good morning I’m gonna l call us some
attention and get us started so I’m gonna step aside now and invite Kateri
up for the land acknowledgment say go say [Indigenous language]
and good morning everyone my name is Kateri and I’m a member of the little red
river Cree Nation I’m also a student at U of T studying architecture and
Indigenous Studies I am happy to be here and honored to deliver the land
acknowledgement for governing cities in the 21st century the city of [indigenous city is
situated upon the land of the [indigenous] and Wendat
peoples who have cared for this land since time immemorial today [Indigenous City]
is home to many indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and continues to be
governed by the dish with one spoon territory agreement delivering a land
acknowledgement is a way to respectfully honor the traditional caretakers of
the land while recognizing the enduring relationship between indigenous peoples
and their home territories it is also a reflection process in which to build
mindfulness and intention upon walking into a gathering such as we are having
today the acknowledgement should be rooted in the land that we are honored
to stand on and should guide how we move forward in both conversations and
actions and I ask you to keep this in mind today [indigenous language] and thank you Thank You Kateri it’s wonderful to have
you with us today good morning everyone it’s great to have
you here today for the governing cities in the 21st century conference sponsored
by and hosted by the school of Cities I would also like to acknowledge that
we’re hosting this event during Ramadan so for anyone observing Ramadan today
Ramadan Mubarak the school of Cities was launched a year ago to convene people
and ideas and our goal is to be a hub for the 400 academics and thousands of
students at the at the University of Toronto across dozens of disciplines
that focus on cities and it’s a place to bring those people together around ideas
of research education and outreach and engagement and our goal and our mandate
is to implement programming that is impactful and makes a difference in the
cities in which we live our goal is really to be out in the community and in
the communities working with others together as a partnering organization to
bring people together and allow us to deliver cities that are better
and more thoughtful and more just and fair and sustainable than we could
deliver working in our own organizations on our own the school of Cities is at
the cutting edge of a transformation in the way that universities engage with
communities according to a new report that came out from the British Council
just recently just in May it says that universities are needed more than ever
to help tackle the serious challenges faced by cities and towns universities
play a special role within communities we can convene people we can we educate
students thousands of students per year and we engage with communities and our
research can help inform action but only if we’re out engaging and working
together and in partnership and the school of cities as I’ve mentioned is
that the leadership at the leading edge of universities globally that are aiming
to work much more closely with their communities
and tied together communities globally to better understand the challenges that
cities face around inequality around sustainability around funding and
financing around injustice and to come up with strategies that work and that
can be implemented and give hope that we have alternatives to this to the future
that we’re heading for today so I’m pleased that the school of
cities is taking leadership in many of these endeavors and let me just
highlight a few areas where we’re working the school of Cities is
organized around three key themes research education and outreach and
engagement and in each of those areas we’ve taken a leadership role in
building new partnerships just in the past year since we’ve been founded
building new partnerships and new collaborations to show what the
university can do as it builds these types of relationships that are quite
new at the moment but are meant for the long term and are meant to help engage
with communities right across this city and globally in order to drive a
positive change together so with regards to research we’ve launched a Grand
Challenges program and the goal of the Grand Challenges program is to focus on
the most pressing issues that cities face but importantly it’s not just a
research program for all of the participants in and all of the
projects that are in that program we encourage them and require them in fact
to have partners from four different disciplines three different faculties
two different University of Toronto campuses because we have campuses in
Mississauga Scarborough and downtown plus a community partner and a city
partner and I’m pleased to say we have eight projects going at the moment on a
wide range of topics ranging from transportation and mobility to
governance to climate change and resilience to food and livability
and also affordable housing all of these being done in collaboration across
disciplines and with communities we’ve also started something called the urban
pilot lab which is intended to work with communities and governments and firms
and nonprofit organizations if they’re implementing programs and
policies we want to be your partner to evaluate how those programs are working
and to provide insight on how they can be done better and our first initiative
is a capstone course for students to engage transdisciplinary students from
across a variety of disciplines to work with governments and with community
organizations and firms on these type of projects so again the educational
mandate of the university is baked right into our research initiatives with
regards to education this is a gain critical to educating the next
generation of students and civic leaders is to have them working in communities
in a meaningful way and designing their own projects that take a leadership role
through our courses and traditional education programs we provide all sorts
of disciplinary education to students and our the School of Cities is
providing other opportunities for students to engage and really design
their own projects and we’ve done this in a number of different ways we have a
fellowship program that’s brought on board 21 students who’ve come up with
their own projects that are deeply engaged with the communities around them
we have students working on projects with indigenous groups and on
reconciliation we have projects looking at the environment we have projects
looking at digital justice these are projects led by students who are coming
up with their own ideas and we’re providing the support both financially
and intellectually to build a community where these ideas can be fostered
we’ve also designed a student academy which is an even bigger group to allow
students to again design their own projects and work together across
disciplines to come up with ideas and innovations that we as faculty and we as
community couldn’t have come up with on our own and to work with the students to
foster their ideas and allow them to implement their dreams then on outreach
and engagement we’ve been very active in our first year we’ve hosted
over 50 events with partners right across the university and right across
the city and again University of Toronto is a very big institution and
our role is to bring people together internally to start thinking in a really
interdisciplinary way and to create the mechanisms and the bridges that connect
people and we’ve hosted events right across the university and then out into
into communities as well and just to give you a few examples we’ve hosted we
hosted an event on the future of employment lands with that the city of
Toronto played a major role in the planning department we hosted an
urban Career Expo through the education pillar that brought students together to
learn about the wide range of employment opportunities that are
available that are available in the city building professions and we brought them
together with leading professionals to learn those types of ideas and we’ve
hosted a whole host of other events on race and equality on indigenous
reconciliation and all sorts of other issues that are critical to the
functioning of our cities and so today and so going forward
we have a number of different initiatives that that pick up on these
themes of working together and building internal collaborations and external
collaborations as well and I’ll just name a few to give you a sense of what
is coming in the months ahead we have a collaboration for a speaker
series with the Toronto Public Library called on public life a speaker series
which is going to start in September so stay tuned for that we’ve developed an
incubator for collaborative and creative mixed-use buildings we think there’s a
huge opportunity in this city for collocation of different types of public
and private uses so that we can benefit from so that the city and this and the
citizens benefit from all of the development that’s been taking place and
this is a project that that has philanthropic support in order to enable
us to create this incubator facility kind of like a matchmaking
service for mixed-use buildings we have the student fellows an academy program
which is going to continue taking place and you’ll see many of the projects in
the months ahead we’re developing and about to launch a community fellowship
program with in partnership with the United Way
to give a community-based practitioners an opportunity to work with the
university and and for us to share knowledge and learn from each other and
so that’s a program that we’ll be launching soon so if you’re in a
community organization keep an eye out for that will be coming soon we have a community engaged research partnership with the
Wellesley Institute to understand inequality especially in the inner
suburbs and finally at a global scale at we’ve launched a
collaboration with this [Ask matti] trust to look at smart cities and innovation in
India and finally we’re also at a national scale where the academic
partner with an initiative called the urban project that’s looking at how
cities can develop innovative solutions at a national scale and bring
stakeholders together to drive better solutions so fundamental to what we do
is this idea of collaboration interdisciplinarity and togetherness and
these are themes that you’re going to hear coming out in today’s conference as
well as we focus on the topic of urban governance because it’s now clear that
that governance extends well beyond the walls of City Hall
no organization today is governing the city on its own they are working in deep
collaboration across disciplines and across organizations in order to impact
the type of cities that were experiencing and yet our cities and
out of this what we could call a networked style of urban governance out of this new form of approaching the governance of cities
we’ve shifted from government to governance of cities there are these
real challenges that are being faced and that our city is facing and cities
globally are facing as well the first is an issue of scale how do we govern
cities that are increasingly large and increasingly complex where the
challenges reach across the governmental boundaries that we’ve drawn
on the map whether we talk about transportation or water or income
inequality they don’t stop at the municipal boundaries
and they don’t care about jurisdiction between the provinces the cities and the
federal governments and yet we are grappling with how we bring these
different organizations together in order to solve these complex problems
and the most complex problem the wickedest problem climate change really
doesn’t care about who’s in charge emissions don’t care about which level
of government is responsible for them and so we are grappling with how we
govern cities at scale and in Canada we have one set of scale and then you go
abroad and you see cities in parts of Asia or in Africa or in Latin America
that are now at the 20 million mark in terms of their populations and pushing
20 million and you think how do we govern these increasingly large complex
organisms so a first point is a question of scale second we can talk
about disruptive innovation that we’ve seen in the last decade or decade and a
half a whole host of disruptive innovations that have come to cities and
cities are trying to figure out how to respond the most obvious ones are the
tech innovations the platform economies like uber or lyft or the scooters that
if you’re in American cities you can sometimes see them littered all across
the sidewalks Lyman Byrd [check w matti] but there’s also other innovations that we’ve had to
grapple with as well that are much more mundane but you could still consider
innovations like food carts how do we handle the old hotdog cart when food
trucks are coming to our city we grappled with that and had big debates
in this city about something as mundane as how to handle food carts and food
trucks right so how what happens when disruptive innovation comes because
there’s a difference between being a disrupter on the Internet if you’re
Facebook and you displace MySpace no one except for the investors in MySpace are
crying over the loss of MySpace but we are concerned about what happens when
disruption comes to the front doors of our cities and where someone in an
Airbnb is having a party at all hours next to our house or put their garbage
bins right in front of our front door that brings a different meaning to the
word disruption and so cities are having to respond at pace in a world
where the the firm’s that are bringing these innovations have not come to try
to follow the rules they have a model of move quickly break things and ask for
forgiveness after so how do cities respond and how do our regulatory
systems work in those type of environments so we can think of
disruptive innovation as a second area where our governance models not
government alone but governance models are increasingly stretched to their
limits third is this idea of balancing local and regional needs and we’ve seen
this debate playing out in this region what is the right level of governance
and government to handle things like transportation and mobility and land-use
planning these are the types of questions that we debate because as
things get scaled up we know that the challenges we face go across municipal
boundaries but people also want to be locally engaged and so how do you ensure
that the types of decisions that are being made are both locally rooted
and locally accountable and also take the region’s best interest at heart and
that’s the final point I want to just highlight is this idea of democratic
accountability we are really grappling with how local democracy works in a
context where the challenges are much bigger and where we have a constitution
that is now about 150 years old and was not written with cities in mind and
we’re seeing this playing out at the federal level at the municipal level and
in particular recently at the provincial level and people are responding saying
how how are these levels of government accountable how does this system fit
together to enable us to deliver the 21st century cities that we desire so
this is the challenge of governing the city in the 21st century that I that we
are going to talk about today at the conference
a few quick housekeeping notes at the back of the room we have we have a quiet
space and the quiet room is available to anyone throughout the day who would wish
to take a break from the event and we just ask that all individuals using the
room respect the nature of the space and and others that are using it and the
only other point is the washrooms which are just at the back of the room down
the hall on the left so and finally Wi-Fi Wi-Fi is available
and there are signs with the passwords scattered around the room so you can get
access to Wi-Fi while you’re at the event so those are the housekeeping
notes that’s a bit of an overview of the key theme for today’s event and now
it gives me great pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker
Michelynn Laflèche Michelynn is vice president of strategy and policy at the
United Way of Greater Toronto prior to joining the United Way in 2011 she
worked as a consultant with civic action and from 2001 to 2009 was chief
executive of the Runnymede trust a leading social policy and research
charity in the United Kingdom Michelynn holds a master’s degree from
the University of Toronto and a bachelor’s degree from the University of
Ottawa at the United Way she has built a team to deliver on six major research
studies and reports on inequality and precarious work over the last eight
years along with other reports her team’s work frames and informs United
Way’s strategic direction and community investment strategy and these are some of the themes that are going to come out in Michelynn’s talk
today so with that I welcome Michelynn Laflèche the Pens have multiplied here okay thanks Matti
thanks everyone we’re really pleased to be here today to be able to talk about
some of the work that we’ve been doing in particular a report that we published
just a couple of weeks ago on income inequality and so I just wanted to say
before I start that I’m not an urban planner I’ve never worked in geography
or thinking about things from that perspective or planning or
transportation I’m sociologist by training and I come
at this from the perspective of governing cities in the 21st century is
really about what’s happening to the residents in the city region that we
live in and that we love and we come at it at United Way from this perspective
because we we have the view that to be a great city you have to be a great
city that’s great for everybody so that’s the foundation of what we think
about and what I’m going to say and indeed Toronto is a great city because
we score high on lots of things we get lots of accolades like all these and
more that are listed on the Toronto City website so ranked in the top 20 of the
Mercer quality of Living Survey repeatedly over the last year’s number
seven of 140 in the 2018 economists livability
survey number eight of 165 in the cities in motion index number five of 110 for
the best location for Millennials and then of course in some industry rankings
as well around tech talent and around global financial centers and most of
these include things like cohesion how the city feels for people what we’d
get headed as residents here in the region quality of life overall which is
really important and that’s important because we of course tell ourselves the
story that we are diverse and that were comfortable with diversity here in
Toronto and Toronto region and in fact our motto for the city
diversity is our strength and we think that we have a city where we have a
collective identity here and that it’s founded on the trust and commitment we
share for each other despite the diversity that we have next slide please right so I wanted us not forget one
little accolade that we have as well as the raccoon capital of Canada and I’ll
challenge anyone in the room has not found a raccoon eating their cat food in
the kitchen I certainly have on far too many
occasions but all those nice accolades are great but when we score low on these
ones that’s a challenge for our city and in fact the research that we’ve done we
declared to Toronto to be the income inequality capital of Canada and 2015
and sad to report that the more recent report that we’re going to talk
about a bit today confirms that finding but others have found it to be the
housing unaffordability and the child poverty capital of Canada
as well and these are things that are major challenges for us as a city and a
region things that cross boundaries and borders as Matti has said and things
that we have to work on together in order to make the change that we need so
that the city is a great city that is in fact great for everyone so our vision at
United Way is this that we have local
communities where everyone regardless of the background or the circumstances that
they find themselves in can thrive many of you know that we’re investors in
community we support a network of community agencies across the city
region that enabled people to get ahead find the help that they need when they
need it where they need it and to make life better for themselves and
together but we also look particularly at systemic issues the things that
underline the challenges that people are facing and that’s where the research
role comes in for United Way we’re not necessarily as well known for that
although I hope this crowd does know us for that and that research you’ll find
if you don’t know us it’s really about trying to understand this
not just the symptoms of the challenge but what’s causing them and how
might we address them and these are just a few of the reports that we’ve done
over the years there are many more but I think the thing that I would just want
to point out is that there’s a common thread between all of them and that is
that we focus on poverty and inequality what it looks like how it’s changed its
dynamics and how other features of our city region make it better or worse for
the people who are experiencing it and by the way when we think about the
people experiencing it we think everybody experiences it because it
doesn’t matter whether you’re in the have or the have-nots group what’s
happening to us as people happens to all of us in some way or other the work
I’m going to talk about first is our income inequality work and some of you
will know the blue one on the end is the third in a series that we published just
a couple of weeks ago what we’ve done with the series has really tried to
explore income inequality in our city region from a lot of different angles at
first in the red one we were looking at households individuals and neighborhoods
together in the red and yellow one we were comparing what was happening in the
toronto CMA to other large Canadian municipalities and CMA areas Calgary
Vancouver Montreal and then we looked at things across Ontario across Canada and
then more recently in the gold and the blue one by region by Peel York and
Toronto and Durham and Halton as well I’d just like to point out we are Peel
York and Toronto at United Way Greater Toronto not Durham and Halton as well
and I’d like to say we also used a lot of public stat scan data
sets we’ve used stat cans datasets that are not public that you have to gain
access to but we’ve also done our own survey research for some of this work
and here’s a little map that you’ll be familiar with it’s our map but it looks
an awful lot like [check name] David Hill chance Keyes maps as well and that’s because we
work with David on a lot of things and indeed his team produced this map for us
for our gold report on this opportunity in the Greater Toronto Area and what
this shows and what all the research that we’ve done over these eight years
and that others have done is that income
inequality no matter how you look at it no matter what data set you use no
matter what measure you use household or individual income before tax or after
tax is growing it has grown it has stalled a little bit but it is still
actually growing and in the GTA it is growing more than it is in the rest of
Canada there is no other finding we have lots of debate about that still but
there is actually no other finding and what this map tells us is that now
compared to 35 years ago I’m sorry I don’t have the 35 year old map up there
but trust me I’m a sociologist you’re much more likely to be either in a have or a have-not neighborhood middle-income neighborhoods are disappearing and the
gap between the haves and have-nots is growing but our new report the blue one
isn’t about neighborhoods now we’re going to take it to a different we’ve
taken it to a different level and different set of measures we’re looking
at how different groups of people are impacted by growing income inequality
trying to understand which groups of people in our city region are actually
bearing the burden of growing income inequality and then trying to identify
ways to mitigate that and then to get underneath it and bring it to an end and
we’re interested in this because of the impact that income inequality has on
access to opportunity and people’s ability to get ahead it also has a major
impact on our sense of social cohesion the glue that binds us together the set
of shared values that we have that make us feel committed to each other and want
to support each other in the public realm in policymaking in the way that we
talk about each other and interact with each other and it’s a simple intuitive
equation effort plus what we call access to opportunity should lead to success
but we know from research ours and others that in societies that are more
unequal access to circumstances that are beyond your control the
things like the color of your skin whether you were born in
Canada or not or even what neighborhood you grew up in in a city region like
Toronto have a greater influence on whether or not you’re going to get
access to the opportunities you need to get ahead and ultimately to the outcomes
that you will experience as an adult and this is particularly true for those at
the high and the very high-income end of the spectrum and those at the low income
end of the spectrum and so rising inequality is a problem because it’s
making our society less fair it’s making circumstances beyond your control have
more influence on what you can achieve and Canada has long been known as a place of social mobility and there’s lots of recent research from [name] to explain that and show that to be true in
the 1980s but it isn’t a dream for everyone this social mobility
they’re the haves and the have-nots they share different circumstances for the
haves those circumstances are an advantage meaning they do get ahead
indeed the opportunity equation is working for them but I have nots it’s
not they’re not getting ahead and more recent research that is about to be
published looking at social mobility demonstrates that so before we start
looking at some of the data I want to hold a little poll although saying that
it’s actually hard for me to see out there so put your hand up if you think
the next generation is going to be better off compared to you looking at
that question thinking about your overall quality of life do you think the
next generation will be better off those who say yes better off I’d like to look
like three I think okay that’s low how about worse off well
more than 50% and about the same numerically around ten I’m gonna say so
this is what our research showed so this room is even more pessimist
stick than the research showed but this research is also four years old and I’m
gonna say the pessimism that you’re demonstrating today is actually probably
what we would find out there in a random sample as well maybe not quite so
negative because we here study these issues and we know a lot about them but
the point here is that in our study of a random sample over 50% of the
population thought the next generation was going to be worse off and that then was a pretty stark finding and more research more poll
research suggests that it is going to be worse today and this is kind of why this
is the new data not everyone in the GTA as I’ve already argued is getting
successful start in life young adults today in the GTA particularly are more
disadvantaged than ever before so this figure shows changes in average
income over time for three different age groups you can see the age groups the 35
to 64 what we call mid aged adults for those of us on the upper end of that 25
to 34 which we call the the younger workers and then people who are 65 and
over and I want to focus on the darker lines there the average the
ages 25 to 34 so for the Canada data you can see that their income actually went
down over the period of the study from 1980 all the way up to 2005 and then had
a little upswing but when we look at Peel Region City of Toronto York Region
our City Region it’s not the same picture at all we see a downward decline
of incomes for younger workers and we see a decline for some of the mid
age workers but an upward swing for them at least in the city of Toronto and
York Region and basically what we’re seeing is that young people today are in
each of these regions earning less in all three regions than they did
nineteen eighty these are in constant dollars so these are comparable dollars
here but not only that the gap between what they’re earning as this cohort
cohort starting out compared to the cohort above them in the mid age group
is getting bigger and that’s a problem it’s a problem because of course we
would expect young people to earn a bit less than people who are established in
their careers that’s natural but they don’t have the same opportunities that
the cohort ahead of them had the labor market has changed in the past
people like me I entered the labor market at a time of crisis as well but I
got over it because the crisis ended things got better and we all had access
to jobs and opportunities that were going to help us build a better life my
parents had the same experience but my stepkids
didn’t have that experience and many of the young people in this room are not
going to have that experience our labor market has more precarious jobs in it
and so not only are young people starting off further behind they do not
have the same opportunity for quality jobs that their previous generations did
in order to catch up so we don’t know this for sure but we can assume this is
gonna be a long term trend and it’s gonna have an impact on social mobility
do we want to wait for 30 years or 20 years to see that data or do we want to
make some educated guesses that this is where we’re headed and try to do
something about it now okay let’s have another little poll many
people are disadvantaged because of their background and have to work harder
than others of equal basic talent to overcome the obstacles they face who
agrees with that statement Wow um at least 60 70 percent who disagrees with
that statement no one and the rest either don’t know or don’t want to play
this little game and here’s the answer from our study again this is the same
studies previously so nearly 80 percent of people agreed with that
statement that’s a pretty terrible outcome actually I don’t know what else
to say about it except that it’s it’s it’s not a it’s not a good outcome it
tells us that a belief in fairness is actually lacking among our residents
here and this might be why so this is the chart for Canada for immigrants and
I’m going to show you the charts for Peel Toronto and York as well
separately but let’s just look at this one first this is divided into four
different groupings of immigrants and then the Canadian born in the black line
at the end you can see the Canadian born line you know it’s slow in the first
three decades of this study and then it speeds up rather rapidly towards the end
there but it’s not the same for immigrants it goes down and there’s a
bit of a recovery coming up for the first three well for all three cohorts
at the national level but if you look at what’s happening let’s focus only on the
immigrants of 20 years and plus here in 1980 they were almost level with the
Canadian born population overall very very close but by 2015 they were quite
far behind when we look at what’s happening in our city region this is
Peel Toronto and York it’s pretty shocking I’ll put
it back on Toronto because I assume most people here are in Toronto and I’ll just
gonna give you a couple of figures immigrants in Peel who had been in
Canada for 10 to 19 years earned 48 thousand eight hundred dollars in 1980
but only forty thousand four hundred dollars constant twenty fifteen dollars
by the way in 2015 for Toronto 1980 forty three thousand one hundred twenty
fifteen forty thousand two hundred for York fifty six thousand twenty fifteen
forty five thousand five hundred so they’re earning less than they did but
the gap between them and what’s happening to Canadian born populations
is just dramatically wider I mean you you can only look at that far-right line
and think what the heck is going on here that can’t possibly be true can it but
it is one more well I forgot there’s all these slides one more poll last one I
promise in Toronto hard work and determination
are no guarantee that a person will be successful agrees not maybe not even 50
percent it’s hard to tell how about disagrees
only a couple don’t knows not playing this is the data so you were a bit more
optimistic than the data from 20 from our study in 2015 but I think you might
be getting tired of the polling game so but this is what it showed nearly 3/4 of
people agreed with the statement and again I mean it’s a real challenge to
this whole concept our belief in fairness in society today and again this
maybe is why because what people are really expressing there is a perception
is turning out to be true in data as well this is the data for racialized
groups compared to white racialized populations compared to the
white population and we conclude from this that the racial divide in the GTA
has reached a historic high I don’t think I need to explain the graphs
anymore I think they’re pretty clear even at the Canadian all Canada level we
see what is really an enormous gap emerging over the period of this study
from 1980 to 2015 with other data we could see that that was a little bit
more evened out from the averaging effects but here it’s not and then when
we look at the City of Toronto again can that be true and the reality
is that it is and if there’s one thing that this study has done it’s been able
to name the experience that so many people that 50 percent of the population
in our city know and feel and experience and so it’s an unignorable issue as we say at United Way that
we just cannot continue to put to the side so we conclude then that the
opportunity equation is indeed working but only for some not for all and it’s
young people immigrants racialized people and I haven’t shown you the data
but women as well who are seeing that it’s their circumstances things that are
beyond their control again that are barriers to the success in the GTA they
have to work harder than others to get ahead and so what’s driving these
changes well lots of things of course but a major part of this has to do with
the labor market in the growth of precarious employment and as luck would
have it you know we’ve done a lot of work on that – over the last eight years
so we’ve done these three reports in collaboration with another university
although there were lots of people from U of T who were involved as well and
through it we’ve been able to name what precarious work looks like identify how
it’s impacting people and keeping people trapped once they fall into it and then
in 2018 we stopped to do a little assessment of what the difference was
between 2011 and end of 2017 data that we had this was survey data to try to
understand well what happened in this growing economy because despite what we
might hear in the news the economy did in fact grow between 2011 and 2017 quite
a lot and we had more prosperity and we did because this chart tells us that we
did this chart tells us that by 2017 fifty five point nine percent of the
working population in Greater Toronto and Hamilton area had secure standard
