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Stories

The best information to help you turn bold ideas into innovative solutions

Blog post

My Most Important Connection

Earlier this year, emerging technology companies, subject matter experts and community leaders from across Manitoba and Saskatchewan gathered virtually at the Community Solutions Networks’ Collision Day. We spoke with Mitch Thomson, Executive Director of the Olds Institute, about his experience at the event, and why he would recommend it to other community organizations. 

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Welkom.U: The App that is Streamlining Settlement for Newcomers to Canada

Founded by international student Oluwatosin Ajibola, Welkom.U is an app focused on improving the relocation and settlement process of newcomers to Canada.

Blog post

British Columbia First Nation addresses digital divide

A new broadband network established by the Klemtu First Nation in Klemtu, B.C. aims to connect residents, generate social, professional and economic opportunities, and foster community resilience. 

Article

The Wonders of Green Infrastructure and Why Cities Need It

Air and water pollution, floods, sewage overflows, and increasing global temperatures all threaten cities and the health of residents. Green infrastructure mimics the natural world to help cities adapt to these environmental hazards and climate change-related risks. 

Article

Greener cities, resilient food systems

Can COVID-19 be the catalyst needed to transform urban food systems?

Opinion

The resilient city: Why Canadian metropolises will thrive despite the pandemic

Urban dwellers have been fantasizing about escaping to the suburbs and countryside since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But while the virus is reshaping our cities, they will still be centres of growth and vibrancy in the years to come.

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CUG+R and NAIMA Launch Online Training for Construction Industry

In partnership with the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association of Canada (NAIMA Canada), the Centre for Urban Growth + Renewal has developed an online training resource to help workers in the construction industry become more familiar with retrofitting in occupied buildings.

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Tower Renewal: A Field Guide to Retrofits in Occupied Buildings

The Centre for Urban Growth + Renewal has released a new “Field Guide” designed to assist apartment owners, the construction industry and apartment residents navigate retrofit construction projects in Canada.

Article

Preserving older buildings and low rents: a growing movement to rehab rather than build new

Could preserving older buildings be an effective affordability strategy?

Article

New initiative designed to build net-zero housing will help meet nutritional needs in remote communities as well

Besides drastically improving the affordability of living in remote communities, the initiative is also expected to provide numerous jobs for community members.

Article

‘Tiny Townhomes’ Could Fill Empty Lots across Vancouver, Says Builder

A Vancouver builder is urging the city to take a look at building what he calls “tiny townhomes” on small vacant lots throughout the city as one possible solution to rising homelessness and persistent tent cities.

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Vancouver company leads the way in innovative home deconstruction

An innovative Vancouver company is trying to change the way houses are torn down by salvaging every last scrap of reusable material — and it turns out to be good for not only the environment, but also the bottom line.

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Smart cars, smart cities, why not smart Great Lakes?

Smart, connected communities are popping up around the globe, integrating intelligent technologies between the natural and built environments. Increasingly, we rely on autonomous monitoring of air to inform us of allergens and pollutants that affect our health. Why not do the same for our waterways?

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Supporting Affordable Housing for Canadian Seniors Living in Rural Communities

This Policy Lab report outlines policy options to facilitate access to affordable and adequate housing for seniors living in rural areas, with particular attention to low and middle-income seniors.

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What we learned about traffic crashes in Edmonton

Jessica Lamarre is the Director of Traffic Safety, for the City of Edmonton. It’s her team’s job to help get the condolences down to zero. They’re using new data and information to do it.

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Data & tech to make post-secondary campuses safer

REES, a new online platform for reporting sexual violence launches this fall on campuses across Manitoba.

A city plagued by homelessness builds AI tool to predict who’s at risk

Developed through Future Cities Canada Data Governance Lab, the city of London, ON has developed an AI tool to detect residents who are at risk of becoming chronically homeless, called the Chronic Homelessness Artificial Intelligence model. 

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Affordable housing is not just a big city problem

58 per cent of people living in Atlantic Canadian cities report that their neighbourhood is less affordable compared to five to 10 years ago.

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Remote communities are turning to renewable energy systems

Communities pivot away from fossil fuels for heat and electricity generation.

Opinion

Tech - Yes, Tech - Can Solve The Root Issues Of Homelessness

Apps and digital platforms have solved everything from how we hail rides to find dates. It can also be leveraged to address root causes of homelessness. Here are some solutions working today.

Insight

Could co-operative housing be a solution for greener, sustainable living?

See examples of co-operative, intentional living working in urban and rural communities.

