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September 17, 2019

5 reasons to attend the Future Cities Canada Summit

Community leaders will be gathering at the Future Cities Canada Summit to dive deep into the bold, innovative city building work that is happening across the country and around the world to build communities that are participatory, sustainable at the core, and harness technology for the benefit of all. This two-day event on November 7 and 8, 2019 translates the hard work being done at the community level into solutions that can be shared and adapted to meet the specific needs of your residents.

There are many conferences tackling the big issues facing our cities, but the Future Cities Canada Summit is unique in many ways. Here is why it is not-to-miss:

Desmond Cole speaks at the 2018 Summit.

1. The Summit is solutions-focused

The Future Cities Canada Summit is at the intersection of knowledge and action. Our mainstage programming, concurrent workshops and collaborative sessions will feature a showcase of urban development solutions that help build the soft-skills required to innovate for positive change. Honing in on the principles and skills behind success stories will help build the capacity of attendees to replicate solutions in their own communities.

Be inspired. The opening keynote Solutions for Future Cities. Gabriella Gomez-Mont, founder of the award-winning experimental arm of the Mexico City government Laboratorio para la Ciudad (2013 - 2018), will look at how bold experimentation is key to solving urban issues.

A panel discussion during the 2018 Summit.

2. Let’s collaborate so we aren’t reinventing the wheel

How do you avoid invention when you’re trying to be innovative? Part of the answer lies in learning from others. The Summit offers creative and energizing breaks and networking opportunities ⁠— both facilitated and free-form ⁠— to connect with other city builders and urban leaders in the spirit of empowering collaboration and problem solving.

More sharing. Better Together: Building Communities for All, created in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, incorporates experience, expertise, and stories that showcase the collaborative, equitable approaches to community-building, problem solving, and sharing our collective spaces.

Live graphic representations during the 2018 Summit.

3. We embrace experimentation

Finding solutions requires risk and experimentation. Our programming will showcase exemplary communities that are leading our future cities, but the #FCCSummit2019 is also a space to get playful, mindful, and embrace the happy failures. It’s in this environment that we hope to foster inclusivity while tackling some of the biggest issues facing cities in the next 50 years.

Join us in The Sandbox, a presentation that explores the idea that innovation for positive change requires risk, experimentation, and sometimes, failure. Accepting the possibility of failure, and being willing to learn from it, is key to creating new solutions that break the existing mould.

Images from the light installation at the City Builders Gallery.

4. The venue

In 2010, Evergreen transformed a former brick factory into a global showcase for green design and an award-winning public space. Today, Evergreen Brick Works is a test site for piloting and scaling projects that push the boundaries in low-carbon city building and create vibrant community spaces.

The TD Future Cities Centre, the site of the redeveloped kiln building and mainstage location for the Summit, has become a national hub to showcase and celebrate ideas and solutions on thriving and sustainable cities.

One of our most beloved spaces, the Children’s Garden, a leading example of nature-based play and education, will be accessible as a space to gather and connect with your fellow city builders while enjoying the outdoor surroundings.

Jeremy Dutcher performs at the 2018 Future Cities Canada Summit.

5. There will be music, performance and art

Last year’s attendees experienced some not-so-typical conference offerings – a bluegrass band kicking off each speaker, visual storytelling bringing live illustrations to depict some big ideas in real time, and an unforgettable performance by 2018 Polaris Music Prize winner Jeremy Dutcher to close the event.