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Posted: September 08, 2010

Global meeting on sustainable cities

It's coming to Denver

David Clucas

An international conference focusing on sustainable urban energy and infrastructure will be held from Sept. 14 to 16 at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center in Denver.

The CITYDESIGN + CITYBUILD 2010 Conference, organized by Denver-based Montreux Energy LLC and title sponsored by IBM, will bring together national and international experts to discuss the risks and new opportunities in improving systems toward efficiency and sustainability.

The event, which began in 2008 in London, looks to "move out the lens" on sustainability to get city planners, architects, engineers and businesses to look at the topic on a more city-wide basis, connecting energy and water systems, to information systems, to transportation systems, said Andrew Bermingham, chief executive officer of Montreux Energy.

"I think people are getting a little tired of hearing about the small things we can do to be sustainable and green," he said. "This conference is about real deals and real projects on a larger scale around the world, and both the pros and cons those projects have encountered."

Bermingham said the biggest challenge for cities is to obtain broad understanding of both the supply and demand side of energy in urban areas, many of which have been built a-la-carte without a big-picture plan in place.

The three-day event in Denver will feature a series of roundtables and luncheons focusing on:

* Cities of the future
* The new age of urban infrastructure, planning, designs and technology
* Powering cities, smart grids, clean energy, and rewarding energy efficiency
* Networked cities and the urban mobile citizen as a key driver
* Finance, investment and venture capital in urban solutions
* Transportation and smart urban mobility fuels of the future
* A review of major projects, such as Denver's Union Station and Denver International Airport.

The roundtables will be led by leaders from a variety of industries including utilities, clean energy, and real estate development. Some participating companies are IBM, Honeywell, BASF, CH2M Hill, Encana, Shell International, Xcel Energy, Autodesk and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Other speakers will include officials from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis at NREL, the state of Colorado, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

IBM will host a kick-off workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 14 titled "Videogames as Tools to Design Cities of the Future." And Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will conclude the event on Thursday Sept. 16 with a talk on leadership skills in managing urban complexity.

Registration for the entire three-day event is $350, or individual days/events can be purchased. For more information, or to register, visit: http://www.citydesign.com

About 150 people are expected to attend this year's event. While Bermingham said he would like to see that number grow, he also wants to keep the event exclusive to those experts in the arena for effective networking throughout the event.

"More than half of the global population now lives in cities, so it is critical that our leaders effectively communicate the enormous opportunities and challenges for cities in creating a sustainable future," Bermingham said.

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David Clucas is a freelance writer in the Denver, Boulder and Northern Colorado metro areas. For six years, he covered real estate and banking for the Boulder County Business Report, winning state and national awards for his reporting. He is graduate of DePauw University and can be reached at clucas.work@gmail.com

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