Article

A proven way to end homelessness in Canada

5 Canadian cities test the emerging Housing First model and help over 1,000 people move into safe, stable and affordable housing, with many remaining a decade later.

Opinion

We Need a New Deal for Affordable Housing

The current crisis makes it clear - if there was ever a moment to seize in advocating for the building of more affordable housing, this is it.

Article

Smart city trends across Canada

Carly Livingstone, Senior Program Manager at Evergreen, examines 5 key trends for Smart cities across Canada. 

Article

Connection redfined: A new way of building resiliency

With cities most pressing issues gaining even greater urgency in the pandemic, how do we effectively connect to take action and build resiliency, when the very act of connecting faces challenges?

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Indigenous-led company AppDigenous is creating accessible smart cities, one app at a time

Melissa Lunney, a Smart Cities Challenge Finalist, shares the creation process for the app Doorable.

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What it will take to build a more liveable city

How can data & technology solutions align with resident needs to make cities more liveable? 

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#CommunityResilience Twitter Chat

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Resilient Cities, Post COVID-19: Accelerating Innovation

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Canada’s first 5G smart city project launched in Kelowna

The City of Kelowna is installing Light (LiDAR) sensors from Blue City Technology running over Rogers Communications’ 5G network at two intersections to monitor traffic patterns.

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Made-In-BC Software Improves Child Health Access During COVID

The software uses video technology to connect patients to pediatric specialists at a time when many doctors’ offices are limiting in-person visits due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Vancouver uses virtual open houses to ensure citizens are engaged on re-zoning proposals

The City of Vancouver has introduced virtual open houses to allow residents to have their say on proposed re-zoning applications and how a property or area can be used or developed.

Article

Medical Innovation Xchange partners with Ontario Government to assist companies to retool

The Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), a healthtech hub based in Kitchener-Waterloo, is partnering with the Government of Ontario to offer free advisory services to companies retooling their manufacturing facilities to create medical supplies.

Article

Covid-19 Will Accelerate the AI Health Care Revolution

Disease diagnosis, drug discovery, robot delivery—artificial intelligence is already powering change in the pandemic’s wake.

Article

Northern Ontario mine-tech company seeking partner to test COVID-tracing software

MineIQ’s subscription-based software aggregates real-time data collected by sensors throughout a mine operation.With some tweaking, the platform can trace COVID-19 infections.

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Minds behind pandemic predicting algorithm already thinking about future beyond COVID-19

Canadian Researcher shares how data and artificial intelligence can provide a bird's-eye view of diseases around the globe in real time, letting people move faster to quash new outbreaks.

Article

Software tool built by U of T startup shares genetic data with COVID-19 researchers around the world

DNAstack's search engine scans and indexes genomic information about the virus from scientists from around the world, making it possible to share and discover knowledge about the genetics of the virus in real time.

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Kitchener tech hub helping Ontario businesses meet COVID-19 needs

Medical Innovation Xchange has partnered with the province to help support companies tasked with building the tools needed to fight COVID-19.

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How Smart City Planning Could Slow Future Pandemics

The Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity to rethink how cities are designed—and make them better equipped to stop disease from spreading. 

Article

How COVID-19 will reshape our world

Experts in technology, transportation, education and healthcare weigh in on how the pandemic will change the way we live, work and study.

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Resilient Cities, Post COVID-19: Rewriting Policy

What could COVID-19 mean for the future of Canadian cities? Future Cities Canada reached out to city-builders and community leaders from across the country for their perspectives.

Guide

Open Call: Helping governments move at the speed of need

Code for Canada is part of a new initiative that’s helping Canadian governments build digital services for residents and businesses during COVID-19.

Article

Disruption is opportunity: Innovative ideas & Unexpected solutions from across Canada during COVID-19

When some doors close, others open.

Read about the innovative ideas & Unexpected solutions from across Canada during COVID-19

Article

Resilient Cities, Post COVID-19

Evergreen, Future Cities Canada and many others are beginning to explore what COVID-19 could mean for the future of Canadian cities. As a first step towards this, we reached out to city-builders and community leaders from across the country for their perspectives on this question: How will COVID-19 change the future of cities?  

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Developers building a contact-tracing app hope to prevent second wave of COVID-19

A team at the University of Waterloo are working to develop an app that tracks COVID-19 infections using Bluetooth technology, allowing doctors to notify people who have come within proximity of an infected person.

Article

University of Alberta researchers develop online tool to map COVID-19 data

A group of researchers at the University of Alberta have developed an interactive online tool to help map the virus.

