Thanks to Social Connectedness for sharing the progress we made in Cities for People 1.0, and what our focus areas are - social inclusion being at the forefront - looking ahead!
Here's an excerpt:
According to a United Nations report, over half the world’s population live in cities. In Canada, close to 80% of Canadians live in urban areas. As cities become denser, an important question arises: How we can make our urban spaces more livable, joyous and socially connected? Currently a pan-Canadian initiative is looking at ways to build more inclusive, innovative and resilient cities.
Cities for People is a collaborative initiative that aims to find diverse solutions to create more liveable cities. With a team of curators across Canada, Cities for People focused on innovative projects that explore four main themes during its experimental phase between January 2014 and June 2015. These pillars were art and society, new economies, cityscapes and citizen spaces. At the heart of each of these themes was social inclusion.
Jayne Engle is the National Curator for Cities for People. Engle emphasizes the importance of social inclusion,explaining that it stands as a core value in each of the organization’s activities. “It’s our feeling very much, that people living in poverty or situations of exclusion are best placed to lead the way in developing solutions. To bridge social divides, our experience tells us collaboration and working in solidarity are essential,” she says.
Cities for People originally planned on having social inclusion as a separate theme, but the team decided to integrate it as an essential element of each pillar in the experimental phase. Moving forward into Cities for People 2.0, social inclusion is deliberately highlighted. “The overarching values of inclusion, innovation and resilience are not underlying but front and centre at the same time,” Engle says about the initiative’s next steps.
Image from le Salon 1861.