employment relationships so these are good secure jobs with benefits long-term
all those things that many of us in this room know many of us in this room don’t
know either others in this room are going to be in
the purple category or even the gray category so that’s a good news story
actually overall but behind it is not quite what we expected to see wages
didn’t really go up and you can see even from this chart that those in the dark
gray area those who are in the deeply precarious jobs hasn’t changed at all
and when we look at it from the point of view of who in those groups got ahead we
can see and look at the little asterisks on the side on the numbers column those
are the ones that are statistically significant many of you will know what
that means they’re the ones we can trust the data
on particularly it was white men and women and racialized men with university
degrees that got ahead everyone else showed some improvement but it wasn’t
statistically significant so we’re not putting too much weight on that and
indeed racialized women with the university degree showed some decline
but again not statistically significant so we won’t put too much weight on that
even though that’s what we know people are feeling sometimes but another way to
look at it is with our employment precarity index a 10-point index that
looks at ten characteristics of how what your work experiences like and
determines whether your precarious or not and again the same three groups get
ahead white men and women with university degrees and racialized men
with university degrees everyone else shows some improvement but again
not statistically significant and this is why you can see again that the
three groups at the top are the three groups with the yellow dots that had
some improvement in you know half or nearly half of those 10
characteristics on the employment precarity index the others didn’t and if
you look at the bottom line for all workers when it’s when you look at it as
a whole group it looks like lots has improved just like we saw fifty five
point nine percent of the labor market are now in standard employment
relationships but actually it’s only part of the labor market and it’s the
same part of the labor market that our income data tells us we’re already doing
well and continued to do well in fact improved as a result of an improving
economy while everyone else stayed the same or got worse so what do we do about it well at United
Way of course we’ve published all these reports as luck would have it I’ve been
around for most of that time in fact for all of that time and so we’ve
been able to really think about these reports together and come up with a
framework for how we think about what the recommendations are we talked about
ensuring ensuring everyone can participate in society because the new
data tells us that if we don’t face this problem head-on and if we don’t
acknowledge it as an actual unignorable issue now we’re simply not going to make any
progress the next bucket talks about how we help people get ahead in the mean
time while we try to figure this out and figure out who we want to be as a
society and we talk about things like investments in the groups that are
facing barriers and specific workforce development type approaches improved job
quality updated employment standards and renewed e.i and thinking about income
bridging programs and in the third we’re talking about how we make life more
affordable for everybody everybody will benefit from this not just those who are
who are bearing the burden of these trends in our society more
affordable housing making sure that we pair housing with transit development
expanding childcare and providing supplemental health benefits to all but
I’m not going to go into the recommendations because the most
important thing to know about the recommendations is exactly what Matti
said at the beginning that they are all about collaboration even when we’re
talking about improving things like the Employment Standards Act we cannot rely
on government or even ask the government to do it on its own all of us have to
play a role in pursuing that whether we’re pursuing it as advocates whether
we’re doing it in our own practice or whether we’re there experiencing
it and helping push along the quality of jobs through the regulatory
frameworks likewise thinking about workforce development
systems requires everyone to be there with a new integrated collaborative
frame that will help us get to a new level and so I wanted to provide very
quickly just one example of work that we’re doing with that in mind many of
you know our building strong neighbourhoods strategy it’s been around for
a while we’ve been working on it for over 10 years but we’ve just renewed it
just last summer around what we want to do next the first two are really
continuing what we do those investments in community investments in residents
the advocacy that goes behind them but the third is around innovation an
innovation can be an no word a nonsense word and even a dirty word sometimes
here we hope it’s the right word it’s about how we work more together to be
able to promote what we’re now calling inclusive Local Economic Opportunity and
so we’ve devised an initiative that from the outset relies on and will only
succeed if we are successful in getting everyone to the table to work on it with
us and so that’s what we’ve been trying to do I’m going to show you the
timetable we’ve been doing work with communities for 10 years we have a
pretty good sense of what the community tells us they want and what we tacitly
know and understand they need and so what we didn’t have a good sense of is
what the corporates are willing to put on the table for us in this
bargain so we’ve started our work with a corporate leadership table which is just
completing its work and is going to move on to a multi sector leadership table
here we will be not forcing marriage is not the right way putting it we are
going to invite the players to come together to work with us what we want to
do is develop shared action plans we have a corporate action plan now we want
to create a multi sector table action plan and from that we think there
are complementary action plans and I think the key thing to think about then
is how do we make all these action plans work together to work together so that
all roads will lead to opportunity governing cities in the 21st century has
to be about multi sector collaboration we do a lot of it but we have to do way
more of it we actually have to do it a lot better than we’re doing it and I
will admit we’re no pros at this ourselves we are learning and
experimenting as we go along and we have to do it every time we have to stop
thinking that one sector can do one thing
and one sector can do another thing they can’t we all need to play a role and our
roles are different and change but we all have to be there and at the heart of
every goal behind everything we do needs to be this that all roads in everything
we do everything we plan everything we pay for every transit line we build even
every road we build all roads not should or must but simply all roads do lead to
opportunity and that’s our goal thank you Michelynn thank you what a thought
provoking and in many ways sobering talk about the state of our city but
also inspiring about how the future can be shaped through collaboration in
listening to your talk I took away the the key idea that especially our young
people are at a moment of great disadvantage that they are starting
further behind and that they’re moving into a world of greater precarity in
terms of employment and that this poses great challenge for their future and for
the prosperity of our cities and the inspiration from your talk comes in
terms of in terms of the notion of collaboration the idea of collaboration
being at the core of how we’re going to address this issue these issues of
inequality and how working together is gonna lead us on the road
towards these better solutions so thank you very much for this thought-provoking
initial talk which leads right into our first panel which is focusing
on contemporary governance creativity perseverance and possibility the
moderator for this panel is Sarah Sharma Sarah is associate professor of media
theory and theory at the Faculty of information and communication technology
at the University of Toronto Mississauga and also the McLuhan Centre for
culture and technology at the University of Toronto her research and teaching
focuses on the relationship between technology time and labor with a
specific focus on issues related to gender race and class she’s the author
of in the meantime temporality and cultural politics and Sarah is currently
working on a new book the sex it which explores the relationship between gender
new technology and practices of exit and withdrawal Sarah I’ll turn it over to
you to introduce the panel hello we’re actually just getting our
mics on over there so I think Nasma is gonna be running down here right away
I’m happy to introduce this next panel I’m actually gonna introduce the
speakers one by one as they come up and they’re gonna be doing short five to
seven minutes lightning talks and then we are gonna hear from them through
a moderated question-and-answer but I don’t want to call up Nasma unless she’s
she oh there you are okay so first I’d like to introduce
Nasma Ahmed she’s a technologist and community organizer based in Toronto and
Nasma is currently the director of the digital justice lab and their mission is
to build towards a more just and equitable digital future she has
extensive experience working alongside the public service in the nonprofit
sector she focuses on technology capacity-building she’s also been a open
web fellow with Mozilla and Ford and I’d like to welcome Nasma and we’ll follow
after with Greg Cook and Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Camacho so welcome up Nasma thank you hi everybody I’m feeling a
little bit sick so I’m sorry if my voice cuts out hows everyone feeling this morning
good yes bright and early ready for the day okay so my name is Nasma Ahmed I am
the director of the digital justice lab which focuses on building a more just
and equitable digital future I know broad mission don’t know how
we’re gonna do that but that’s part of the work I want to tell you a little
story that comes with a bunch of little tiny stories I’m a huge fan of public
transit I was raised in Scarborough and my understanding of the landscape was
through the TTC and the buses that I took so I knew the 54 Lawrence bus and
that’s how I experienced Lawrence Avenue or the 133 Nielson bus and that’s
how I got home and I remember actually during one of the elections one of the
questions that I had for the members who were running was what was the smelliest
station on the RT line the reason why I asked that question is if you’ve
actually rode the RT Line you definitely know the smelliest station on the RT
line which is Midland by the way so I tell that story because just a couple of
weeks ago I was running to catch the go train and I realized I had no money on
my presto card and I dealt with something that I think is gonna become
more familiar to all of us the machine’s not working and me not being able to
actually put money on my card which then led to me missing my GO train
and I say this because I have those moments because I work in the digital
space of being like darn digital transformation I wish I could just use
token or something else because none of this is working right
now I say that story because technology is clearly shaping and shifting the way
we exist in our society today my focus is on really knowledge translation
how can people kind of understand the impact of technology that isn’t grounded
in shame of why you use the phones that you
use or why you’re sharing the photo that you’re sharing and really trying to
figure out how can we build towards something that is more equitable and
just as focused and that’s some hard work and cities in many cases are the
groundwork of how we experience the data fication of our everyday lives from how
we move around using Google Maps if you use Google Maps to you how we access
public transit to how we even start to access the food that we eat right
through the different applications that we use and cities being the foreground
of how we engage and interact with digital technologies comes with a lot of
problems a lot of problems that we don’t necessarily know how to face and I want
to bring up a really wonderful quote from Shannon Mattern who’s a
professor at the new school and she has this really wonderful essay on the
police’s [Check] Journal which talks about the concept of city as a computer and she
states my original technology of paper and pen she states it’s our current
paradigm the city as a computer appeals because it frames the messiness of our
urban life as programmable and subject to rational order I think about that
quote often because I’m often I am asked to assist nonprofits as they engage in
digital transformation or as they’re trying to navigate technology and where
they want to have an intervention and what I mean an intervention that can be
from anything from the future of work to digital security and I think about this
about the messiness of urban life as programmable and subject to rational
order that is not the city that I want to experience and as we think through
the future of digital policymaking we’re seeing the struggles that cities are
facing in the most recent days actually the last couple of weeks we saw San
Francisco the hub of digital transformation where however you may
identify that actually put a ban on facial recognition usage within the city
this was you know not the first of its kind but one
you know many cities that are trying to grapple with emerging technologies and I
state this because it is a ban as they figure out whether they want to use
it as they figure out what are the ramifications and what are the roles of
legislators as they move forward because technologies in many cases as we relate
to cities is used as a mechanism of creating solutions right of course we
need more data to understand our human life and then we with that data maybe we
can figure out that of course you know racism exists and of course income
inequality exists there is this idea of constantly thinking of technology as a
solution right a solution for the bigger problems that exist today which is
actually the uncomfortable conversations of the structure of power the income
inequalities that exist the lack of decent work the crippling student debt
right these are all bigger conversations that we sometimes like to avoid because
hey look at this shining tool technology and so I say this because in broad
strokes because that’s this that’s the place that we’re in right now right of
course you want the our official intelligence tool to make things faster
we want big data to understand the big issues that were experiencing but
unfortunately what we’re facing right now is a conversation of values and
that’s uncomfortable and cities have to figure out how we govern or how we deal
with governance structures in relation to the technologies that we use I’d love
to say that I know all the technologies that are used by the city of Toronto but
I do not and there are probably many tools that we could be possibly
uncomfortable with as recently provided with the Toronto Police actually this
front of police has been experimenting with facial recognition for the last
year and we may not actually realize how we feel about that and I say this is
that technology policy is an opportunity for collaboration we’ve stated
collaboration earlier today but I repeat it again because we don’t necessarily
know what we’re doing and I’m going to say that honestly people are trying to
come up with solutions all the time we don’t necessarily know what we’re doing
and this is one of the opportunities that we can actually work together to
figure out hey do we want the absolute beautification of
our everyday lives maybe not do we want to experience the messiness of urban
life probably but also how are we going to build towards something that looks
more just and equitable and unfortunately technology is not our sole
solution and you know I am often the bearer of bad news about that because I
end up bringing conversations around power and wealth and it makes people
feel uncomfortable but that’s the conversation that needs to be had cause
technology in many cases replicates the existing systemic inequalities that we
experience today and in that cities are in the forefront and I repeat that again
cities are in the forefront of how we experience it which allows for projects
like sidewalk Toronto to exist right it allows them to exist in a way that makes
it a really wonderful option for us even if it might not be the case and part of
that is because of efficiencies and innovation and we need to push back
against that as much as we possibly can because that is not the future that I
expect for myself and I’d say that that’s not the future you’d all want to
have so oh stop so thank you so much for having me thank you these are really big ideas said really fast
so I’m gonna welcome the next speaker Greg Cook Greg Cook has a background in
history and political science from the University of Toronto but Greg has been
most importantly a drop-in and outreach worker in downtown Toronto for almost 12
years and also at sanctuary since 2009 Greg partners with other community
groups and agencies to advocate for more just and equitable policies related to
housing in Toronto he’s on the steering committee of the shelter and housing
justice network and he volunteers for the Toronto homeless memorial Greg was
part of a group of activists who agitated for a coroner’s inquest into
