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Ed Murray
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson Monday announced a “memorandum of cooperation” between the two cities to fight climate change, build more affordable housing and replace out-of-date infrastructure, among other issues, in the region.

Seattle and Vancouver are separated by an international border but they are quite similar. Both boast highly scenic backdrops, have access to top Asian markets and are tech hubs. Leaders on both sides have consistently pushed for Seattle and Vancouver to work together more.

“The challenges of addressing deeply complex issues like climate change, aging infrastructure, affordable housing, and inequity are better met when working in partnership,” Murray said in a statement. “Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel to come up with solutions, we are partnering to share lessons learned, support one another on our resilience journeys, and solve problems together.”

Murray’s appearance in Vancouver comes on the opening night of the Emerging Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference — during a portion of the event that was closed to press. The conference will explore ways Seattle and Vancouver can work together to become an innovation hub. The event will be headlined by a rare joint appearance of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and its CEO Satya Nadella. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark will also speak at the event, which will include sessions on government leadership, education, transportation and investment.

“Vancouver and Seattle are economic leaders built on innovation, diversity, inclusion and a commitment to sustainability,” Robertson said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to building on our strong partnership with Seattle to deepen our collaboration and drive progress toward stronger resilience, tackling climate change, housing affordability, social connectedness and emergency preparedness. Vancouver and Seattle will be stronger for supporting each other as we build healthy, liveable and sustainable cities.”

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