Great places connect us to what matters most — each other, our communities, nature, and our planet. They bring people together to celebrate community and the natural world. They inspire hope for a future where everyone can live a healthy life on a healthy planet where we all truly belong.
Today, place matters more than ever because we’re seeing firsthand that a lack of investment in public places has contributed to a connection crisis in our cities that’s damaging the health of people and our planet. Studies consistently show that the majority of people believe that climate change isn’t a local problem. Overall, climate change affects the health of ecosystems as well as human health — e.g., the loss of food, medicine and livelihoods provided by nature.
67% of people in Canada believe other people are not to be trusted.
Mental health costs have risen to $50 billion per year in Canada.
30% of urban Canadians feel no sense of connection to their local community.
A lack of social connections is as bad for your health as smoking and not exercising.
Over 50% of people spend less than 5 hours a week in nature.
A lack of exposure to nature has a proven link with: heart disease, anxiety, stress, cognitive function, immune systems, sleep, diabetes, cancer, and allergies.
The crisis that’s playing out in our cities can be solved, and the change we need begins in better public places. After all, great places are multi-solving. Great places bring communities together and remind us of the joy of being connected with each other and the land we share.
Through our focus on transforming public places, we’re able to:
These flagship projects show what’s possible in public places. Working with communities across Canada, we’ve transformed these spaces into vibrant places where people and nature can thrive side by side. Each unique project illustrates that human activity doesn’t have to mean environmental destruction and that great places impact communities today and for generations to come.
Sometimes communities need us to pull up our sleeves and dig our hands in the ground, and sometimes they need us to sharpen our pencils and help write systems-level change. With such a broad scope of work to do to transform public spaces, we created five simple services that help guide how we support communities.
The future will be defined by the actions we take today. So whether you’re looking to volunteer, donate, or partner with us, we’d love for you to be part of this essential work.