizing faster than ever. For the first time, half the planet’s population-over 3.5 billion people-lives in cities. Another two billion will join them by 2030. This great migration is set to define urban life for generations to come, said the summit description.
The Cities Summit will assemble international business and urban leaders to design the creative, practical solutions for a sustainable urban future.