April 24, 2023 Toronto, Canada - the Pavilion hosted a celebration of its 1st year anniversary, over 70 partners joined in person with over 150 participating in the online event. This concluded the activities for the first year and set the tone for the year to come. In true Pavilion fashion - collaboration and partnerships - the celebrations hosted presentations from global and Canadian partners and local communities to feature urban knowledge, innovations, and solutions.
Mehran Rasaei, CEO of International United Muscat (IUM), one of the main sponsor of the event, expressed his pleasure on the opportunities to collaborate further with the Pavilion and to learn from inspiring examples, like Regent Park, to come together for collaboration, creative partnership, and community engagement.
The Pavilion was pleased to welcome so many of its partners and also new collaborations during the celebrations to reflect on the last year of realizations. Both Pavilion Co-Directors, Eduardo Moreno and Dyfed Aubrey reflected on how the Pavilion became what it is today with great determination and collaboration of all those involved, but also looking to the future and the challenges the Pavilion must be ready to address to support cities in becoming transformational forces for the SDGs.
Over the last year, the Pavilion focused its attention and strengthened its efforts in three key areas: 1) a global hub for knowledge exchange, 2) a creative and innovative platform, and 3) an agent to advance the sustainability agenda. There has been a tremendous amount of effort that has gone into leveraging the Pavilion's full capacity and opportunities.
“It has been wonderful working with all of the Pavilion Partners over the past year as we collectively chart new pathways to a sustainable future, a future in which our planet will not just survive, but thrive, a future in which everyone is welcome everywhere and everyone belongs.” Said Mitchell Cohen, President and CEO of the Daniels Corporation and a key partner of the Pavilion.
While the opening ceremonies celebrated what the Pavilion has achieved over the last year, it also looked to the future with new partnerships and opportunities. The Pavilion welcomed remarks from both Councillor Lily Cheng from the City of Toronto and Chief Administrative Officer Robert Bartlett of the District of West Vancouver to further explore collaboration with each as a global frontrunner cities. "Change implemented at the ward level has the potential to ripple into opportunities for the future. We are ready to identify our pilot and next steps." Said Councillor Cheng.
As well Pamela Robinson from Toronto Metropolitan University shared remarks on collaboration with the Pavilion to create synergies in mutual programming on sustainable urbanisation, education, and the SDGs.
The Pavilion showcased its role as a global knowledge exchange hub through its collaboration with Buro Happold, Related Argent, Barnet Council, The University of Manchester. In collaboration with the Pavilion, the organisations featured their initiative, Brent Cross Town, as they rethink the design and future of this northern London Borough. The flourishing index was presented as a tool to help measure the quality of life and health of those living in the community.
The celebrations closed with looking towards the future of Canada's role for sustainable urbanisation. Featuring several of the projects selected for the 100+: Canada's Profile on Urban SDGs. Kamran Espili, Executive Director of Urban Economy Forum, shared his enthusiasm to see so many great ‘made in Canada’ urban innovations and transformations.
Through the 100+ program, the Pavilion aims to extend the Canadian urbanisation experience to other cities and communities across the globe to address urban challenges and working towards the SDGs by building urban capacities through city-to-city learning. The initiatives selected as part of Canada’s Profile on Urban SDGs will be released later this month.
Arlene Etchen, Senior Specialist at CMHC shared remarks on behalf of President Romy Bowers, “you’ve not only launched a beautiful physical space along with the virtual platform, for people to connect around Sustainable Development Goals, you’ve also created global networks and an ongoing dialogue to help move the sustainability agenda forward.”
The year 2023 is off to a great start for the Pavilion as it looks to create an urban transformation.
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