SFU Climate Solutions Innovation Series


Simon Fraser University 

Tue, 07/28/2020
An opportunity to hear some of British Columbia’s most innovative minds discuss climate solutions in response to COVID-19.
Watch 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 was 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 engaged in 10-minute pitches followed by a pitch from a local solution-seeker. There was 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 helped 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
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.
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?
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 2: Developing greener transportation systems in light of COVID-19
Date: Wednesday June 24, 2020 | Time: 11am-12pm
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.
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.
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.