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Learning Networks

We are at an unprecedented moment to transform city building to better serve generations to come. To harness this moment, Canada needs to create a culture of innovation, which requires effective collaboration across sectors and between communities. We need sophisticated collaboration models to establish a common ground, to build partnerships and find solutions in order to move swiftly into action.

Our learning networks generate, curate and share urban research to promote knowledge-sharing and capacity building for urban innovators and city builders. Our learning networks, together with our labs and hubs, create a national network to accelerate innovation.

The Community Solutions Network & Community Solutions Portal, the Future Cities Canada Summit and Future City Builders are a few of the projects increasing community capacity to collectively build our future cities.

People put sticky notes on a board.

Community Solutions Network

The Community Solutions Network is designed to help communities build service area capacity and improve the lives of residents using data and connected technology approaches. We help communities navigate the smart cities landscape. Our focus includes such topics as security, data, procurement, governance, and public engagement.

As the project lead, Evergreen is working with OpenNorth and partners to provide valuable information, learning opportunities and advisory services in key areas of data and technology for municipal and community leaders. The Network runs parallel to the Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge to amplify its impact and objectives to create more livable, inclusive communities across the country.

Learn more about this program.

Civic Commons Catalyst

The Civic Commons Catalyst is a new initiative of Future Cities Canada which will offer an array of programming seeking to support and scale existing civic initiatives, prototype new participatory models, and support resident-led activities.

The Civic Commons are the backbone of a city. They exist across Canada as vibrant places such as libraries, schools and community hubs. They often serve the needs of residents, offer public benefits and economic opportunities, and instill a sense of belonging. Civic Commons are shared assets that have the power to foster engagement, equity and prosperity in our cities.

In some communities in Canada, we are seeing a degradation, underinvestment and underutilization of our civic commons, while in others the growing privatization of place further reduces the commons. This trend is contributing to feelings of apathy and disengagement in our communities. This conversation will dive into how civic assets can continue to be important anchors for community cohesion.

  1. A Supported Network - An ecosystem of hubs exist across the country that focus on different issues and problem solving. These range from the use of transitory spaces, to the redefining of the civic functions of libraries, police stations and shopping malls for the 21st century. In 2019, the Civic Commons Catalyst will begin conversations with these hubs to explore how to we might develop a coordinated pan-Canadian Civic Commons network.
  2. Lab - The lab provides a space for a small group of practitioners to problem solve and innovate together. Together, the lab participants from across the country will pilot innovative engagement methods. The knowledge captured from the lab’s practice will be circulated to the members of the network. 
  3. Innovation Incubator - A space within the Future Cities Centre at Evergreen Brick Works for community organizations, members of the Lab cohort and the Hubs network to pilot and test public engagement processes. This space will serve a dual purpose of providing a location for social innovators to come together to collaborate, prototype and amplify solutions, and activate hands-on activities for residents to participate in the city-building process.

We are launching the Civic Commons Catalyst with a monthly webinar series that will feature voices from across Canada exploring some of the most pressing issues, opportunities and interesting work happening around our civic commons.

Learn more about our upcoming webinars! 

A Summit session.

Future Cities Canada Summit

The Future Cities Canada Summit is an annual national gathering on the future of cities. It brings together city builders from all sectors to create and strengthen new relationships, and collectively accelerate innovations for more inclusive, sustainable and resilient cities.