Some of the best minds on sustainability issues will converge on Victoria's doorstep for a two-day conference this June. The Gaining Ground Summit will bring together more than 200 developers, architects, consultants, policymakers, community and industry leaders in North America to talk about climate issues, the economy, communities and the revitalization of Canadian cities.

Noted speakers include Maurice Strong, the chairman emeritus of the Earth Council Alliance and former senior advisor to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Strong's environmental background is world-reknown.

His discussion will focus on strategic methods to bring sustainability issues to the centre stage. In addition to gathering some of the world's great minds on sustainability, the conference will highlight development projects such as Dockside Green, a 11.6-acre site between Johnson and Bay Street Bridges in Victoria.

"We would like to showcase the Dockside project," said Fionn Yaxley, media relations coordinator for the conference.

"Dockside has several different things that are unique about it."

Dockside Green is a mixed-use development that would incorporate economic opportunities, environmental responsibility and urban living. The design is based on the "waste is food" concept - waste from one use, will be used by something else. It is also an example of revitalization.

The site is a "brown" site, meaning hazardous waste issues had to be dealt with. Certain aspects of the project recently came under fire from Mayor Alan Lowe after final details of the first phase were released. Lowe criticized the building as being a place for the rich. "Affordable housing" units were priced from $188,000 to $225,000. The one-bedroom suites are aimed at people making between $39,000 and $60,000 a year. The conference is being held days before the World Urban Forum in Vancouver.

"We are the brainstorming appetizer to that," said Yaxley. The conference will be held June 15-17. Register online at, early bird registration available until April 15.