The City of Windsor, led by their Supervisor of Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, Karina Richters, has been a leader on climate change adaptation and mitigation in Canada. They have been GCoM signatories since 2015 and have successfully achieved many of the GCoM badges. When Karina heard about the Global Covenant of Mayors Canada Showcase Cities pilot, she jumped at the opportunity to share her vast experience and to learn from other municipalities across the country.
The Showcase Cities pilot provided a way to interact with a wide variety of municipalities from across the country, which is relatively uncommon given the large distances (and language barriers) that generally separate one region from another. The membership of the Showcase Cities participants also varied: participants weren’t necessarily only working on climate change or environmental initiatives. This helped Karina understand different perspectives on climate work, which she could then apply to her own municipality.
One of the biggest benefits to joining the Showcase Cities pilot for Karina was the opportunity to network and collaborate with municipal staff from across Canada. The in person meeting during the winter, followed by thematic monthly calls, helped foster relationships and collaboration. Karina has been able to follow up with municipal representatives to share and learn more about their initiatives, which in turns helps her to improve her own municipality’s climate action.
“There are few national opportunities to interact with other municipalities, and even if there are regional differences, most of what municipal governments do is the same. It is extremely helpful to share with and learn from a more diverse pool of people and contexts.” – Karina Richters, City of Windsor, ON