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Future City Builders

Future City Builders brings together 25 youth to create and launch innovative ideas for Canadian cities.

Do you want to create and test concrete solutions to build a more equitable and healthier city?

The Future City Builders program offers the chance to work in a team of your peers to design and pilot a concrete solution to address challenges in your city.

The challenges we are all facing are numerous, and finding innovative solutions is needed more now than ever before. More than 82% of Canadians are currently living in cities, and this number is only going to grow. Now is the time to work together to build a healthier city, and in the process create actionable projects and tools that can support other young people across Canada to build better cities and communities. The first city featured in this cohort is Toronto.

Evergreen is committed to collaborating with young people to tackle the big challenges, and equip them with the skills and confidence to explore how to dig deep into the topics that are front of mind in our cities right now. We have worked with over 250 young people over the last two years to pitch 50 projects across Canada and pilot 25 new solutions, addressing gaps in education and support, combatting food security issues through building apartment balcony vegetable boxes, and building youth community councils to give youth more powerful voices in their communities.

About the Program

Are you interested and committed to building a healthier, more equitable Toronto? Do any of these questions resonate with YOU?  If they do, then let’s talk.

  • Natural Environment - Do you think air and water quality in Toronto needs some improvement? And how can we improve green spaces and tree canopies across the city, which directly impact how children thrive?
  • Built Environment - Did you know that land use and urban design can either encourage or discourage behaviours such as walking, biking or playing in parks?  How can we improve our communities to make them safer for children, for people walking alone late at night?
  • Transportation/Urban Mobility - Do you know that choices in transportation systems (public transit, vehicle infrastructure, bike lanes, etc.) directly impact our health? These choices affect our physical activity, the potential for injuries, our exposure to harmful air and noise pollution, our ease of access to services and jobs, and social mobility and cohesion.
  • Housing - Poor housing conditions and access to healthy and affordable living spaces are associated with a wide range of health conditions, including respiratory infections and asthma, and can directly influence access to education, nutrition, recreation and employment opportunities. How does Toronto address housing-related issues?
  • Neighbourhoods - Different communities have different impacts on the level of education, the employment prospects, and the income level of their inhabitants, in turn, influencing their health. The physical environment, which includes street design and housing stock also play a role. For example, do community members have access to stores with healthy food options, or are grocery stores too expensive or located too far away for people to easily access? Are there concerns about violence and crime that increase stress, and discourage walking and playing in parks? 

We want to help you design a project that addresses one of these challenges. We will be hosting a Virtual Design Thinking Lab process from October 2020 – February 2021 to teach you the skills you need to effect meaningful change, and to help you network with peers, mentors, and subject matter experts from across Toronto.

In Toronto, Future City Builders will engage 25 youth (18-29 years old) to improve your city and develop skills for your future careers.

Future City Builders is presented  by  Evergreen and generously funded by RBC Foundation. The Future City Builder program is an initiative of Future Cities Canada, a national collaborative platform accelerating innovation to transform cities.  

Do you want to get involved with Future City Builders?

We are looking for 25 Toronto youth that identify as underemployed and unemployed to co-create community solutions for one of the challenges outlined above. You don’t need to have a deep knowledge of any of these issues, or experience in tackling challenges through a design thinking model. You will learn those skills with us! Everyone has their own experiences, interests and expertise, so we encourage you to apply! You just need to live in Toronto, and care about your city!

Presented by Evergreen Generously Funded by RBC Foundation

See the participants from the 2018-2019 cohort: