South African Anglican Archbishop and renowned anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu will give the keynote address at Greenbuild 2008, to be held in Boston on November 19 through 21. Tutu’s appearance marks a continuation of the US Green Building Council’s commitment to tie green building to world issues. Last year in Chicago, former President Bill Clinton gave the keynote address, which can be viewed here. Archbishop Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, worked for social justice in South Africa as the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, pushing for reconciliation after the end of apartheid, as well as using his clout to fight poverty, human rights abuses, and AIDS. “Bishop Tutu’s life, work, and message demonstrate the power of transformational change,” commented Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chairman of the USGBC. “Bishop Tutu’s role in ending apartheid in South Africa and bringing reconciliation to its people will inspire us toward the transformation of our buildings to a sustainable future, and will give us an extraordinary example of social justice in action.”
The conference and expo, themed “Revolutionary Green: Innovations for Global Sustainability,” will coincide with the regional show Build Boston, the Boston Society of Architect’s convention and trade show. Registered attendees at either show will be able to visit both exhibit halls at no extra cost. “Green building policy is the cornerstone of what makes Boston one of the greenest cities in the U.S.,” says James Hunt, Boston’s Chief of Environment and Energy. “These two signature events will bring leading international design professionals right here to Boston to experience firsthand the transformation taking place in our city, as well as to share the latest innovations from around the globe.”
The city of Boston has recently implemented a number of sustainability initiatives under Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s leadership, particularly in the areas of green building policy, renewable energy and efficiency, and groundwater protection. In January of 2007, Boston became the first major city in the nation to require private development to follow LEED standards as part of the city’s zoning review process.
A review of the film The Greening of Southie, a documentary on the building of Boston’s first green residential building, can be found here.
You can keep up to date on future green building shows with our calendar of green building events.