the death of people without housing you might recognize him from also many Toronto now articles and also two documentaries he’s worked on
one is called bursting at the seams and it’s about the housing crisis and
another one is called what world do you live in and it’s about police brutality
so he welcome Greg thank you deadpan jokes is he being serious gentle eyes
thoughtful loyal to a fault is December 2017 two days before
Christmas Dallas and his partner share a small bachelor apartment it’s crammed
with four to five guests Dallas’s friends are in crisis they don’t have a place
to stay each night no bed of their own no door to lock for privacy and safety
even bad options are not available the shelters are full so Dallas and his
partner are extending care and love to their friends tragically in the midst of
negotiating a crowded apartment one of the guests leaves the stove on there’s a
fire no one is physically hurt however the
apartment needs to be renovated and the landlord’s landlord tells him they are
evicted during the next two weeks the temperature plummets to minus 20
degrees Celsius for days at a stretch forced to sleep on the street Dallas and
his partner get pneumonia both end up in the hospital emergency departments
physical symptoms are treated expensive hospital beds are deemed
valuable for a sick indigenous couple they are discharged out into the cold
despite our resigned pleas their health deteriorates and soon after they are
back in the emergency department beyond the physical violence of shivering and
sleeping bags there is no doubt that psychological violence of
intergenerational trauma that is pushed to the surface the very real reenactment
of childhood apprehension loss of home broken attachments the ongoing horrors
of colonization and displacement it took almost a year for Dallas to find
relatively stable housing again Richard [Indigenous name] expounds on the Anishinaabe
phrase for all my relations in English as we live because everything else does
I think a good framing of what I learned from Dallas and what he prioritized in
the face of overwhelming violence is the belief that we are all connected we
belong to each other Dallas fought for the lives of all his
relations those he knew and loved sadly Dallas died recently he was only
44 for my limited perspective the intersecting forces of
colonization an opioid epidemic and the deepening housing crisis were the
primary culprits our city excels at providing zoning policies and supporting
a mortgage regime that facilitates expanding profit margins for developers
inextricably linked to this for expertise its proficiency
with which it displaces thousands we live in a city where home as a place of
life is a distant dream and instead home exists as a site of profit in a world
where we all are connected regimes that build zones of extraction also
facilitate zones of exclusion whether that’s oil extraction in the Alberta tar
sands or financial extraction in rental housing neighborhoods like Park Dale and
Moss Park what would governance in cities like Toronto look like if City
Hall Queens Park and Parliament Hill were accountable to each of its residents
especially to those pushed to the margins what if we established policies
that prohibited government priorities from being driven by the
investment portfolios developers like Minkus [Check name] and great gulf what if we graded
government’s on their ability to shrink the gulf between the rich and the poor
instead of their ability to attract corporations like sidewalk labs and
Google or those in our midst labeled as a creative class on December 6 of 2017
John Tory and city council vote against a motion to open the moss park and Fort
York armories for Toronto’s homeless a couple weeks earlier the community
development and Recreation Committee had put forward a motion to open the
Armory’s immediately and expand the shelter system by a thousand beds as
soon as possible I was in council on December 6
we offered sound statistics and clear rationale for why the city should
declare a state of emergency in knowledge it’s salted shelter system was
full and take emergency measures to open the Armory’s city council refused to
listen as a result people like Dallas who had very limited resources were
forced to do what the city failed to do open his door to those in crisis this
policy decision precipitated one crisis in the midst of a much bigger shelter
and housing crisis On January 2 2018 activists like oh cap [check name] won a temporary
battle and forced the city government to open the Armory’s still the situation
keeps getting worse alessandro busie [check name] in the creative
destruction of new york city writes the truth is cities are increasingly being
built for the rich to invest in rather than regular people to live in
consequently tens of thousands in this city alone are being displaced basic
necessities like housing and enough food to eat are being taken away basic needs
like privacy and safety disappear in the face of soaring rental costs in the last
10 years the cost of rent in Toronto has more than doubled OW rates Ontario
disability rates and minimum wage has definitely not doubled OW recipients
are 62 percent under the poverty line ODSP recipients 40 percent under 1
million people in Ontario alone are on OW and ODSP Judith Butler
in precarious life asks what counts as a livable life and a grievable death why
don’t we treat home as a collective good what policy decisions in the past
decades have contributed to creating our real estate markets that’s financial aid
housing and decimated the lives of so many
according to Liliana Farha who was a Special Rapporteur on housing for the UN
Global real estate is now worth two hundred and seventeen trillion thirty
six times the value of all gold ever mined it makes up 60% of the world’s
assets and the vast majority of that wealth roughly seventy five percent is
in housing in the face of such a hegemonic regime what will it take to
live in a way so that everything else stays alive what policy and funding
changes considers make to ensure our neighborhoods our friends aren’t dying
on the streets I am part of the shelter and housing justice Network in the in
Toronto two demands that we have made to City Hall are one take emergency
measures add two thousand new shelter beds or transitional housing units this
year to increase investment in rent gear to income and build a minimum of five
thousand new regular to income housing units per year I miss Dallas I asked
myself what does it mean to grieve him well I’m challenged by the idea that we
live because everything else does thank you and our third lightening speaker is Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Camacho and I say that he’s just received his PhD at OISE and
so we should congratulate him on this too and on the topic of indigenous
ethics and health research so Juan has conducted research with indigenous
communities in Canada and Latin America exploring ways to create and sustain
respectful and supportive relations between indigenous communities and
government he’s also a rural registered teacher internationally
trained psychologist and university lecturer in Canada he’s collaborated
specifically with the native Child and Family Services of Toronto the Ministry
of Health and long-term care the Ministry of Children and Youth Services
and also the University of Toronto and McMaster Hello everybody thank you so much for
this presentation and well I’m very happy to be here thank you for the
school City for this invitation and all presenters and the public that is just
attending today and also the people who are following us online in my
position as indigenous person indigenous from the northwest of the Andes of the
muiscas [check name] families so I work so many many years ago I started this journey of
understanding the inequalities between indigenous communities and
non-indigenous communities and my topic of research is trying to improve health with by and for indigenous research indigenous
communities so by doing that probably you may know that despite millions
of millions of dollars invested every year in health research and health
services the health for indigenous communities still considered a social
crisis so what is this happening so what does this mean so we saw this on the data
seems like a there is a structural system that is perpetuating the harm
and but doing that probably I turn around the focus of research from the
indigenous communities as a subject of research towards the system and I asked
2200 researchers in Canada to share their experience of doing hell
research and moving the system for indigenous communities so right now we
know a little bit more about the field of indigenous health research what does
mean who is doing what when why and how and where and also we know a little bit
more about the barriers and strength of the practice of indigenous health
research why is the ethics of indigenous cell research is interesting it is
because it is recognized that there is a connection between the knowledge that we
have public policy government services and service delivery and cultural
configuration of the cities and of the country in general so by challenging the
knowledge that we have we are trying to move and disrupt the system of
perpetuate in harms so how the thing is working probably harms are being
reproduced without intention but when we apply a new technology on indigenous
communities so we are creating again an inequality process because of the access
to technology because of the education because there is a lot of previous
inequalities that prevent indigenous people just to access and to take
advantage of this new benefit then probably I’m for the interests of this
meeting I’m going to share only three main ideas the first the first main idea
that probably we know and it was shared before that we need to
include indigenous communities in the decision and in collaboration and in the
building process of new health services and saying that it is important to
design processes where indigenous communities are lead are the leaders of
the process of indigenous services that point is very easy to say but very
difficult to to achieve because of the inequalities and because the the
dynamics that are behind and inside the government and inside the cities we know
everybody we’re trying to invite people to collaborate but in the moment to
share power and to take decisions is very hard so then how we are going to be
a realistic worker thinking on the dreams and and looking for this ideal
city a modern city that will include everybody so the second idea is that
definitely this new knowledge that we need we don’t is going to help us to
understand what we need to do in terms of our methods in terms of our
concepts in terms of our ideas about how to challenge the system that we are
managing the system that we currently work and we the system that provide
services so this new knowledge definitely is not going to be inside the
epistemology that we know is not there you can find it you can look at and you
can you can find ideas of this epistemological framework and the
framework that we used to apply for our current societies so then the proposal
is just to move a way of this kind of what I call complicated
versions of society where the systems are integrated but integrated in a
different way versus a complex dynamic and learning systems one thing that I
learned from indigenous communities in Canada and from my community is the the
main concept of humility we don’t we don’t have the all answers we can’t have
it if we’re trying to design a big macro process that could fit the needs of
everybody is not going to work this is why we need to create a learning system
co-built or co-collaborative with indigenous communities thank you I’m gonna just make a few comments and
then ask them a question and then open it up for a question if there’s time and
one of the things I just wanted to point out that was well thank you first of all
for all of that one of the really important things that I think came out
of all three of these talks was this sense of wanting the messiness of living
in a city and the complexity of living in a city but with justice or to think
about it in terms of we can have the messiness of city life and still live in
a just and equitable world and that sort of the complex scenario we find
ourselves as Nasma said we don’t want to live in a programmable city
and we don’t want to sweep everything under the rug under this idea of some
sort of utopia of a city where everything’s working and what Juan was mentioning we have to recognize the complex dynamics of all this and so
what all three talks seem to do and remind everybody is there’s an
interrelationship between technology transit food health how we sleep where
we sleep and this is about governing what’s at stake and not necessarily
stakeholders it’s like changing the conversation from what’s at stake and
what’s at stake or really like bodily embodied things for residents in the
city and so so thank you for that and with that in mind I was I wanted to ask
you like we can learn from other cities but at the same time have to recognize
the site specificity of Toronto the history who’s here what’s happening
who’s invested who’s not invested so I was going to ask my question for all of
you to think about and respond to would be what important initiatives do you see in
other cities that Toronto can learn from like recognizing like really like Nasma
you mentioned San Francisco but I’m sure you have other examples but is
there an initiative in another city related to governance that you think
Toronto can learn from in a very specific way so each of you yeah I can actually
go first one of my favorite initiative actually the anti-eviction mapping tools
in San Francisco but also other areas like LA New York Baltimore and the
reason why I share that example is that it came out of the absolute
financialization of the Mission District in San Francisco with obviously the
increase in rent and a bunch of other factors in the Mission District and what
they noticed was they couldn’t clearly figure out who were purchasing like who
was purchasing the land who was you know like the landlord’s what was happening
what is it masked like what was a number of people who are
being displaced and so it was a mixture of community mapping and also like open
data open data tools to be able to kind of really hyper specify like what was
happening in that area and I think of that example as a good one that mixes
like technology but also like right now what they’re trying to figure out was
who’s being evicted right and putting tools together to
figure that out that’s one of my favorite tools I know
people try to do that in Toronto but there’s a lot of difficulty that comes
with doing that here and so I’d say that is check it out it’s online I think
there’s a lot of really neat ideas one that it’s starting to happen in Toronto
is the city being involved in supporting the purchasing of community land Trust’s
I know that’s happening in cities from San Francisco to Jackson Mississippi to
Burlington Vermont where they have a extensive program in Toronto Park Dale
neighborhood land trust just recently bought a building and the idea is to
take off housing off the kind of the real estate market and put it into the
hands of the local community I personally would think it’d be again I
think collaboration and what would it look like to for the City of Toronto
actually turn over a bunch of its land to the local indigenous community and
offer it as a Community Land Trust offer affordable housing for so yeah now I remember
two examples of initiatives that create programs where the
indigenous healer is working with the medical doctor together and delivering
services together for the community for the population it’s very
successful because then is trying to break the isolation and the difference
in the dislocation between these two different kind of knowledge but also in
British Columbia I think that they were had and they create I think it’s the
first ministry of mental health and addictions in Canada and they are very
interested in creating a system that is completely not only involving but led by
indigenous community and they are very powerful and then probably if if we have
the opportunity to learn more about their experience I think that in Ontario
there are some kind of conversations in the lab in the government just to create
the ministry a similar ministry here that will give us the opportunity to to
create new and innovative edom in terms of health services I think we’re gonna
open up to see if there’s any questions from the audience oh there’s one yeah I just had a question and I’m wondering
what the panelists thought so Joseph Stieglitz is leading a group at the OECD
now looking at national government rather than cities at going beyond GDP
you know we talked about metrics and I’m just wondering what you thought about
the notion of cities actually you using well-being as like a central guiding
organizing framework I’ll leave it at that it’s kind of a big broad question yes wellbeing is a completely different
paradigm that the concepts will help well health is mainly based on the social
definition of the biological model but this is a social construction it’s not
only biological kind of this conversation their well-being involves
kind of holistic perspective of health and with this holistic perspective we
understand that help is not only a base not only about being sick its also about
housing its also but poverty its also income it’s also about community
relationship it’s also it’s also about how you balance individual and
community health individual community healthy so those those areas are
