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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 with like-minded young people to design a concrete solution to address “healthy city” challenges in your city. We are pleased to announce the next locations featured in this program: Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph! 

The urban challenges we are 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 healthier cities, and in the process create actionable projects and tools that can support other young people across Canada to build better cities and communities.  

Evergreen is committed to collaborating with young people to tackle big challenges, and equip them with the skills and confidence to dig deep into the topics that are front of mind in our cities right now. We have worked with over 295 young people over the last three years to pitch 60 projects across Canada and pilot 30 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  Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph? Do any of these questions resonate with YOU? 

  • Natural Environment - Access to green space is essential to human health. How can we expand green spaces and tree canopy across the city to help people thrive? 
  • Built Environment - Land use and urban design can promote, but also discourage, behaviours such as walking, biking or playing in parks.  How can we make our communities safer for children, cyclists and people walking alone late at night? 
  • Transportation/Urban Mobility - The transportation systems in place (public transit, vehicle infrastructure, bike lanes, etc.) directly impact our health. How do 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 Edmonton address housing-related issues? 
  • Neighbourhoods - Neighbourhoods have different characteristics that influence the level of education, the employment prospects, and the income level of inhabitants, in turn, influencing their health. The physical environment, which includes street design and housing stock also play a role. 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 April-July 2022 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 Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph. 

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

How to Get Involved

We are looking for 25 Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph youth that identify as underemployed or unemployed to co-create community solutions for one of the challenge areas 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 lens. 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 Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge-Guelph and care about your city!    

Applications – Apply Here!

Youth City Builders - Whether completely new to the world of design thinking or a seasoned creative problem solver, all are welcome! The program participants, referred to as Youth City Builders learn transformative problem-solving skills and applying them to build innovative community solutions.

Apply here!

Applications close March 13, 2022 at 11:59PM 

About the Roles

As a Youth City Builder, you will:    

  • Hone your problem-solving and collaboration skills in Evergreen's immersive Virtual Design Thinking Lab.  
  • Pitch the innovative solutions shaped within the Virtual Design Thinking Lab to a panel of change-making judges for a chance to access seed funding and implementation support.  
  • Expand your professional connections through educational networking events with experts from government, business, community-building, academia and non-profit organizations. 

Eligibility

  • Be between 18-29 years of age;  
  • Live, work, or study in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph 
  • Able to commit 8-10 hours per week, during evenings and weekends between April 6th and July 20th, 2022 
  • Available Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm ET for live virtual sessions 
  • Self-identify as unemployed, underemployed and/or in the beginning stages of career-related work. This includes individuals that identify with:   
  • Unemployed (not currently working);  
  • In post-secondary studies and looking for work-related opportunities;  
  • Underemployed (part-time work, gig work, not working in your area of study);  
  • In beginning stages of career-related work (full-time or part-time);  
  • Interested in developing skills in entrepreneurship, urbanism, community development, sustainability, design thinking etc.; and/or  
  • Looking to develop and expand your career network in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph 
  • Limited Access Grants are available for tech support, aids, interpretation, translation or lost wages if you face barriers to participation.   

See the participants from the 2020-2021 cohorts:

Presented by:                                                                       

 


The Future City Builders project is generously funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre. Le projet Bâtisseur de villes d'avenir est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.

 

See the participants from the 2018-2019 cohort: