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Final month of Future Cities Canada: The Summit explores the future of smart cities

Free virtual gathering includes a spotlight on how community-driven innovation is reshaping Canada in the COVID era – October 13-15, 2021

TORONTO, Oct. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This month, Future Cities Canada, the national cross-sector initiative designed to accelerate innovation to transform cities, presents its final virtual gathering on October 13 - 15, 2021, as part of Future Cities Canada: The Summit. The monthly program led by Evergreen and hosted by Future Cities Canada, launched in May 2021 has brought together urban thought leaders, private- and public-sector innovators, and community leaders to showcase the what’s-next in creating more resilient communities of the future. From October 13-15, 2021, 10 thought-provoking sessions explore the future of open smart cities, the power of inclusive design to spur social change in cities, and a newly added session on climate adaptation and mitigation with NASA.

“Designing smarter more inclusive cities means putting people at the centre of solutions,” said Geoff Cape, Founder & CEO, Evergreen, one of the founding partners of Future Cities Canada. “These final sessions push us all to rethink urban infrastructure and the role of data & technology as a way to build resiliency and creating a sense of place and inclusivity.”

For more details and to register, visit 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 Summit Highlights:

Bridging the Digital Divide: Addressing Connectivity Gaps in Toronto and Montreal
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST 
Barriers to accessing affordable internet and the skills to use connected devices have only been further amplified during this past year. This is felt by residents in some of Canada’s largest cities. Panelists Todd Hofley, Director, Property Relations, Beanfield; Alejandro Gonzalez Rendon, Co-chair, Downtown ACORN, Alvar Herrera, Technology and Innovation Counselor, Innovation Lab (LIUM) City of Montreal, Laurie Savard, Montreal Newcomer Integration Office (BINAM), Diversity and Social Inclusion Department, with moderator Sam Andrey, Director of Policy and Research, Ryerson Leadership Lab, discuss the digital divide in Toronto and Montreal, the threat it presents to inclusive city building, and the providers stepping up to fill the gap.

Breaking Ground on Inclusive Urban Development
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EST 
A session examining the West Don Lands Rental Masterplan, one of Canada’s largest and most significant residential development projects and a model for city building. Panelists Andrew Joyner, Managing Director, Tricon Residential, Abi Bond, Executive Director of the Housing Secretariat at the City of Toronto, David Charron, Director, Financing Solutions, CMHC, with moderator Orit Sarfaty, Chief Program Officer, Evergreen, explore what the future of human-centered and equitable purpose-built rental housing looks like, including Toronto’s first purpose-built Indigenous Hub.

TD Future Cities Speaker Series: E-sg: Path to Net Zero
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST 
A discussion focused on the "E" in ESG (known as Environmental, social and corporate governance practices), the key tools that corporations can use to make critical impact, and consumers who are dedicated to supporting organizations that align with their values are taking notice. Panelists Amy Young, Director of Industry, Microsoft, Melissa Barbosa, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Canada, Mary de Wysocki, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs, CISCO with moderator John Coyne, President, Coyne Consulting Services, Inc. break down what this means for corporations, and what ESG solutions we should all be paying attention to.

Thursday, October 14, 2021 Highlights:

Community-driven Innovation and the Emerging Disruption
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST
Municipal leaders and experts in innovation capacity, including Alexandra Cutean, Chief Research Officer, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and Laurie Guthrie, Civic Innovation Strategist / Smart City Project Manager, City of Fredericton, with moderator Martin Canning, Executive Director, Government Innovation, Evergreen, discuss key themes impacting local governance and government across Canada and how community-driven innovation is reshaping Canada in the COVID era.

Back to Earth: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation with NASA
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST
This session explores how satellite data and other cutting-edge programs developed by NASA are helping municipalities and corporations make better on the ground decisions towards climate change adaptation and mitigation. Dr. Christian V. Braneon, Remote Sensing Specialist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Dr. Lesley E. Ott, Climate Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center discuss the new tools and technologies that have been developed over the years, and how they are being used to advance major innovations in climate science.

Friday, October 15, 2021 Highlights:

The Infrastructure of Innovation: Moving Civic Innovation from Pilot Projects to Core Operations
2:30-3:30 p.m. EST
A session exploring how structural transformations, sparked from hackathons, startups-in-residence, and urban tech investment, can be realistically sustained by municipal governments. The session is hosted by the Community Solutions Network’s lead technical partner Open North.

About Future Cities Canada: The Summit 
From May through to October, The Summit provides an important meeting place to spark partnerships and create opportunities from across the country and around the world on topics ranging from Housing & Infrastructure, Placemaking and Placekeeping, Data & Technology, Climate Change Adaptation, Education and the Future of Work. The monthly Summit began in May and ends with a three-day virtual gathering on October 13 - 15 2021. 

Led by Evergreen, this is the fourth 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: The Summit 

Lead Funder: Infrastructure Canada  

Lead Sponsors: TD Bank Group, McConnell Foundation, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation  

Lead Media Partner: The Globe and Mail  

Convened by: Evergreen  

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

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 more livable, green and prosperous. For 30 years, we’ve been facilitating change in communities through connection, innovation and sustainable actions. We work with community builders across sectors to solve some of the most pressing issues cities face: climate change, housing affordability, and access to nature and public spaces. Through our award-winning programs and collaborative initiatives across the country and at Evergreen Brick Works, our headquarters in Toronto, and through national partnerships with Future Cities Canada, we are building resilience in schools, public spaces, housing and communities as a whole.  

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