definitely changing the way that we understand health services i was going to ask Nasma if you would speak on the relationship between technology and
well-being because I think that’s central to some of the work that you’re
doing as well in the city yeah I always find that I don’t necessarily work
within the space of like you know health policy in any way but for technology a
lot of the work that we’ve been doing actually with young folks is around
digital privacy yeah technology and its impact on young folks
and specifically moving away from the conversation of shame so we’ve obviously
had multiple iterations of this right so it’s around video games and it was
around TV and so you know we’re clearly seeing that there is an impact obviously
at mental health and well-being in relation to like usage but that’s also
how people build their communities and so there’s this constant misalignment in
many cases and difficulties that come with having a conversation around
technology and how much you love it but also the fact that it’s increasing your
anxiety right like I personally try to get off a lot of social media platforms
because I understand how it makes me move around the world right and so we’re
constantly doing these contentions and it gets harder when we have the lack of
public space actually there’s a lot of really good work about the declining
public space and the pushing towards you know technologies as a mechanism of
building community because of the lack of public space because of over policing
in certain environments that pushes towards digital environments and so it’s
a it’s it’s all connected to our physical realities which is which is
hard right because we want to be able to play outside on the park but also if
you’re in an area that is heavily surveilled your family might feel more
secure you being at home and so they’ll just be on your phone right and so this
this all connects into like what do we want as well-being as residents and I
also think that we have a lot of really good metrics and unfortunately you know
people or you know the powers that be and the governance structures that we
have right now you know we’re not actually reallocating resources in an
appropriate manner I think there’s a lot of really great
Solutions out there and unfortunately you know we aren’t building towards
those solutions especially solutions that are provided by equity seeking
groups so yeah so right now we are living in and being pushed by two trends
at least two trends big big data and artificial intelligence and machine
learning so then seems like an intelligent cities and the possibility
to create modern cities it is going to be based on the our ability to manage
data so technology is not a good or wrong thing per se I mean it’s we know that is
about how we use technology if the technology is going to help us to reduce
these gaps or if technology is going to be part of the equation in a negative
way so then we know it’s actually that that so now we can use artificial
intelligence in the way that it support the kind supportive communities and
support individual it will be fantastic but this is the the job that we need to
we need to do we need to work on that it is a road that probably is not clear for
right now so then that is why we need to invite communities to this conversation between tech transit food housing
community governance is also about the allocation of resources but also how we
understand these things so for example these aren’t these broad things that
come into our communities they’re actually they can be effective routes
for change as well on a smaller scale so okay I think it’s important to think
through a network approach right like we clearly have different forms of
knowledge knowledge keeping right awareness of how the existing
communities are so different in different areas and so I think there’s a
need to kind of think through what our network approaches to governance we have
that obviously in kind of open source platforms and technologies but I know I
think that there is there is a lot of opportunity and not necessarily having a
central form of power and that is something that is obviously debatable
but it’s something that we have to think about moving forward
because I think that you know a smart city is the city where people are housed
right a smart city is a city that people have decent work right and like that’s
that’s what we should be pushing towards and I think that the push around big
data artificial intelligence yes that could be a mechanism I think in many
ways to support the things that we care about but you know right now we’re in
kinda a contentious space right where it’s in many ways used
against us and we have to be honest about that as
well and so you know our duty value that is a bigger conversation but I think a
smarter City is a city in which we can be housed fed and taken care of and is
centered on our well-being I’m aware that there are a number of areas in the
city where indigenous people are looking to have kind of a an indigenous
community getting away from the old idea that we’ve got ghettos in in ethnically
based areas and seeing that the strengths in organizing one’s community
within a city and given that there are a number of communities in the north using
analog platforms to expand education and do democratic decision-making through
digital means I’m wondering if you see expanding the scale of you know the
small indigenous community within a city and even maybe not in the GTA like we we
know the indigenous people have been moved off their land down to only 2% of
the land based in Canada and if reconciliation
goes forward would it be possible to envision you know indigenous cities well it’s very difficult to be homeless when
you are in your own home so I have to recognize that I am a visitor here in
Canada and this lands our indigenous names so indigenous cities so some
indigenous communities are living in cities or there’s no they just just
walking around and doesn’t just live in cities so the creation of them of
indigenous um groups and cities just protected actually we have a project of
housing creating the perfect village but this is a it’s a welcoming village for
everybody so I visualized that that the indigenous communities will be
interested in integration instead of isolation and in terms of the technology
and the tools that we have in the technology that technology is great for
many indigenous people who are living in the city for example they use Facebook
to be connected with the community and actually the the Facebook groups just
kind of very strong and they create the sense of community that is lost because
of the separation of the family so and everything depends of probably how we
share and how we negotiate and how we somehow the togetherness of building
things together the building things shared in somehow that that will be the
question instead of thinking like a protected
spaces we need to think about all Canada is a protected space I’m gonna ask Nasma and Greg a question following from this and it’s sort of a creative question I’m
putting you on the spot a little bit it’s not terrible don’t worry but I
think rather than ask for a solution or what the latest innovation might be
maybe to think about and also in with this sort of ethos of moving beyond the
status quo in terms of governance what would be a futuristic government service
that you can imagine like an ideal future is a government service that
addresses some of these things so I thing that we’ve been asking the city
government or like a lot of kind of responsibility is in government I think
they say oh that’s the provinces responsibility that’s the federal
government’s responsibility and so actually this is an our job to make sure
that people have basic necessities like food or housing and so I think that’s
something that the City of Toronto could do is actually work a lot harder at kind
of very I think they’re starting to have to right now because of our current
government situation but to actually really kind of set up a whole department
to to make sure that we’re getting the tax revenue and the necessities that we
need is the city I don’t think they do that and to kind of I think city
government is much closer to what’s on the ground for the residents and so and
so if the city government can kind of say hey we need National Housing
Strategy again it’s killing people or we need to make sure we have food security
we need to address racism in our city it’s it’s causing a lot of damage I
really like your answer because it actually speaks the things that should
exist today right like in honesty right like it should exist today and we have
the information that well a lot like we have the data sets that prove that you
know racism kills for example or the income inequality and like those are
things that should exist today which is the scary part about a lot of this work
I think for me if I was thinking about the future I would really love for the
city to run its own like Internet infrastructure I’ve been really looking
into you know infrastructure as a mechanism for like local economic
development and I believe that you know it would be a really good opportunity
for the city to think about that and navigate that I know it was considered
at some point but I I think that would be super fascinating especially in a way
of pushing for affordability of access but unfortunately a lot of the future
things that I think about right now are things that we should already have
access to but do not have access to and so and that’s actually unfortunately a
very common trend when we’re thinking about for example technology
developments and cities a lot of what organizers have been saying multiple
times across the u.s. for example is that you know one of the bigger issues
is like lack of transparency and accountability it’s like all the things
that we want to expect over city governments but unfortunately can’t
right in all honesty and so I would love for people to follow the rules that are
set in place that would be great I think that would be a great future governance
model is follow the rules that are set and also be able to be dynamic as we
move forward thank you we have to there’s one as long as it’s a question
we have time for one more yes please back there I think it’s you Thanks well we live in a place where
there is displacement Realty as a result of they
can see these control and just assuming that that continues and rooming houses
and food banks in downtown continue to get priced out you know just wanted to
ask what you would like to see included in the national housing strategy right
it’s a tough question but Greg proposed kind of emergency shelters because
that’s a crisis in reality but sort of in the long term what would you like to
have included as a part of your recommendations I think money right away
we’ve been promised money but it keeps not appearing or actual rent geared to
income housing a lot of even the definition of affordable housing has
been changed to 80% of market rent which is not affordable it for frankly most
people in Toronto I don’t think so a housing that’s actually affordable
that’s being built and and it we can do much better in the 70s and 80s Canada
was building 20 to 30 thousand units of affordable housing every year we’re not
even close to that now like Toronto on average builds maybe 500 units of
affordable housing every year it’s just just it’s appalling and it’s affecting
the life with so many residents unfortunately we have to wrap up now to
stay on time but thank you to all these speakers and thank you okay thank you to
the panel there was such urgency in the recommendations and discussion and I
think that really helps frame the conversation around governance in the
21st century so that brings us to our first break we now have 15 minutes it’s
for refreshments the quiet room is in the back if anyone needs it the
washrooms are down the hall just in the back we will adjourn now for 15 minutes
and come back at 11:00 sharp to get started with the next panel
thanks everyone okay okay we’re gonna get started okay
I’m pleased to introduce the next panel which focuses on navigating the 21st
century and the moderator for this panel is Professor Marieme Lo Marieme Lo is
the associate director for educational initiatives at the school of cities and
she’s a professor of Women and Gender Studies and associate director she’s and
the director of the African Studies program at the University of Toronto
professor Lo’s work encompasses the political economy and creative dynamism
of African urban informal economies migration studies female
entrepreneurship economic justice and rights to livelihood with a focus
on the dynamics of urban transformation urban governance resilience urban
poverty and inclusive urbanism professor Lo is also engaged in collaboration
with grassroots women’s organizations civil society networks such as the West
African civil society and international organizations such as the
United Nations women’s organization and the United Nations Development Program
she has a PhD from Cornell and she’s held fellowships at Oxford University
and Georgetown University professor Lo Thank You Matti for this very kind
introduction hello everyone I’m absolutely delighted to be here today
and to moderate our second panel of the day navigating the 21st century city and
I’m it’s a pleasure to introduce our distinguished panelists and I would like
also to let you know that one of our panelists Crystal Basi unfortunately
had an emergency and could not be here you can imagine the gap we have but we
have four panelists who will clearly help us navigate these conversations
with your collaboration and I’m absolutely delighted to introduce our
panelists starting with Sarah Hughes Sarah Hughes is an assistant professor in the
Department of Political Science University of Toronto her research
interests include urban politics policy and governance water policy and climate
change policy she focuses on understanding how political interests
institutions and environmental problems interact at the urban scale and the
social environmental outcome they generate her research has been funded by
shirk Carnot and the government of Minnesota and she has held fellowships
at the US Environmental Protection Agency in the National Center for
Atmospheric Research in 2013 she has she was named a Clarence and stone scholar
by the urban politics sections of the American Political Science Association
her forthcoming book congratulations Sarah repowering cities examine the
governing strategy city governments can and do use to reduce greenhouse gas
emission in North America thank you Sarah for being here and please
and our second speaker Jason Thorne Jason is a professional planner who
leads the planning and economic development department at the City of
Hamilton Canada he oversees a team of 800 staff working across multiple
portfolio including planning building development engineering transportation
planning parking arts culture and economic development born and raised in
Hamilton Jason has been working in planning and Community Development his
entire career as a manager with the Ontario growth Secretariat
Jason was one of the key architects of the province of Ontario places to grow
initiative as director of policy and planning for Metro Lakes Jason was one
of the lead authors of the bay big move the regional transportation plan for the
Greater Toronto and Hamilton area Jason also worked as a planning consultant for
communities across Canada and in Africa and Latin America as a partner and
prevention and principal with the Toronto based planning architecture and
design firm Planning Alliance he has also worked for a wide range of
non-governmental organizations including the Bay Area restoration council Bruce
trail Association and Coalition on the the Niagara Escarpment
Jason is a passionate advocate of community-based planning sustainable and
inclusive development and the creation of complete vibrant cities most
importantly he’s a proud Hamiltonian who is excited to be back working in his
hometown welcome Jason thank you for being here last but not least Andrea Barrack Andrea Barrack is the global head sustainability and corporate citizenship at TD Bank
Group in this role she’s the lead champion for corporate social
responsibility across the enterprise ensuring the development of a
best-in-class integrated strategy that is aligned to
business objectives while creating positive social economic and environment
impacts in the community prior to coming to TD Barrack was the chief executive
officer of the Ontario Trillium Foundation providing strategic and
operational leadership to a government agency that distributed over 120 million
in public funding to the charitable and not-for-profit sector she worked in
health care administration administration for more than a
decade focused on primary health care and community health she’s recognized
for her expertise in making organization more effective by ensuring that systems
are integrated and impact is both measured and assessed Andrea earned a
Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at the University of Guelph and a master’s
of Health Science in health administration at the University of
Toronto she has also an certificates in
nonprofit management and governance from Harvard University’s Business School and
John Kennedy School of Government in 2016 she was named in the women’s
executive Network top 100 most powerful women in the trendsetter and trailblazer
category in her volunteer life Andrea is on the board of the western hemisphere
of the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the chair of the deans
Council for the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University she’s
also a diversity fellow mentors with the Greater Toronto civic action Alliance
please join me for a round of welcome to our wonderful speakers as we start our next panel as we start
our panel navigating the 21st century and city so we have a range of
perspective from a scholar Sarah Jason who described himself as a technocrat I
also policy maker and Andrea who representing the public the private
sector we are going to engage in conversation we’re starting first with
each our panelists giving us a brief overview or impact statement about what
they want to share with us in the course of this conversation so the next round
of conversation will be led by the panelists and then we’ll reconvene with
a lively conversation on around a few set of questions and then we’ll open the
floor to you for QNA you also are a key member of this panel because we
expect and welcome your active lively engagement you’re in you know
provocations your questions your ruminations your suggestions so please
let’s welcome the panels and start our conversation on governing cities in the
21st century but but first let me start with Sarah Sarah what would you like to
start with to share with us as a way of contextualizing our conversation today
great thanks thanks so much for inviting me to be on
the panel as well and so as Mary mentioned a lot of my research the last
four five years has focused on that has really focused on how cities can
do and should might address climate change and I really come at it from the
perspective of city governments right there’s been a lot of attention to the
leadership city governments are providing in the arena of climate change
setting ambitious goals I’m coming forward with those when other
levels of government aren’t necessarily but for me as somebody observing this
and and and talking and trying to work with decision-makers
I think these ambitions raises many questions about about governance in the
21st century as they might try to answer so I think a lot of what I see revealed
in these in these processes is the shift city governments everywhere for sure in
Toronto and and and throughout North America are undergoing from a role as
the primarily service provider to this can policy leader convener network
manager capacity builder and and this shift is is I think obvious to many but
is I think there’s still some catch-up that we’re playing in terms of how
exactly to navigate this role there’s a lot of reasons for this shift there’s
economic imperatives behind this kind of leadership and innovation there’s policy
gaps being left by decentralization and you know kind of pull backs at other
levels and there’s also new demands that people have of their city governments
that are that are initiating this shift as well and so one thing I’ve been
thinking about a lot is what this means for the the source is an exercise of
power in local government and at the local level where we typically think
about direct power or power over power to regulate power to formally do things
but I think this shift is really going to require more attention to ideas of
power with and or to this kind of network governance
that’s already come up a couple of times and and and the other idea that that
this brings up for me is what has been called the the iron law of urban
politics and governance which is this idea that pursuing an agenda a
collective agenda of some kind requires the mobilization of resources and people
commensurate with that agenda equal to the ambitions of that agenda
and so to me I think this is really the key task if city governments are going
to lead this the shift and lead this transition that that could that that
mobilization and and collective work is really the key task of governance going
forward thank you thank you Sara Jason so I guess as I said the introduction I
I’m the bureaucrat on the panel and I say that somewhat proudly as sort of a
public servant and civil servant but it but it’s through that lens that I think
about what is the what does governance look like in the 21st Century City and
coincidentally I came from a conference I was just at last week as a conference
called the urban futures conference it’s the the the largest urbanism conference
in Europe a number of heads of Planning elected officials mayor’s from all over
European cities and one of the conference themes at that at that event
was around leadership and a new approach to decision-making and what the
conference organizers called that thread I thought was quite telling they called
it authority was yesterday and I quite like that it and end it and when you
think well it’s a very powerful statement about what governance is gonna
mean in the 21st century if authority was yesterday and in the planning world
we talked about a number of concepts we talked about do-it-yourself urbanism we
talked about tactical urbanism and guerilla urbanism and the co-created
cities and other similar concepts all slightly different but share a sort of a
common theme around this idea this belief and this this assertion that city
building is a is a collective responsibility and it’s
a collective right and it’s you know in other words it’s you know it’s no longer
just the domain of bureaucrats and politicians that it’s something that’s
being opened up to many many decision-makers and I think that’s got
some powerful implications for how people in roles like mine
members of council people who are the traditional decision-makers of cities
how they actually approach their work it means really taking a careful look at
all of the structures that have been built up over generations our policies
and processes and procedures and regulations and standards and looking at
those through the lens of how are we actually stepping back a bit now
creating some space and and not just supporting and facilitating the
co-creators who are out there city building with us but also inviting that
kind of those new decision-makers in and I think there’s a number of reasons why
that that’s a good approach to decision make in terms of the quality of decision
making you get in terms of the representation of decision makers that
you get but also to speaking from it from a city like my own from a city from
the City of Hamilton there’s just a basic necessity in approaching decision
making that way Hamilton like a lot of seas especially
the midsize cities around the world where you don’t necessarily have the the
resources and the deep pockets to make a lot of to drive all the change that
needs to happen just through just through City Hall I mean Hamilton has
done well in the last in the last few years we’re quite proud of kind of some
of the transformation that’s happened in our city but I can tell you that if
you’re looking for what is that one grand big move of government that made
it all happen you’re not gonna find it you’re not gonna find a you’re not gonna
find a Guggenheim in Hamilton you’re not gonna find a canary wharf or a Highline
or a Millennium Park these sorts of big city building moves that some of the big
global cities make to transform themselves what’s been happening in
Hamilton is just a lot of small little strategic things that have happened some
of them led by City Hall many of them led by the artists and the entrepreneurs
and the developers and the activists of the neighborhood associations all those
co-creators out in the city and I think that is that is we can become
the new approach decision-making in cities the new approach to governance in
cities because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s probably the
only way we’re going to tackle some of the complex issues that we’re facing
thank you all right so first of all I’m gonna apologize for the length of my bio
you’re all very patient clearly some editing is in order but I thought I’d
start with the framing of really just three things
why is TD Bank interested in this topic how does it align with our overall
corporate citizenship and sustainability strategy and what role can TD and
perhaps others in the private sector play in terms of determining and trying
to develop the future cities so TD is predominantly a North American bank and
North America has the highest rates of urbanization in the world I think 82% of
North Americans live in urban environments and so for us that’s huge
we have our our communities our colleagues our customers that all tend
to be in urban environments and and so as a major part of I think the Canadian
economy and certainly a an eastern seaboard in the US economy we care about
how those folks are faring in their cities you know can our people get into
work you know a real issue that we kind of face because commute times are
getting longer and we’re having to think about different structures about how
people work can they afford to to live do we have we have a huge mortgage
business are people gonna be able to afford to even you know buy a property
what does that look like not to mention a lot of the climate change issues and
and resilience that we’re seeing you know we have a large insurance business
so every time there’s a huge flood that also hits our bottom line and and so we
care about it certainly from a corporate citizenship perspective but we also care
about it from a business perspective right it really really matters in terms
of how we do our business and our people and what we care about how it aligns to
our broader corporate citizenship strategy which is called the ready
commitment which is really about trying to open doors for a more inclusive and
sustainable tomorrow is that I think a lot of the themes that we see in this
idea of future cities are a really resonant with
the things that when we asked our customers and our employees and that and
the people that we deal with what they care about and what are the things that
make them feel either confident or not about the future a lot of the stuff is
around cities mattered right so we did North American research that showed that
one in three North Americans don’t feel like they’re connected to their
communities that’s a huge issue and it’s gonna only be growing because we know
that social isolation causes all kinds of other things we know that majority
were significantly worried about the environment and they were also really
worried about their financial security in terms of homeowner homeownership and
those things so so I think we’re really well aligned on that front the role we
play is is I think is also really important because we want to be very
careful to say coming from a bank we don’t have the answers to these things
but we want to think about how do we use our philanthropy our business and our
people to try to influence change and make a difference and so in our
philanthropy we do try to support things around grassroots kind of movements that
are actually building interest in the topic we want to actually use it to
convene policymakers governments and decision-makers to come together and be
able to talk and then we want to also use sort of some of our our business
sort of imperative so how can we think about using our senior leadership to
convene others in government to be able to talk about these kinds of things and
the issues that we’re facing and we feel like we can really play a role in that
as well so I’ll leave it there and that’s sort of that’s why we’re here
thank you thank you from the insights and statements from our speakers it’s
clear that you know governing cities imply an assortment of actors
institutions power brokers constituency’s stakeholders etc but what
is clear is the ecosystem of cities and governance is shifting the ethos the
rationalities the decision-making structures are all changing and the very
fact that we here in this space today let’s look around where we are we are
not in a neutral random space we are in the library which is also part of you
know it’s not mundane it’s so central to urban governance
because we’re talking about public good and you know governing cities navigating
cities interpolate us all to think about from the everyday aspect of our lives
that are governed by decision-making to the most concrete and compelling and
complex ecosystem where decision-making is taking place in the key actors that
are shaping these decisions on a larger macro you know scale etc so but for now
let’s what does it mean then to navigate the various levels of government in the
21st century City what does it mean for scholars what does it mean for citizens
what does it mean for community builders what does it mean for policymakers what
does it mean for bureaucrats what does it mean for the public sector what does
it mean for civil society to navigate the complex and shifting ecosystem of
governing cities in the 21st century and we have the case of Hamilton we are here
in Toronto let’s try to think through what are the complexities and challenges
and strategies and sites of agency and moving forward and navigating the 21st
city the 21st Century City you know I think the idea as well I mean this idea
of shifting systems of power and strategy that implies one thing that
highlights for me is there’s a lot of debate around the role of the formal
authority of cities and if that needs to change or how and I don’t want to fully
jump into that debate but but just to put out there that regardless of kind of
where those debates land we know that from you know that what we’ve already
put forward that formal authority is not going to be a silver bullet of any kind
right that the challenges we’ve highlighted are not confined to the
the lack or acquisition informal Authority right so I think to me that’s
part of it is that focusing on simply those formal powers in an
intergovernmental system kind of misses the bigger picture right and I think the
other thing that as a lot of these new challenges are coming on board whether
its climate change or growing inequality I think there’s almost a kind of
real-time learning going on about where those power structures are and what they
look like and who has authority over some of the decisions that need to be
made whose resources need to be mobilized in order to solve these
problems and so there’s a little bit of learning as as we go along one of my
favorite quotes from someone at Taff actually is this idea that we’re
building the plane as we’re flying the plane right and so in terms of
navigating those intergovernmental systems I think we’re still learning our
way through in some ways right you get stormwater or energy resources that are
suddenly these really pressing social and environmental issues we need to sort
through what those governance structures look like one of my favorite examples of
this is from New York City where if anybody has followed it in 2007 they put
to get out this really innovative plan and I see kind of one of the very first
kind of mega sustainability plans that cities have been doing and one of their
key recommendations for energy you know in addition to emissions reductions and
you know efficiency rebates and things like this but one of their key
recommendations was restructuring and the governance Arrangements where they
felt the the system was almost so complex between the state and regional
power boards and local and federal that you know key to them moving forward on
their goals was their kind of restructuring and streamlining of that
system and they weren’t particularly successful in achieving that but I think
some changes were made but it was that kind of in the process of moving toward
others goals the the ways in which those complexities start to play a role become
more apparent thank you I want to pick up on that theme of complexity because I
think it’s a good one the most important ways that we can help we make it easier
for that ecosystem to navigate the decision-making processes to is is to
make it unnecessary to navigate the decision-making process in order to
affect change in your in your community and there is a lot of complexity that’s
that’s been introduced in our governance structures over many years and there’s a
there’s there’s a quotable complexity that I quite like by a guy named Jaime
Lerner he was the former mayor of Curitiba in Brazil and and a planner and
he said what cities need are fewer peddlers of complexity and more
philosophers and I quote always struck me because I think how you approach the
planning and governance of your city requires a bit more philosophy requires
a bit more of just creative thought about where your city is going and then
as decision-makers an official sometimes the best thing you can do and the most
important thing you can do is that kind of step back and do nothing
step back and kind of see what happens and let things happen and there’s
there’s there’s unfortunate I think quite an aversion to that kind of
risk-taking in the way we approach governance but I think that if we’re
going to be successful cities in a 21st century that we’re gonna have to accept
the fact that a lot of the great innovations and ideas are gonna come
from all over the place and if we don’t create space and room for that to happen
then we’re gonna miss those opportunities thank you I think the only
thing I would add to is that you know the complexity can be almost
overwhelming right and it almost makes it feel like individual action whether
you’re a business or an individual like is impossible right it won’t really
matter so we try to sort of approach it from a number of different doors and so
you know certainly you know we’re involved with working with Maitri and
others on the national urban project so bringing mayors and academics and
experts together to try to convene and discuss what are some solutions to how
we’re going to develop you know better policy on affordable housing or on
climate resiliency but that’s really our long-term bet you know we don’t have any
real hope that’s gonna change things immediately but there’s other things
that we can do that are on the ground that actually just change what people’s
expectations are about the cities that they’re gonna live in and so I think
about things like Park people and how they really change the notion of citizen
engagement in parks and who owns the parks and who owns the green space and
you know we have another one in Philadelphia called sort of tree Philly
that looks at actually you know working with residents to plant trees so that
some of the heat zones in their communities which are making kids not be
able to play outside because it gets so hot and taking control of that and being
able to do that and in sort of I think the hope is that with these small
incremental wins we build the citizenship engagement and citizens will
then ask their decision-makers to make policy decisions that matter to them
excellent and it seems that taking risk recognizing complexity accounting for
uncertainty but allowing for failure sometimes is really important in
thinking through you know the politics of covenants and the sights of power and
you know the legitimacy of even decision making and the complex times and and
structures were competing needs and demands for rights and unmet need are
always at the forefront of popular demand contestations and and and really
accountability demand for decision-makers and authorities in
government structures within cities and urban centers but however what about
what does it mean then to given these potentials and giving also the sites of
inclusion and possibilities what I it was wonderful to hear the sense of hope
or thinking like a philosopher not just perhaps as a hot core perhaps planner or
dreaming out loud thinking being really hinges at the possibility the white
possibilities the politics of possibility and the politics of hope
in dealing with complexities and uncertainty but given these parameters
and possibilities and insight how do we leverage them national provincial and
municipal relationships to advance I would say impactful sort for inclusive
and democratic urban governance for the future and and and this would this will
be a very hopeful statement that I we need to Deepa little sighs the the
funding models that cities rely upon the funding models that that communities
rely upon there is the challenges that are that are being faced in cities go
far beyond what local governments I think can solve or address even if they
get everything right at the local level even if they have great buying and
contribution and engagement from from from their communities it it it goes far
beyond that and when I look at sort of successful cities that I’ve seen around
the world they are cities where senior levels of government have embraced the
importance and the power of cities and have facilitated that and have you know
provided the resources and enabled those cities to thrive
too often I feel sometimes that there’s almost a conflict between between local
governments and senior levels of government that somehow by by by a
national government recognizing embracing what’s happening in cities
they’re somehow alienating vast other areas of the country and and and and our
rural areas and smaller communities I think have to recognize that that at
this point in time this is not just a Canadian phenomenon this is a global
fund on there’s something really significant important happening in
cities and senior levels of government to recognize that thank you well I think
this is an area actually where the private sector could probably do more to
try to push the city’s agenda because it feels like a lot of the let’s say
bickering between the various levels of government is a little
like foot stamping saying this is not fair and and it doesn’t go anywhere
right because there’s no interest in changing the status quo because it
benefits those who get to make the decision to change it waiting any
particular government but there are a group of actors who have a huge interest
in that who I think have been relatively silent and I will say we’re starting to
you know have conversations even within TD about you know how do we really
actually even in the City of Toronto think about the issue of affordable
housing and and sort of put some of our calories behind that and say you know
this is actually non partisan issue mm-hmm this is an issue for everyone and
and how do we actually then sort of work with governments to be able to do that
and I haven’t really seen I mean these solutions are gonna require academics
not-for-profit sector governments and the private sector to come together
there’s hasn’t been a lot of that so far I would say it’s been the private sector
has been largely out of it but I think there’s an opportunity to get more
involved in you some of their muscle to get to make it happen so thank you and
then how do we how you say no problem I was just gonna pick up on something
Jason said earlier about this idea that change doesn’t always have come from you
know kind of big mega projects but sometimes it is this accumulation of
smaller initiatives you know big ideas on a smaller scale
but that and and that is sometimes what facilitates partnerships that it
sometimes only takes a small opportunity or that kind of nudge to work together
for relationships to form and and and so one idea is it’s something I’ve seen
work right is when you have the onus sometimes is on still I think the city
or the organization to have that that
vision and the plan ready and waiting for when the opportunity does come so
there’s I think kind of like an advanced preparation it requires but so when
there is a window of opportunity or you know this kind of idea of venue shopping
you know when the right partner presents themselves you’re kind of ready with
with that opportunity and and can’t go forward mm-hmm excellent thank you
synergies seems to be very important given the high stakes and the number and
range of actors involved and you know they need to deliver social good public
good effectively and reaching those who are the hardest to reach and either for
those seeking justice or equity seeking communities or just one just left out in
governance optics so are they examples how do we tell that the stories or good
stories that capture you know some of these complexities and openings and
possibilities of you know scaling up local responses to reach collective
goals other ways to build some better synergies you know across sectors across
actors and do you know of any examples of ways and strategies in which we can
you know scale up responses to collective goods the greater good I can
start maybe just attending the sample that’s actually a us example but I think
it’s gonna be resonant here as well which is so TD was the very first
corporate sponsor of the High Line in New York before it was cool you know
we’re spending on that you know how is that gonna help us at all and you know
so when we talk to the High Line folks about you know sort of what it took to
kind of get through the approvals to make that happen and get the funding and
do it like it was so hard right so it gives a and big ambition is really
really hard to do and now I think you know every week there’s something that
crosses you know our our desk that sort of says oh we’re the next High Line and
you name the city we’ve got you know and politicians are lining up behind it and
everyone wants to do it so you know I think the lesson and that really is
to really push through the berries or of those small things because once you kind
of get it done and you have a good case example there’s them lots of replication
that can happen right and so sometimes it feels like it’s super impossible to
get things done but once done and I think you know the more we have then
good stories and good examples of sort of benefit the the more I think other
cities will take it on and think it’s a good idea I think they’ve got that
direct kind of city-to-city learning is it is very important and we do have a
lot of good examples out there we can follow the highlights actually a very
good example of when that happened and that became so successful you’ve got
cities around the world saying oh I wish we hadn’t abandoned elevated railway and
so important not to just sort of say just you know direct mimicry of what’s
happening in other cities but I think that should be the spirit of what
happened in the High Line how can we apply that spirit to things that happen
in our own communities and and and well I think that spirit was was a a group of
very dedicated and committed citizens who had a vision who had a great idea
who went through great difficulty to try to get others on board with what their
vision was but ultimately you had you had a local government who said okay
well we’ll try this thing out and if you read the story of the High Line there
was all sorts of doomsday scenarios of what could happen a crime would be
rampant that property values would collapse because you’d get vagrancy on
this this new feature and it turned out to be amazing successful in fact the
downside is actually on the committee flipside is so amazingly successful that
that’s that property noise in that area have gone it’s the ever since New York
City yes so I think that the what I take away from a High Line is not hey I’m
gonna try to build a High Line in Hamilton but what great ideas are out
there in our city what great ideas are out there in our city that just by
giving them a chance they could actually transform you yeah my my favorite
example of this and I imagine there might be people in the audience that are
even more familiar with it than meets I hope
I do it justice as the tower wise program in Toronto so this was a
collaboration between task atmospheric fund and Toronto Community Housing to
introduce deep energy and water retrofits and social housing buildings
as a way of both helping the city meet its climate change goals on the one hand
but improving comfort and housing security and lowering the bills of
people I’m living in Toronto Community Housing units and these are buildings
often in in in significant need of repair and an upgrade and you know these
are buildings in dire need of such retrofits so there’s a lot of innovation
in this program some of it was in the financing model it sells how to finance
and get payback from these kind of retrofits the actual inner
organizational work in partnership on the project there’s a lot of monitoring
you know very close monitoring of the benefits and it started in one co-op
building super successful went to ten TCH see buildings super successful
there’s now a whole ecosystem of partners helping to keep expanding the
program and here we’re talking just about scaling up to the city scale you
know before even talking about other cities you know trying to get this to
scale up within Toronto one thing we were trying to understand you know my
understanding anyway is that there’s a bit of a ceiling in in the sense that
the province has a major role to play in providing funding for community housing
right and this there’s suddenly these institutional mismatches and whether
these same tools can be used the rules about that they can and so that’s we
start getting up against I don’t know that it’s always even a lack of will but
the significant complex these that that are that are part of this so I think
there’s other ways of there trying to scale it up now but again it is an
example of using that initial success to then build out and having that ability
to kind of push through the initial hurdles which are typically mundane and
terrible and accounting offices and nobody has fun with this but can really
really pay off and I’m sure as a scholar and also as a bureaucrat and the public
sector actor we find ways of publicizing disseminating these local local
successes small in scale but impactful but how do you magnify local responses
to the point where they become visible and sites where we can refer to them go
identify them document them scale them up and compare them not in the local
settings but also you know in competitive settings as well so the
challenge is actually dissemination and making sure you know we grant validity
to local responses when you’re dealing with expert knowledge and sometimes
sites of power local responses effective as they may be may not really be in the
public purview because they nish or because the fact of the fact that they
are not highly publicized have any final comments on that and then we’ll shift to
conversations good so now we’ll open the floor to questions
contributions suggestions comments yes we have 10 to 10 minutes conversation
yes please and we’ll take a set of questions two at
a time to allow you time to respond together hello can you hear me um my
questions for Andrea Pyrrhic and I don’t know if you saw the documentary film
called push at Hot Docs lolani Farah was also on the front cover
of now magazine talking about housing being used as investment rather than as
living space and the enormous amount of wealth that is stored in the pattern
that has left cities across the world with these empty investment units worth
more than the entire GDP of all the countries of the world in trillions and
so I ran over to my financial advisor who is peddling an ethical package that
I was insisting on no fossil fuels in mine and hidden I will let the bank
rename remain nameless but hidden in this package was Blackstone which is one
of the biggest hedge fund managers of housing investment and so I said look
this is not an ethical package so my question to you is the banks
well of course divestment is the big strategy that I want to talk about like
oh when we have major pension funds having these hidden investments
you know people are totally oblivious to the ethical deviation that they’re
participating in would the banks be willing for some kind of regulation that
says you you have to avoid dirty money kind of projects you have to keep it all
ethical or have some kind of practice standard for financing cities that is
going to mean you know much better use of space and much more equity in living
quarters wow that’s a pretty big question I’d like to hear it hi my name’s Michelle Burgos I’m with
the City of Mississauga and the University of Toronto and I say that my
way of I’m here on behalf of two institutions I think a lot of us are
here on behalf of institutions so that you’re here as representatives of the
kinds of institution people trust and engage with institutions or individuals
they feel know and care about them and I think when we look at the 21st century
and this idea of cities scaling up the technology available to us allows us to
be a bigger group of people that are paid attention to at a much smaller
scale so although we may live in bigger groups we you know the internet is that
big city of a small town mentality for example and Google knows where you live
and work and your favorite restaurants and Starbucks knows what you like in
your coffee and Netflix knows your favorite kind of movies these are
intimate personal details that formerly only people you knew and trusted and
cared about would know about you and now these very large institutions you know
commercial service providers know about us so those of us those of us who have
access to those digital tools are known by these commercial institutions so when
we look at the landscape of public trust and how the landscape of public trust is
changing I think for a lot of people it’s very hard not to sort of trust or
at least relate with these institutions that they feel no one care because they
have a very intimate personal relationship with so I’m wondering about
the institutions you work on behalf of or the institutions you work with you
know as a 21st century offers more and more tools to relate to small
individuals at very large scales how did those tools affect the nature of the
work that you’re doing or the way that you do the work that you do whether
academically or privately or for government I think the first question is
probably just it’s so big topping a big question I think what I will say is that
using environmental social and governance
means for both how people invest their money and and how how they sort of
choose to do is increasing so rapidly so I’ve been with the bank for two years
and if you’d asked me when I started would as part of my role I’d be meeting
with investors who are concerned about these kinds of issues and what the bank
was doing I would have said no probably not why why do they care about that kind
of stuff but they are increasing so we get a number of questions if you look at
all the shareholder proposals we get or other things they are on environmental
social and governance issues and we have an asset management company that also
then invests on behalf of others so there’s a number of different ways that
this can happen I do think there’s increasing interest in what those
screens are and giving people the choice to put their money on in alignment with
what their beliefs are and that’s a really really positive thing and I think
that’s only gonna continue to increase and so you’re asking absolutely the
right questions when you look at where to put your money I will say though the
larger institutional investors like pensions actually are the most
sophisticated and the most stringent when it comes to those things because
they have the pensions of all of those you know municipal workers and teachers
and others that they have to do for a really really long time frame and so
they’re actually the toughest and asking those questions as opposed to other so
it was a good question give the couple a second question I
