“There is no single answer to any problem in the city. The solution comes from a multiplicity of answers.”
— Charles Montgomery, author of Happy City

“Create a plan for tomorrow, not yesterday or today.”
— Brent Toderian, city planner

During its first phase, Cities for People supported demonstration projects that have the potential to contribute to larger-scale improvements to our cities. In its next phase, Cities for People will focus on innovations that increase equality, revalue the civic commons and support cities’ social and economic innovation and transformation on a larger scale.

Economic and social inequalities are increasing in most Canadian cities, manifested by a lack of affordable housing, a more precarious labour market, a weakening social safety net and a decline in confidence in the capacity of governments to address these challenges. Given the need to address the issue of inequality, we will make it one of the pillars of the ongoing initiative.

These assets are the backbone of our cities and provide opportunities to reimagine the cities of tomorrow.    

Another vital pillar – revaluing our civic commons – is born out of the belief that disused or underused hospitals, churches, post offices, schools, libraries and the like represent opportunities to meet a range of needs in our cities for social enterprise incubators, co-working spaces, intergenerational learning centres and more. These assets are the backbone of our cities and provide opportunities to reimagine the cities of tomorrow.

Complementing the work with cities on the challenges above, we propose to support interventions around specific challenges and opportunities in a few selected cities using City Labs for innovation and transformation. In each case, a consortium of governments, businesses, community organizations, academics and affected populations would come together to co-create breakthrough possibilities for change. The goal of the labs would be to improve the ability of such cross-sectoral collaborations to achieve measurable, durable impact.

There is lots of work ahead, and we know that no single organization, agency or government can make a lasting impact alone. This report is not just a retrospective on what we have accomplished so far, but also an invitation to join us. Quite simply, we cannot do this without you. Help us build the cities for people that Canadians of all backgrounds need and deserve.

To find out more, please visit citiesforpeople.ca.