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Meet the City Leads of the Future City Builders

Learn more about some of the City Leads for our Future City Builders program in these Q&As.

The City Leads for Future City Builders at Evergreen Brick Works. Image: Jiahuan Liu
Image: Jiahuan Liu

Published on November 13, 2018

Future City Builders brings together 30 youth in each city to create and launch innovative ideas for urban food, water, transportation, housing and waste systems.

Earlier this year, we recruited 10 City Leads to help us and our partners YouthfulCities run a lab in five cities — Halifax, Hamilton, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. 

The Future City Builders program is presented in partnership by Evergreen and YouthfulCities, and championed by RBC Future Launch.

Learn more about the Future City Builders below!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Témo de Jesús Cruz (@temojcruz) on

Témo Cruz, Hamilton

What are you most excited about being a City Lead?

I'm excited to start creating and innovating concepts with 30 youth who share the same passion of city building! 

What do you think is the most critical urban issue that impacts youth today?

The biggest issue facing cities today for youth is the inability for local government to fully understand the pain points of its younger citizens and to then align a strategy to resolve those issues. 

What are the three words that describe your vision of a future city?

Climate-friendly. Connected. Forward thinking. 

Connect with Temo:

Twitter: @temo_leafbox 

IG: @temojcruz 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tua Hytönen, Toronto

What are you most excited about being a City Lead?

I am most excited about being able to bring together 30 youth from Toronto to work on great projects together, and seeing our Labs come to life. It is still months away for Toronto, but I look forward to seeing all the hard work we are putting into this program become a reality.

What do you think is the most critical urban issue that impacts youth today?

There are so many urban issues that currently concern, and will concern today's youth — housing, transportation, food, waste management. Having lived in Toronto for four years now, I have come to understand how crucial affordable housing is for youth. Most youth are living on a strict budget, and spending over half of your income on rent is not sustainable.

What are the three words that describe your vision of a future city?

Green. Empowering. Engaged

Connect with Tua

IG: @tuahytonen

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Eloise Hirst, Calgary

What are you most excited about being a City Lead?

I am most excited to create a network of young adults in Calgary who might otherwise not intersect. Not only is Calgary very culturally diverse, it is also geographically quadranted, giving little oppportunity for young Calgarians from different quadrants to interact.

What do you think is the most critical urban issue that impacts youth today?

Affordability! It’s an issue that is connected to nearly every aspect of youth well-being; young adults often find themselves doing precarious work for minimum wage, making affordability not only an issue of rent control and food prices, but also an issue of living wages and employment quality. 

What are the three words that describe your vision of a future city?

Sustainable. Interactive. Evolving 

Connect with Eloise

IG: @eloiseincalgary
 

Alfred Burgesson

Alfred Burgesson, Halifax

What are you most excited about being a City Lead?

When I think about the opportunity to be a City Lead it excites me. I've played sports my whole life, so I understand what it means to be apart of a team and what it takes to produce winning results. Generally speaking, I'm most excited to work with a dynamic team. Everyone will have a unique perspective on our subject matter, and I believe that will only increase the value of our lab.

What do you think is the most critical urban issue that impacts youth today?

Access to decision-makers is key, not only for youth but for all marginalized groups in urban settings. It's not often you get to participate in an urban innovation lab to tackle urban resilience - I think we have an opportunity to empower broad based action. Giving youth an opportunity to co-create the future of our urban dwellings, through the Future City Builders program is going to be a fascinating journey.

What are the three words that describe your vision of a future city?

Creative. Sustainable. Inclusive. 

Connect with Albert:

Twitter: @AlfredHFX

IG: @alfredburgesson

Stephanie at Evergreen Brick Works.

Stephanie Koening, Vancouver

What are you most excited about being a CIty Lead?

I am incrediably excited to be working in an interdisciplinary team. Through this oppertunity I hope to foster connections with others that are interested in building a resilient community. 

What do you think is the most critical urban issue that impacts youth today?

I believe social isolation to be one of the most pressing issues in Vancouver. It results in lack of community support, making it difficult to individuals to access the resources they may need in times of crisis. Social isolation can also amplify the effects of Vancouver’s complex challenges such as natural disasters and lack of affordable housing.

What are the three words that describe your vision of a future city?

Happy. Equitable. Responsive

Connect with Stephanie

Stephanie is co-founder of Vancouver's Neighbour Lab.

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We'll be opening up applications for our Future City Builders labs in the coming weeks. Subscribe to Evergreen's newsletter to stay up-to-date on the program.