New highlights announced for Future Cities Canada: #UnexpectedSolutions

Free virtual city-building gathering features 130-plus speakers, over 60 sessions and seven streams of content over six weeks – October 20 to November 26, 2020

TORONTO, Oct. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Your community’s solution is waiting. Future Cities Canada, the national cross-sector initiative designed to accelerate innovation to transform cities, presents a season of solutions, a virtual six-week gathering of over 130 of leading minds in city building from across Canada and around the world. Led by Evergreen, Future Cities Canada: #UnexpectedSolutions brings together urban thought leaders, private- and public-sector innovators, and mayors and community leaders to showcase and build the innovative solutions needed to create more resilient and sustainable futures. Register today for the 60+ free virtual sessions taking place from October 20 to November 26, 2020.

“At a moment when our cities and its residents are under intense pressures to react, recover and rebuild as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, it vital that we address the complex challenges that communities of all sizes are facing together,” said Orit Sarfaty, Chief Program Officer at Evergreen, one of the founding partners of Future Cities Canada. “We have gathered a powerhouse of thought leaders from across sectors to share the tools and inspiration needed to spark innovative ideas and new partnerships. It’s essential that all of us join these critical conversations to advance positive change in cities now and far into the future.”

This season of solutions features seven streams of immersive content covering key issues related to Smart Cities; Infrastructure, Housing & Development; Arts & Cultural Heritage; Placemaking & Placekeeping; The New Economy; Climate Adaptability and Urban Foresight. The thought-provoking panels and conversations with national and international speakers, inspiring interactive workshops with industry leaders, and creative networking opportunities focus on connectedness, innovation and sustainability.

Highlights include:

  • A conversation on Re-Indigenizing Cities, featuring Wanda Dalla Costa, architect and professor from the Indigenous Design Collaborative at Arizona State University, followed by a live Q+A on the principles of Indigenous design and examples of their application in North American cities, as part of the TD Future Cities Speaker Series. This series is supported by TD Bank Group via the TD Ready Commitment.

  • From the Mayors' Office, a series of panels with Ontario mayors examining topics such as the Future of Work, Shifting Housing Landscapes and their unique City Hacks as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Panelists will dive into current trends, their impact on its residents and the strategies and policies municipalities are pursuing to improve the quality of service for residents in the post-pandemic future.

  • In Conversation with Richard Florida, one of the world’s leading urbanists discusses the current state, and possible future, for post-pandemic cities and what the results of the 2020 U.S. election could mean for Canada.

  • Healthy Homes for Healthy Cities, a conversation with Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO of the Wellesley Institute, and Julia Deans, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada, on the wide ranging and deep impacts the deficit in accessible and safe housing options creates in some of Canada's most marginalized communities, and where cities should go from here to begin alleviating this systemic issue.

  • Top participants of Evergreen’s Spotlight: Housing Innovation program showcase their housing affordability innovations from across the country to a diverse panel of multi-sectoral industry experts and community members, followed later by scaling workshops and innovative housing webinar. Applications to submit your innovative housing solution is October 19, 2020.

  • Hot Docs Presents: two essential civic-themed docs addressing important issues facing large cities today streamed for free on Hot Docs at Home, followed by live Q&As. Festival favourite Push features a conversation with award-winning director Fredrik Gertten and Global Director of The Shift and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing Leilani Farha. Following The Human Scale film director Andreas Dalsgaard and Jeff Risom, chief innovation officer for Gehl discuss the need, now more than ever, to consider strategic city planning and design from the perspective of the human experience.

  • The Community Solutions Network hosts a series of Collision Days, connecting municipalities and indigenous communities from across their region with a network of regional tech companies and start-ups to discuss the urgent and relevant challenges they are facing. Through matchmaking and group and one-on-one conversations these days offer the chance to build capacity within the field of open smart and data driven community solutions and open the door to municipal-business partnerships to catalyze solution development and support municipalities on their smart cities journey.

Whether attending all or a select number of sessions, #UnexpectedSolutions attendees can expect to engage with city builders who are breaking down the silos in how we shape our cities, dive deep in bold, innovative city-building work that is happening across the country, and unlock the tools and inspiration that can be adapted to their communities. To register visit: 

This is the third national gathering by Future Cities Canada, a collaborative platform founded in 2018 by Evergreen, McConnell Foundation, TD Bank Group, Maison de l'innovation sociale and Community Foundations of Canada. 

To be the first to learn about new speakers and sessions, sign up for the Future Cities Canada newsletter and join the conversation at @FutureCitiesCA  

Future Cities Canada: #UnexpectedSolutions  

Lead Funder: Infrastructure Canada 
Lead Sponsors: TD Bank Group, McConnell Foundation, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation  
Lead Media Partner: The Globe & Mail

Convened by: Evergreen 

Media contact: 
Renee Tratch, Sr. Manager, Public Relations & Content, Evergreen 
416-596-1495 Ext. 273,

Future Cities Canada is a national cross-sector initiative with the mission to accelerate innovation to transform cities for the benefit of all. Drawing on the expertise of its founding organizations - The McConnell Foundation, TD Bank Group, Evergreen, Maison de l’innovation sociale and Community Foundations of Canada - and together with a diverse and growing network of partners, Future Cities Canada collectively strives to address the challenges facing cities and city-dwellers to reimagine cities that are equitable, regenerative and prosperous. 

Evergreen is dedicated to making cities flourish. Since 1991, the national not-for-profit has been hard at work transforming spaces into great places so that communities can thrive. We believe that by connecting people, natural and built worlds, we can enable Canadians to do great things that will shape our cities for the better.