Article

Empower Health launches online resource for COVID-19 updates

Empower Health launches an online resource and interactive map that shows the most up-to-date and detailed  information about the locations of all confirmed and recovered cases of COVID-19 in communities across Canada.

Article

Online platform connects independent and contract care workers with long-term care facilities in need

Ontario grown BookJane is the technology solution meeting the high-demand for healthcare workers in long-term care facilities fighting COVID-19.

Article

DNAstack Launches COVID-19 Beacon to Accelerate Sharing Genomic Data

Launched by Toronto-based DNAstack, this beacon will enable the scientific and medical communities to share and discover knowledge about the genetics of the virus in real time.

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University of Saskatchewan engineers develop 3D-printable N95 mask

A University of Saskatchewan engineering team is using 3D printers to design a comfortable, reusable and sanitizable N95 class respirator mask.

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Calgary company develops employee software for food companies to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks

A Calgary-based company has developed software for essential food companies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among staff and the public by tracking daily digital logs of symptoms and exposure factors.

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B.C. launches COVID-19 support app

The B.C. government has launched a COVID-19 support app to help provide residents with the latest information on the ongoing pandemic.

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City of Vancouver launches Covid-19 dashboard

The dashboard enables citizens to take an “inside look” at a number of key metrics and service areas that have been activated during the public health emergency. 

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Quebec’s 3D printers are ready and willing to help fight COVID-19

Across Quebec, 3D printing companies are active and working to fight the coronavirus.These printers are used to make prototypes of masks and visors; valves; devices for opening doors without using one's hands; and other medical equipment for hospitals.

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World Health Organization, Facebook, Microsoft team up in COVID-19 hackathon

#BuildforCOVID19 focuses on the development of technology of value during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Newly-launched COVID-19 Monitor reveals Canadians largely heeding public health advice, though confidence in government response varies

 Data scientists at Vox Pop Labs have launched the COVID-19 Monitor.

Insight

What Does The Next Generation Of Smart Cities Look Like?

How do we build a world ready for the future, today? Smart cities are an emerging solution to this question.

Opinion

Learning uninterrupted

As technology is making its way in the classroom, networks have to allow learning to go uninterrupted.

Insight

Tree cover is not enough: Keeping cities cool calls for a commons-based climate response

With climate change, urban heat is a major issue. Trees are usually presented as the solution, but are they?

Article

Using canoes and virtual reality, local project explores Indigenous traditions

A project funded by the provost's Grand Challenges Research brings Indigenous communities together while advancing science and technology.

Presentation

Access and analyze trusted COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global data

With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 respiratory illness around the world, data and facts are essential for public understanding and an organized response.

Insight

Who owns all the data collected by ‘smart cities’?

Who will own the collected and generated data? This is a major issue, since smart cities are all about the collection and processing of huge volumes and varieties of data.

Blog post

The Future (of City Building) is Female

Women are now more than ever leading, collaborating and driving change in their communities. Here are seven women who are inspiring us.

Article

Demystifying Digital Storage Solutions for Indigenous Data Sovereignty

This article examines some data storage technologies that can be useful for Indigenous organizations moving towards data sovereignty.

Opinion

Could cities profit from protecting themselves against rising seas?

Rather than having a defensive attitude towards climate change is there a way to prevent it?

Opinion

Let’s Fill Our Cities With Taller, Wooden Buildings

Planting trees to ponder carbon dioxide is a known strategy, could the next step be wooden buildings ?

Opinion

The Planet Needs a New Internet

Internet is not necessarily the first thing we think about when it comes to sustainability, yet its impact is wider than we realize.

Opinion

Climate change, pollution and urbanization threaten water in Canada

Canada is on the front lines of rapid climate changes that affect the water cycle. How can it best be ready for what is to come ?

Opinion

How self-driving cars will make our cities more charming

As autonomous vehicles are getting a reality, how will they shape our cities ?

Opinion

Indigenous Architecture in Canada: A Step Towards Reconciliation

Using architecture as a tool for reconciliation could lead to social change when engaging in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action.

Opinion

Circularity in cities is about equity, too

Getting to design cities of the future will go through equity thinking too. Sharing could be the key to a more climate friendly and inclusive city growth. 

Insight

Lesson from a phone jack

Something as small as a phone jack can provide a wealth of wisdom as how to plan technology infrastructure. As this kind of framework tend to stick around for a very long time, one has to carefully plan its deployment.

