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The Cities for People Keynote Address: Exploring the cities we want and how to get there

Published on September 04, 2014

Crowds of people walking down a city street. Photo: Mike Derblich.The Cities for People Forum will address the livability of our cities and how we can work together to create positive change (Photo: Mike Derblich)

By John Brodhead

In November, Evergreen CityWorks will host a three-day Forum of the Cities for People network—a group of action-oriented decision makers and innovators representing a variety of perspectives working to improve Canada’s urban environments. Cities for People seeks to better cities by exploring issues relating to the natural and built environment, new economies, civic engagement and art in society. 

Titled "Building a Movement," the Forum will explore what a movement dedicated to improving the livability and resiliency of Canadian cities could look like. And—perhaps most importantly—what is needed to move these ideas and visions into action.

One of the Forum’s objectives is to engage the local community of city builders, connecting them to innovative projects and inspiring action. On November 12, a free public Keynote Address will launch this exciting and important event, featuring presentations and a discussion with internationally-renowned thinkers Jan Gehl and Sasha Issenberg. Together they will explore how we can better design cities for people, and how we can empower people to take action towards accomplishing this goal.

Jan is an internationally-renowned architect and urban designer. Over the past four decades, he has been a world leader in transforming urban environments into livable, human-scaled spaces. Jan is Professor Emeritus of Urban Design at the School of Architecture in Copenhagen and a Founding Partner at Gehl Architects. He is the author of several influential books in contemporary city design and planning, including Life Between Buildings and Cities for People, and his work was the subject of the recent documentary, The Human Scale

Sasha is a columnist for Slate and the Washington correspondent for Monocle. His work has also appeared in The Boston GlobeThe Atlantic and The New York Times. His recent book, The Victory Lab: the Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, explores the digital strategy that influenced the outcome of the 2004 and 2008 USA presidential elections. Through this case study, Sasha presents the data-driven revolution transforming 21st century civic engagement strategies.

Cities for People seeks to foster a culture of continuous social innovation and deeper collaboration. They are optimistic that better cities are in our future, but it’s clear that it will take bold, decisive and inclusive work to get there. Equally important, is the need to drive action through collaborative processes. We need input from residents, as well as city builders, about the type of cities we want in the future. The Forum represents an exciting opportunity to catalyze these ideas into action. 

Space for the Keynote is limited, so sign up today and be part of the conversation! We hope to see you there.