About

Across Canada and around the world, cities are on the front lines of the most complex challenges of 21st century life. From immigration, affordable housing, and the need for new infrastructure, to adapting to advances in technology, urban mobility, and the impacts of climate change.

Yet too often, those of us responsible for working together to solve municipal challenges find ourselves working solo, without access to the best ideas from our peers across the country. The challenges that Canadian cities face often point back to the need for greater municipal empowerment, and that demands fresh perspectives from all corners of city life. Enter the Urban Project – a unique proposal to strengthen relationships and leverage expertise across all orders of government, civil society, the private sector, and academia. Our goal is simple: Take on the big challenges facing cities, and generate the action and ideas needed to solve them.

The Urban Project is driven by national organizations that are advancing these issues on the ground – the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Maytree, the Metcalf Foundation, McConnell Foundation, and TD Bank Group – as well as partners from the private sector and academia.

This is where action begins. Together, we will act to promote, build, and share innovative and scalable local best practices to tackle these challenges.

Mission Statement: Empowering Cities

Over three years, the Urban Project will help solve our most pressing urban challenges by creating practical, action-oriented platforms for mayors and city staff, civic and business leaders, federal and provincial decision-makers, and academic thought-leaders. These action plans will get to the heart of what it means to empower municipalities.

The touchstones of the Urban Project are 10 events over three years covering a series of pressing urban issues. Each event will generate bold new ideas, showcase best practices from across the country, expose knowledge gaps that can be filled, and challenge participants to test the boundaries of what Canada’s big cities can achieve. These thematic events will not stand alone. While each event will tackle one of the challenges facing cities, what unifies each event is a call for greater municipal empowerment and autonomy, so cities can deliver for the millions of Canadians they serve.

When you engage with the Urban Project, you will be part of a group that is informing urgent city-building issues; generating scalable solutions to address them; and bringing public and political attention to these opportunities. To learn more about our inaugural event in Edmonton, click here.