Article

Looking for the next battery breakthrough? Think small

As more and more interest is shown in Electric Vehicles (EVs) the full potential of the technology is not quite there yet. A battery still takes an hour to recharge, but this could change in the near future.

Article

Lake research video translated into Ojibway to help promote language as well as science

Emma Bruyere, a grade 9 student narrates Ojibway version of Experimental Lakes Area video on mercury research and hopes to spread awareness about her language.

Insight

People are the key to accelerating tech strategy in today’s cities

Even though technology is a useful tool for cities, one must never forget the importance of people. To be effective, a conversation about smart cities has to start with people.

Article

Civic-Indigenous 7.0

On October 9, 2019, 16 people from diverse expertises and worldviews gathered in Toronto to explore socio-ecological pathways that weave civic and Indigenous imaginations to better support current and future generations. 

Insight

The Ups and Downs of Life Without Wheels of My Own

Lessons learned by a journalist who abandoned the usage of her personal vehicle in a car dominated country.

Article

5 design trends that will shape future cityscapes

A new Gensler report anticipates how urban challenges like climate change, health care and airport traffic will influence future city designs.

Opinion

How Cities Reshape the Evolutionary Path of Urban Wildlife

If researchers can figure out how pigeons and rats evolve to thrive in hostile city habitats, it could help other beasts—including us—adapt to climate change.

Opinion

Canada should look towards Indigenous population for its tech talent needs, leaders say

While many organizations look overseas for talent to bridge the skills gap in the Canadian tech industry, Indigenous leaders are calling on businesses to invest in the country’s growing Indigenous population.

Opinion

Why we need to reframe the rules of transportation design

Following conventional best practices of street design or enforcement or education is not enough to make streets safer.

Opinion

City dilemma: Making smart tech work citywide with limited funds

Cities and tech companies are eager to make the leap to larger-scale smart-city technology projects. But can they work with limited funds? 

Opinion

Can a city solve homelessness with an app?

As cities deploy community-facing apps to alleviate homelessness, questions linger around who the tech is intended to benefit.

Opinion

Indigenous technologists using tech tools as path to self-determination

Groups like the First Nations Technology Council are helping equip communities to join the rapidly growing field.

Opinion

Emotional response to city design could guide urban planning

Scenario-testing models are being built to help urban planners and architects to see the impact of their designs.

Opinion

How Singapore is using technology to solve its water shortage

Singapore is building new technology to prepare itself for a future where obtaining clean water will be even more difficult.

Presentation

The ‘parasitic’ homes that could change cities

As urban centres face housing shortages and skyrocketing prices, parasitic structures could open the door to a whole new way of living in cities.

Opinion

How Data Helps Cities Achieve Vision Zero Safety Goals

Telematics help cities and municipalities better manage the overall transportation system.

Presentation

Inuit Food Insecurity in Canada

Addressing food insecurity in Inuit communities is a complex challenge.

Article

Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative

The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative is based on the idea that the best solutions come from those who live the problem every day. The Initiative aims to tap into this understanding and inspire Indigenous peoples to propose and develop effective solutions. 

Opinion

Autonomous Vehicle CEO: Believe Me, This Will Be Better For Cities

According to the CEO of an autonomous vehicles company they will be safer than traditional cars.

Insight

The power of Data

When thinking about improving health in a community, data is not necessary the first thing to come to mind. But when well used, it can help communities influence change and provides them with a way into the conversation about how they want to effect that change.

Opinion

How to prioritize people over tech when planning smart cities

Deploying innovations is difficult, but community involvement can be key to efficiency.

Opinion

The fallout of smart cities is social isolation

Technology leads to reduction in human contacts and face-to face dealings and the loss of spontaneity and personal decision-making in daily life, increasing social isolation.

Opinion

A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

Listening to what communities have to say is the key starting point to truly engage with them.

Opinion

Advanced traffic management is the next big thing for smart cities

The quest to solve traffic congestion is at the heart of smart cities future.

Opinion

Why open standards are fundamental to deploying data for smart city services

In order to improve the citizens’ quality of life smart cities will have to be built in an open and standardised way.

Opinion

Smart Cities: An Opportunity for Engagement on Big Data Governance

Smart city proposals underscore the importance of balancing the benefits of data analytics with privacy rights.

Article

Inuit sharing ancient knowledge of ice, sea and land with new app

Siku app allows users to share info about dangerous conditions, wildlife sightings and hunting stories.

Article

Small town near Toronto plans to transform into a city of the future

Innisfil, a small town roughly 60 km north of Toronto is set to become home to futuristic city called the Orbit.