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TD Future Cities Speaker Series explores how shared public infrastructure builds inclusive cities

(TORONTO, ON – August 21, 2019) – Shared public infrastructure – parks, libraries, and schools – are places that aim to promote commonality and community by providing space and opportunity for people of all walks of life to meet and mingle. As urban populations continue to grow, so too does the importance of, and the stressors on, these public assets. 

As part of the TD Future Cities Speaker Series, Eric Klinenberg, author and Director of New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge and Tamika Butler, Toole Design’s Director of Planning for California and Director of Equity and Inclusion, discuss the crucial role social infrastructure plays in fighting inequality and polarization. The free public talk, supported by TD Bank Group through its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, - Turning Spaces into Places: Making the most of our social infrastructure – takes place on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the TD Future Cities Centre, the site of the recently redeveloped kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto.

For cities around the world, social infrastructure is becoming increasingly important in creating connections and relationships between its residents. Together, Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life (Crown, 2018), and Butler, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a non-profit organization that addresses social and racial equity, and wellness, by building parks and gardens in park-poor communities across greater Los Angeles, will discuss the role public assets play in building opportunity within cities and the mechanisms available to build, enhance, and protect these spaces.

The evening will address questions such as:

  • What is social infrastructure? What role does it play in daily civic life and larger political trends?
  • How has social infrastructure changed in purpose and how does that change affect different people, differently? 
  • What kinds and type of social infrastructure do we need for vibrant communities?
  • How can we be inclusive in a systematic way when revitalizing or building social infrastructure? 
  • What can people do to better the social infrastructure they use every day? 

This is the fourth presentation of the TD Future Cities Speaker Series. The public talks share ideas from some of the world’s leading minds in urban systems, from housing to technology to mobility. The series brings together innovators and city builders from across sectors to reimagine urban futures that are equitable, regenerative and prosperous for all. 

For more information and to register for a free ticket, go to:
https://futurecitiescanada.ca/events/tdspeakerseries/

About the speakers

Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is the author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life (Crown, 2018), Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (The Penguin Press, 2012), Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media (Metropolitan Books, 2007), and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002), as well as the editor of Cultural Production in a Digital Age and of the journal Public Culture.

His scholarly work has been published in journals including the American Sociological Review, Theory and Society, and Ethnography, and he has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The Washington Post, Slate, Le Monde Diplomatique, The London Review of Books, and the radio program, This American Life.

Tamika L. Butler, Esq. is Toole Design’s Director of Planning for California and Director of Equity and Inclusion. In addition to her responsibilities on planning projects, Tamika leads Toole Design’s external efforts to integrate equity into all project work and internal efforts for Toole to become a more diverse, inclusive workplace that employs people of all backgrounds. This includes collaborating with Human Resources on recruiting and hiring practices, leading trainings for staff, and serving as a resource for colleagues across the country. She serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a non-profit organization that addresses social and racial equity, and wellness, by building parks and gardens in park-poor communities across greater Los Angeles.

Past speakers:

The TD Future Cities Speaker Series was launched in November 2018 with Alicia Glen, former Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, New York City, who spoke on Mega Trends for Mega Cities (Watch the video). In May 2019, Anthony Townsend, author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia, explored the Future of Mobility (Watch the video). In June 2019, architect Douglas Cardinal was joined by Lindsay (Swooping Hawk) Kretschmer, Executive Director of Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Association, and writer, advocate and storyteller Riley Yesno, on Indigenizing Cities: Honouring the Truth and Reconciliation for a Collaborative Future (Watch the video).

For the latest information on this series, sign up to the Future Cities Canada newsletter and follow @FutureCitiesCA.

About the TD Future Cities Centre

The site of the recently redeveloped historic kiln building, the revived space at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto has been transformed into a dynamic year-round innovation and training centre where urban thought leaders and resident city builders from across sectors can gather to co-create, test and prototype solutions for building inclusive low carbon cities.

For media information, please contact:  
Renee Tratch | Sr. Manager, Public Relations| Evergreen | 416-596-1495 X 273 | Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3X8

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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. www.futurecitiescanada.ca

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. www.evergreen.ca

About TD Global Corporate Citizenship 

TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident - not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment.


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