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A train travels past a city skyline.

May 01, 2018

Our cities need a culture of inclusive innovation

This means innovation becomes routine, woven into the fabric of how we build, participate and interact with our cities.

Canadian cities are facing complex challenges that are difficult to address with shifting economic foundations, digital and technological transformation and changing demographics. Our cities big and small are at the forefront of the two most pressing issues of our times – inequality and climate change.

Inclusive innovation means finding new ways to meet these challenges that make our cities a better place for all people to live, work and play.

Deepening our culture of innovation requires all sectors working together. Our governments, foundations, universities, communities and private-sector partners all have a part in shaping the future of Canadian cities to benefit all.

Innovation and the future are connected. We know the way we will do things in 10, 50 or 100 years is not how we do them today.

Future Cities Canada is providing the collaborative structure that will allow this future to be realized.

Our approach is changing how people work together across all sectors to support and champion solutions to the complex issues facing our cities. We will harness the momentum and respond to the change that is rapidly occurring in our urban areas, from technologies to demographics.

People create large bubbles in a city.

We’re focusing our initiative on four broad systems where change is taking place in our cities. As we reimagine our future, we’re asking ourselves these tough questions:


How can we advance hybrid collaborative governance, foster more nimble cooperation between public sectors, industry and civil society, and grow an evidence base to support city-government innovation?


How can we scale new modes of civic engagement, and build a greater capacity for local governments and communities to participate in problem solving?


How can we test and scale new approaches in carbon reduction and resilience planning, forge private-public sector relationships to commercialize clean urban technologies and build community partnerships to create a thriving civic commons?


How can we develop new ways to align public, private and philanthropic resources to advance inclusive, low-carbon growth?

These considerations point to several important roles for Future Cities Canada to deepen the culture of urban innovation in cities. Future Cities Canada will enable us to build the knowledge, policy, networks and actions to catalyze innovation in how we invest in, govern and engage in the future of our cities.

We’re excited about the opportunities within these four urban systems to transform the future of our cities to make them equitable, regenerative and prosperous for all. We will do it — together.