More than 20,000 green-building organizations from 90 nations are holding conferences, tours, educational events, and gatherings in celebration of World Green Building Week Sept. 17-21.

Organized by the World Green Building Council, the events are intended to spotlight the key role of buildings in conserving resources, saving money, and creating jobs while providing healthier places to live, learn, work, and play. This year's theme is "Green Buildings for Great Communities."

"World Green Building Week is an important opportunity to educate communities around the world about the many benefits of green buildings—from human and environmental health to resilient infrastructure and robust economies," Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive officer, and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and chair of the World Green Building Council, said. "We also want to draw attention to the next generation and address the importance of healthy, sustainable learning and living environments."

USGBC's World Green Building Week activities include:

• A panel discussion titled "Cities and Climate Change Adaptation: What We Can Learn About Resilience From Those Living on the Edge," co-hosted by CHF International. The panel featured Judy Baker, lead economist in the urban practice for the World Bank Institute; Brian English, director of program innovation for CHF International; Aram Khachadurian, an international development consultant; Helen Santiago Fink, urban-climate-change advisor for USAID; and Janice Perlman, an independent scholar, teacher, and consultant. The panel discussed the importance of resiliency in safeguarding communities and economies, with an emphasis on the developing world.

• Awareness activities for Project Haiti Orphanage & Children's Center, which is helping children and families facing ongoing devastation following the earthquake of January 2010 and creating a replicable, resilient model for rebuilding. Together with pro-bono design partner HOK, Project Haiti stresses to Haitian children that their lives are valued, they deserve to breathe clean air, they have the right to live in comfort, and they are cared about.

• Preparation for and promotion of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC's first-ever Green Apple Day of Service, which will take place Sept. 29. For one day, advocates from around the world, including students, teachers, parents, and elected officials, as well as international green-building councils and USGBC staff, chapters, and member companies, will come together in support of healthy, sustainable schools by taking action in their communities.