As the former premier of British Columbia and three-term mayor of Vancouver, Mike Harcourt’s leadership helped Canada's westernmost province win its reputation as one of the most livable places in the world. He has been instrumental in transforming the way Canadians look at their cities, and his contributions have been recognized with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service and the Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award.
Harcourt championed a concept of urban renewal centered on residential rehabilitation and local area planning. As premier, he gained international acclaim by preserving the Tatshenshini River just across the border from Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park. His government set new guidelines for forest management and made a commitment to expand B.C.’s protected areas.
He is the author or co-author of three books, including City Making in Paradise: Nine Decisions That Saved Greater Vancouver's Livability. City Making reveals the political machinations, the ideological struggles and the personal commitment that lay behind each decision. By tracing each success back to its roots, Harcourt shows how cities are shaped by the daily choices of leaders, activists and citizens.
Since leaving office, Harcourt has filled many roles in Canada and beyond. He has served on the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee for Cities and Communities and on the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy. He co-chaired the National Advisory Committee on the United Nations’ World Urban Forum, held in Vancouver in 2006, and is Honorary Chair of the International Centre for Sustainable Cities.
He is associate director of the Continuing Studies Centre for Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. He chairs the Canadian Electricity Association’s Sustainable Electricity Program Advisory Panel and the public-private collaborative organization Quality Urban Energy Systems for Tomorrow (QUEST). He is also a member of the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Team.
Harcourt speaks on sustainable communities, urban revitalization, and leadership in creating a sustainable future.
Online video clips, audio interviews, speaking testimonials, and information about his book are available here. To explore engaging Mike Harcourt as a speaker, check out his profile on Speakers' Spotlight and contact Speakers' Spotlight here.
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