Climate Solutions - Innovation Series

An opportunity to hear some of British Columbia’s most innovative minds discuss climate solutions in response to COVID-19.

Join the conversation between SFU researchers, students, and the City of Burnaby as they discuss and design innovative climate change solutions in a COVID-19 reality. The Climate Solutions Innovation Series is hosted by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), and Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s Sustainability Office and Office of Community Engagement.

In each webinar, researchers will engage in 10-minute pitches followed by a pitch from a local solution-seeker. There will be time after the pitches for all (webinar) participants to ask pressing questions to the speakers.

In addition, a brief presentation on the new PICS collaborative research program and its current funding opportunity will help frame the discussion on targeting new collaborations in pursuit of high-impact climate solutions.

WEBINAR 1: Building more sustainable and resilient cities: new opportunities for innovative solutions

Date: Tuesday June 23, 2020 | Time: 5pm-6pm

1) Green Solutions to Build Cities Resilient to Climate Change and Pandemics

Speaker: Dr. Zafar Adeel, Executive Director, Pacific Water Research Centre, Professor of Professional Practice, School of Resources and Environmental Management, SFU

Some researchers suggest that the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the current pandemic give us an early indication of the potential climate-change impacts in the near-future. Canadian cities must be at the forefront of offering innovative solutions to adversity whether it comes from pandemics or climate change. Effectively managing safe water services – freshwater, stormwater, and sewerage management – in crisis situations is an essential component of resilient urban communities. Ongoing work in many Canadian cities must incorporate innovative, nature-based infrastructure solutions that can cope with adversity, while providing green and sustainable jobs.

2) Charting a sustainable path out of lockdown?

Speaker: Dr. Taco Niet, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, SFU

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it is possible to address significant challenges as a society and that people are willing to make drastic changes to support their fellow citizens. As we emerge from lockdown we continue to face the climate crisis and we stand at a crossroads – how do we spend stimulus funds and create a shift to a cleaner and greener society as we emerge from COVID-19?

3) Coming out of COVID-19: how local government climate action can create jobs and build resilient communities

Speaker: Maya Chorobik, Senior Community Energy Manager, Community Energy Association

Given where we are now and which sectors and individuals have been impacted most, we have the opportunity to choose a stimulus strategy that builds in economic, health, and climate benefits. Maya will discuss the role of local governments in supporting economic recovery by leveraging climate action for job creation, community resilience, and other goals.

Webinar 1 - Q&A session:

WEBINAR 2: Developing greener transportation systems in light of COVID-19

Date: Wednesday June 24, 2020 | Time: 11am-12pm

1) Pedalling Toward Recovery

Speaker: Moreno Zanotto, Cities, Health and Active Transportation Lab , SFU 

The prevailing COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sharp decline in transit ridership, partially due to physical distancing concerns. Whether transit riders switch to driving or cycling will depend upon how cities respond to this challenge. We will discuss the current state of cycling in Burnaby, key strategies to support active transportation, and the implications for sustainable mobility planning.

2) Supporting sustainable transport policy post-Covid 19

Speaker: Zoe Long, Research Manager, Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team, SFU 

How will citizens change their travel behaviour in a post-Covid 19 world? Potential impacts include a shift in transport away from public and shared modes towards more private vehicles. Policies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in private vehicles will be needed more than ever. We will discuss such possible outcomes in the context of citizen support for low-carbon transport policies.

3) A New Transportation Plan for Burnaby

Speaker: Renée de St. Croix, Senior Planner, City of Burnaby BC

Transportation plays a key role in everyday life. The level of joy, ease, accessibility, and safety, in addition to time, cost, and distance often determine how we choose to move about the City. The new plan envisions a balanced and inclusive system that offers accessible and safe mobility in support of a healthy, green, prosperous, and connected community. We will discuss the draft proposals for Phase 2, including the city wide targets (vision zero, mode shift, and emissions reduction), big moves, policies, and networks that are intended to increase the City's resiliency and achieve the vision.

Webinar 2 - Q&A session:


Dr. Zafar Adeel

Green Solutions to Build Cities Resilient to Climate Change and Pandemics

Canadian cities are at the forefront of offering innovative solutions to adverse climate change impacts. Effectively managing water – freshwater, stormwater, and sewer – is an essential component of building resilient urban communities. Many of the Canadian cities are exploring the use of nature-based and green infrastructure solutions to achieve this objective.

Dr. Taco Niet

Charting a sustainable path out of lockdown?

Addressing climate change requires consideration of the synergies and trade-offs inherent in policy decisions. Climate, Land, Energy, and Water (CLEWs) modelling provides one tool for considering these trade-offs. Dr. Niet will provide an overview of the CLEWs modelling framework and highlight potential applications of modelling to climate mitigation in Canada.

In this presentation Dr. Niet will provide an overview of CLEWs modelling framework and present some recent work and results from his work around the globe. He will highlight potential applications of this work to policy questions relevant to climate mitigation in Canada.

Maya Chorobik

Coming out of COVID-19: how local government climate action can create jobs and build resilient communities

Maya Chorobik is a Senior Community Energy Manager with the Community Energy Association (CEA). Maya supports local governments with climate action planning and project implementation, as well as education and capacity building for staff and elected officials. One of Maya’s areas of focus is coordinating BC Climate Leaders, a multi-year program to engage and activate locally elected officials on high impact climate action through resources such as the Climate Leaders Playbook, peer learning events and coaching. This program is especially relevant to communities that have declared climate emergencies and are ready to take bold action.

Moreno Zanatto

Pedalling Toward Recovery

Moreno is a graduate of SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, where he completed his thesis research on the Vancouver public bike share system. Today, Moreno coordinates the training of personnel and the logistics of data collection for a variety of public health intervention research studies that contribute to the design of healthier cities.

Moreno lives in beautiful Metro Vancouver and cycles for most trips using his e-bike. He is active with the cycling advocacy community working to turn research evidence into practice by making the case for higher quality cycling infrastructure and safer streets

Zoe Long

Supporting sustainable transport policy post-Covid 19

Public support for climate policies is often considered essential for their successful implementation, and public opposition may prevent governments from implementing strong climate policies, such as with the case of carbon taxation in most jurisdictions. I present results and implications from a survey of Canadian citizens on their awareness, support, and opposition towards three key transport policies considered essential to meeting 2050 climate mitigation goals.

Renée de St. Croix

A New Transportation Plan for Burnaby

Renée de St. Croix has been a city planner, urban designer, and urbanist for over 15 years and is passionate about building better cities for people. She is Senior Planner with the City of Burnaby, BC and is currently the project manager for the new Burnaby Transportation Plan. She is also responsible for major city-wide policy initiatives, community plans, and other special projects for the City. Prior to joining the City, Renée was a planning consultant working in multiple cities across Canada and the United States. 

Name of event: Climate Solutions - Innovation Series

Webinar #1: 
June 23, 2020, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm
Building more sustainable and resilient cities

Webinar #2: 
June 24, 2020, 11am-12pm
Developing greener transportation systems in light of COVID-19

Location: Online Webinar (zoom)
**These events will be recorded**

Cost: Free