Mayor Wayne Wright is heading Down Under for some business on behalf of Metro Vancouver.
Wright, who chairs the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, is attending an international conference on sustainability in Melbourne, Australia. He said delegates from more than 70 countries will be attending the conference.
Wright was originally planning to attend as a delegate on Metro Vancouver's behalf, but was later asked by conference organizers to speak after they learned about some of the initiatives underway in New Westminster. He said the city's efforts to reclaim the waterfront, build a new civic centre and tackle homelessness are among the topics he expects to address in his presentation.
"It's exciting when people are looking at us from far away," he said.
In his role as chair of the housing corporation, Wright said he'll be interested in hearing about housing and sustainability initiatives, as well as best practices, in other parts of the world. The Thriving Neighbourhoods conference is being held Nov. 12 to 14 in Melbourne.
"Thriving Neighbourhoods is a conference on emerging global approaches to the planning, design and management of communities and cities that are set to radically improve the sustainability, livability, health and productivity of communities," states the conference's website.
The themes of the conference include: planning for a healthy environment and healthy people; creating and transforming thriving communities - the critical elements; greenfield developments - what developers do differently to enhance sustainability and livability; policy integration tools for local governments - economic, environmental and social goals; infrastructure and transport; resilience - places adapting to climate, economic and social change; and financing and business models enabling thriving communities.