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People dance down a street in Toronto. Image Credit: Sergio De Lara/Evergreen
Image Credit: Sergio De Lara/Evergreen

May 02, 2018

We must envision our 21st century cities

We are embarking on a historic moment for cities in Canada — a moment of transformative change full of new ideas, new technologies and new opportunities for public participation. It’s a moment to ensure we build flourishing cities that are equitable, regenerative and prosperous. But we can’t do it alone. We must collaborate to collectively imagine our future and ensure Canada continues to be a leader in building thriving cities for all.

Three years ago, Evergreen and Cities for People began the groundwork for Future Cities Canada with the campaign We Are Cities. We engaged thousands of citizens by asking them to imagine an agenda for the future of our cities.
 
In the end, five priority areas for action were recognized, including the establishment of a Canadian civic commons strategy. The need for a collaborative infrastructure to catalyze inclusive urban innovation for flourishing cities was soon realized in a subsequent report by Evergreen and McConnell on the civic commons. It became clear we needed Future Cities Canada.

A woman sits at a table during a 100In1Day workshop.
 Future Cities Canada is accelerating innovation in three ways: We re-imagine futures, connect innovators and scale solutions to transform cities for the benefit of all.
 
The work is already underway across the country as we invite city builders to help us create the collaborative infrastructure that will allow us to embark on this moment of change. Two initial projects will help bring this framework to a larger audience:

Future Cities Roadshow

Future Cities Canada hosted a series of roundtable conversations with municipalities and communities across the country. These conversation helps us ensure the vision for Future Cities Canada is inclusive of all cities in Canada, from coast to coast. 

The roadshow kicked off in December in Cape Breton and Halifax, and continued into April 2018, wrapping up with conversations in Six Nations of the Grand River, Regina and Winnipeg.

100In1Day Canada

For the past five years, Evergreen has been championing 100In1Day Canada, part of a growing global movement empowering citizen action in our cities. We are excited Future Cities Canada will be powering this exciting initiative in 2018. 100In1Day Canada provides a platform for residents, organizations and municipalities across the country to showcase locally-based interventions that spark innovation in their cities. Idea generation and capacity building workshops are underway in 12 Canadian cities until June, culminating in a one-day celebration on June 2, 2018.  

Post the June event, participants will be invited to scale their ideas, becoming part of the network of change agents fuelled by Future Cities Canada. This will make 100In1Day Canada a lasting platform for participatory city building.