What would a city of community-led solutions look like?

A new age of unlikely alliances has arrived.

Why It Matters

If we tackle complex social issues without including affected communities, we’re inevitably left with short-lived solutions. Below, two leaders explain why investing in new types of alliances and local leadership are critical for meaningful change. Crafted in partnership with Evergreen in the lead up to the 2019 Future Cities Canada Summit at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto.

Communities across the world are striving to address complex but similar challenges related to employment, poverty, homelessness, environment, public health… the list goes on. 

The issue is not a lack of solutions — rather, it’s where the solutions are coming from, and who gets to define what problems those solutions are supposed to address.

Well-meaning attempts to ‘level the playing field’ for marginalized communities and neighbourhoods typically involve large-scale institutional efforts led by entities external to those impacted communities, trying to implement solutions that were researched and developed without any consultation, participation, or collaboration from local people.

Given that these initiatives involve large dollar amounts, they gain widespread attention and profile, meaning that other models of problem solving — ones led by

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