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A woman speaks at the Summit.


Many of the challenges our municipalities face in transitioning to low-carbon, inclusive cities are so complex and polarizing that no one organization can address them in isolation. Our labs provide a place and process for unlikely collaborators to problem solve and develop new approaches to complex urban challenges.

Collaboration through Future Cities Canada Labs provides the required infrastructure for us to collectively imagine our future, focusing on four areas of urban innovation, including: capital, infrastructure, governance and participation.

Future Cities Canada Data Governance LabFuture Cities Canada Civic Capital Lab, Future Cities Canada Infrastructure Lab and Future Cities Canada Participation Lab are exciting examples of Future Cities Canada Labs.

Future Cities Canada Data Governance Lab

Canadian cities are struggling with the volume and speed at which data is being collected and applied. In order to ensure that cities can manage the availability, usability, integrity and security of data effectively and equitably, we require good governance models.
Our Future Cities Data Governance Lab will work with municipalities to refine and prototype data governance models that build on the principles of the Open Smart City outlined in the OpenNorth’s Open Smart Cities Guide.

Lab research includes:

The convening and research partners of the lab are Evergreen and MaRS Solutions Lab.

Future Cities Canada Civic Capital Lab

The 21st century is bringing with it two mutually-reinforcing challenges, which require unprecedented levels of urban investment and innovation — social inequality and climate change. In order to create more resilient and inclusive cities, Canada needs new ways to finance equitable and regenerative urban development. This includes both financing a new class of solutions and finding a new innovative way of financing itself.

The Civic Capital Lab will bring together stakeholders from the capital provision side (funders, impact investors, foundations), three levels of government, the development industry, and others. These stakeholders will collectively mobilize public, private and philanthropic financial capital in new and more efficient ways to accelerate low carbon, inclusive cities.

Lab research includes:

This work is led by Community Foundations of Canada, McConnell Foundation, Dark Matter Labs and MaRS Discovery District.

Future Cities Infrastructure Lab

In the coming decades, unprecedented public and private-sector investments in urban infrastructure will transform our cities in Canada, and around the world. If managed with foresight and vision, this investment represents a tremendous opportunity to position Canada as a global leader in low-carbon, inclusive city building. 

Our Infrastructure Lab is a phased research and scenario-planning project that aims to support and enable this ambition, aimed to help chart a path forward for the next 50 years and show the world how cities can and should be developed.

A group of visionary leaders are assembling around this work beginning with Deloitte, OCAD University, University of Toronto and Century Initiative.

Future Cities Canada Participation Lab

Our municipalities and communities are experiencing a low level of civic participation, adding to the growing inequality in our cities and the uneven distribution of power and decision making. 

Our Future Cities Canada Participation Lab will work with local participatory practitioners and cities to pilot new ways of engagement in order to strengthen our local engagement strategies to allow for more people to participate in city building and in their communities.

This work is led by Evergreen

Youth in a lab workshop
Photo courtesy YouthfulCities/CityHive

Future City Builders

Future City Builders engages 150 youth, aged 18-29 years old in five Canadian cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Hamilton, Toronto and Halifax. 

This program brings together 30 youth in each city to create and launch innovative ideas for urban food, water, transportation, housing and waste systems. After working together in a lab over 1-2 months, these city builders will have the potential to receive seed funding for their urban solution at a community pitch night.

Future City Builders is an initiative of Future Cities Canada, presented in partnership by Evergreen and YouthfulCities, and championed by RBC Future Launch.

Learn more.