think is the issue of trust in institutions is a is a significant one
and and speaking of someone who works on local government you know governments
tend not to score – oh and all those various trust surveys and trust
indicators that are out there I think what’s the what’s important to build up
that trust in the community is a couple things a lot of it’s just about
relationship building I think as as as bureaucrats there’s a bit of a
hesitation sometimes in just kind of being out there in the community not
just because you have a policy to sell them not just because you’re checking
off some boxes to boxes around a report you want to bring forward you have to
say you did the obligatory public meeting but having just having an
ongoing dialogue in a relationship with with people in the community I think is
I think is very important and a and and it is something that is if we’re
embrace this idea of a go back to ice to talk about earlier around around
co-created cities that can be kind of thrown out there is just kind of a nice
buzzword if you really think about what it means it means everybody’s supposed
to be on an equal footing it means you’re supposed to be in this together
and working through these issues together so I know in my in my
department we do we try as best we can to to get out and meet with neighborhood
associations meet with business owners we have a program in my in my department
where every six weeks or so I take a whole group of my staff when we go and
we just sit and we have lunch with a person who’s opened a restaurant in the
city because a lot of what we do is we try to help facilitate these kinds of
business investments and just kind of hear the story of what was it like
setting up a business in our city what what would what do we do well what could
we do differently let us see let us see our processes from your side of the
counter these kinds of things I think are important to building up trust I do
use social media fairly often I think it’s it’s a great tool but it’s a very
limited tool it’s a very polarizing tool I think on first you don’t see a lot of
cross constructive cross communication between camps and between interests in
some ways I think that institutions and governments can try to fill some of that
space between the extremes so I think that helps but I but I’ve always been
every other there is there is no replacement for just kind of you know
being out in the world being out in that city that you’re trying to shape and
change yeah this is a good question I mean if I’m thinking about it from the
perspective of the University of Toronto as you know my institution here I’ve
been at the University for just four four years so I don’t have a great sense
for a longer term relationship or dynamic let’s say with the city but the
time I have been at the University I’ve really I’ve actually really been struck
by a bit of pivoting that I’ve seen toward that and honestly I would hold
this at the school of cities up as example of this you know I was part of
the conversations leading up to its creation and there was a deep commitment
to outreach and engagement as being really key to the school’s mission which
you know honestly wouldn’t have had to be there right like nobody was kind of
forcing that administratively or something but that I think there is an
ethos building at the University that’s always been there but let’s say is
gaining resources or maybe perhaps more front and center like I said I’ve got a
four year perspective but I’ve seen the same I teach at the Mississauga campus
as well and I’ve seen actually the same thing there this kind of increasing
awareness of the university’s place in the community
you know universities are a bit like large ships you know in terms of
steering in a new direction but I think that I’ve anyway been my honest
perception is that I’ve been quite impressed actually by that that pivot
that’s happening and find it encouraging hi hi I’m Faria I work with the
municipality and I just had to super I’ll keep my questions super brief the
first listen something you picked something Jason talked about what about
the rural and urban divide and I was wondering whether you think in order to
broach that do we need a change in our voting systems you know at the
provincial national level and has there been some thought maybe Sarah on the you
know what is the right political system for that mixed-member proportional
direct democracy second really beef question was about something Andrea
mentioned in terms of working with the mayors and you know the heads of
divisions at different cities I think one thing that tends to get lost is that
a lot of the work ends up coming down to the staff and in terms of the
implementation and I think you know from what was initially said to what actually
comes down the staff there can be a lot of water
down or a lot of changes and how do you better engage municipal staff in those
conversations you’re actually implementing the work day to day did you want me to ask question – or sure hi I’m Chris Fraser great
presentation I guess getting back to Jason’s concept of co-creation to really
inspire the city to bring their ideas forward
you kind of need either a methodology honor their encouragement or a place to
to do that so do you think it’s possible Maran to see the school of cities really
create a Wikipedia type process that basically would encourage people to
bring their own ideas for it the bankable ideas the High Line is well
documented I’ve got the one of the key people to put the bentway together here
in the city so we there’s a lot of ideas but I think it’s the bankable ones as to
how was done finding the opportunity and the resources and putting it forward and
I guess it really needs a format and access so that you know you don’t
necessarily always have to do the bent way you can do a community garden so you
know he said how do you build that framework to get that innovation those
ideas here talking about into motion so michael for me i’m a huge believer in
grassroots grassroots work and all the local work that we’re talking about
between institutions creating this cohesion and collaboration to fuel the
growth of our cities but for me my question is in this era where we find
ourselves facing this reality where facts and research findings don’t
necessarily sway our representatives up at the provincial level and looking at
our relationship it’s between the province and the city how do we then
fight for a more resilient City and when we have decision makers using the law to
block what we would like to see done a lot of what they are doing they have the
purview to do and as long as we don’t address that
shoo I in some sense I don’t want to sound pessimistic it kind of almost
makes it seem as the work we’re trying to do collaboratively might almost feel
like it’s being done in vain when we’re not addressing that core issue so what
tools or tips do we come away with from this conference to address that issue
thank you I can say something about this question here I think one recommendation
I guess is that I think there’s a need I think you’re absolutely right there’s
definitely there’s no evidence that the problems or you know the decision-making
goes one way or the other that that’s driven largely by any kind of lack of
information right and so to me I think the challenge really is changing the
political calculus behind of of what it means to not address these issues right
I think there’s an assumption this happens in climate change all the time
so this is this is where I’m coming from right that you can pull people and you
say do you think climate change is a problem everyone says yes or an
increasingly large proportion of the population says yes I think climate
change is a problem but you ask them you know where does it lie on your
priorities and it it’s it’s it’s it’s down so it’s not I don’t think it’s a
problem but it’s you know it’s my fifth or sixth priority and so until decision
makers think that there’s electoral consequences for not addressing this
issue there’s those are the consequences they care about right they don’t maybe
necessarily care as much about falling on the wrong side of science or
something right and so I think that’s what that’s what I’ve seen at least in
in terms of the current thinking around you know climate policy is that it’s
that political calculus that needs to shift and I’ll also just say something
in terms of you know setting up these governance structures or you know
setting up city governments that work for us and what this looks like
one thing I would say about that is that there’s two ways to think about it
there’s the outcome and the process of setting these up right and I think that
there’s there can be a lot I don’t think there’s any magical arrangement of a
city council or a city government that is going to automatically produce one
type of policy or another I think there’s a lot of different ways to set
up city governments in ways that work there’s examples of highly almost
radically decentralized city governments that are totally dysfunctional and
there’s examples of highly centralized city governments that are doing a lot of
great things right so I think that in terms of identifying the perfect
arrangement it’s tough and there’s a lot of different ways going forward what
that would depending on what works for a city but for me I think what’s maybe
more important is the process by which you know we get to those arrangements or
or the mechanisms we have in place for for evaluating them it’s almost more
important than what they and I’m looking like at the end of the day so Jason
thank you sir pick up on the first two questions and maybe this is also sort of
my message that you asked for at the end of the day and I and I won’t take credit
for except because I’m stealing it there’s there’s a writer and his name’s
Peter Kageyama he wrote a book for the love of cities and he had a line in
there that said each of us makes or breaks the city in small ways every day
and I think that’s really important when thinking about to the first question
well sort of the you know the role of sort of frontline city staff and and how
are they part of this change and transformation that’s happening in
cities or the co-creators out in the community it is it is something that
each of us whether we’re consciously doing it or not each of us has an impact
on what happens in our cities and usually it’s not the big move usually
it’s not that sort of big grand project that’s going to capture the headlines
it’s in the minutiae of the small things that happen each and every day I know in
my department it’s it’s you know it’s a fairly large group I have I have 800
staff in my departments and it’s across many disciplines that it’s planning its
parking it’s by law enforce Linton the the arts and culture group
it’s a very diverse group of people but I can tell you that what to a person
what’s sort of the common thread that each of those those groups share as
these are people who are really proud of their city and they really want to see
their city change I got to tell you there’s there is something about
Hamilton and the spirit that exists in that city of people who want to see
their city move forward and for each person that means something differently
I mean something different for from a building inspector to a parking
enforcement officer to it to a city planner but I think if you have that
clear vision of of where you want to go as a city and then you’re able to sort
of step back and again create that space for for individuals to contribute in a
positive way whether it’s a individual city staff person or whether it’s
somebody out in the community I think that’s going to get back to the original
cut the kind of concept of this discussion around um how do you navigate
the 21st century city and I think that’s was that the essence of it is that it is
something that is going to be done collectively it is no longer gonna be
you know to my earlier comment about you know authority was yesterday this is no
longer going to be traditional decision makers making making the decisions thank
you I have a lot of sympathy about you know frontline staff versus what the top
of the house says I’ve read the media clips every day so I can make sure that
I have particular issues but I think where I’d leave it is that you know no
one would ever come up with this particular governance and financing
system that we have for cities if we wanted to sort of really look ahead
about what we need to do I mean that we’re here because of a collection of
decisions that came so far before us and and so that’s sort of making it really
really difficult and I always think you know a good structure and system should
make it easy to do the right thing and hard to do the wrong thing and when it
comes to cities were in the complete opposite it’s actually really easy to do
the wrong thing and really hard to do the right thing but that doesn’t mean
it’s not important and worth the time and effort and so we’re at this place
unfortunately where I think that just require you know my message like keep
driving and you know even though it’s really really hard to try to get those
right things done in the hopes that long over the longer term we can get this
we thought of it thank you thank you so much please join me to thank Sara
Jason and Rhea for such a insightful informative and generative conversation
you’ve been very generous with your time your knowledge and your insights so
thank you and to the public thank you for being here thank you for your
insight your contributions your questions
we appreciate your contributions and having you here today thank you so much
thank you thank you thank you professor Lowe Thank You panelists I think that
was a phenomenal panel that left us that grappled with difficult issues and left
us with a point of positivity and optimism and hope and I think with
cities with all the challenges that we face it’s important that we get into the
details on everything that’s wrong with cities
I think panels like this remind us that that there’s a lot going right and well
and also that there are processes in place and people that care deeply who
are working in all sorts of institutions that are driving for the positive change
that’s going to lead to cities that are inclusive fair and just so with that
that brings us to the conclusion of the morning portion of our event today we’re
now going to have lunch lunch is served at the back of the room the quiet room
is still in place for anyone who needs it and we will reconvene at 12:45 for a
fireside style chat with Richard Florida and Bill Peduto the mayor of Pittsburgh
talking about governing for inclusive cities so with that let’s have lunch and
we will reconvene in about 45 minutes thank you
you you okay before we get started I wanted to
just give a shout out and a big thank you to the musicians from the U of T
music school lovely fantastic thank you so much now
it’s my great pleasure to introduce councillor Anna by Lao she is the deputy
mayor as well for the City of Toronto and she will come up to introduce
today’s panelists thank you couldn’t have asked for a better lunch break from
Planning and Housing Committee than coming to the school of cities and thank
you for organizing this great symposium and and thank you for all the work that
you do on the discussion of urban issues and and policy and ideas that you put
forward so thank you for all your work we are indeed fortunate today to have
both Mayor Bill Peduto and Professor Richard Florida here for this fireside
chat at the governing cities in the 21st century symposium they are both
outstanding leaders on urban issues mayor Peduto zli der ship of the city of
Pittsburgh is clearly appreciated by his residence in 2013 mayor Peduto was
elected with 84 percent of the vote and in 2017 has secured 96% of the votes
votes cast said wow that is quite something
I did get 84% less election mayor I will aim for the 96 my following election
mayor Peduto Stan yer as mayor has focused on making Pittsburgh a leading
21st century city he has worked to address the major challenges facing
contemporary municipalities across the world issues ranging from affordable
housing to economic development to technology and transportation
he’s fellow fireside chat panelist Professor Richard Florida his of course
a leader in urban studies known around the world for his work in this field
study in we here in Toronto are fortunate that it serves as a professor
and head of the Martin prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of
Management at the University of Toronto professor Florida has written and spoken
extensively with regard to his research on the creative class and the impact
they have had in urban regeneration his theories on urban issues in his many
books are art and articles of course have provided scholars and students and
must I say politicians or at least I hope so
with countless subjects for considerations and debate you may know
that the term fireside chat began in with American President Franklin
Roosevelt who delivered the first so-called fires fireside chat in 1933
thirty more would follow between then and 1940 for presidents Roosevelt’s
fireside chats helped to make important issues more personal more personal for
people they made people feel a part of the decision-making and they also made
them feel directly involved with the issues being addressed so we are indeed
fortunate that this format of informal discourse between two eminent urban
leaders is being made available for us today this is especially so when dealing
with urban issues as they are the most directly impactful on the lives of city
dwellers of course I’m just a little bit buyers on this thought across the world
the importance of cities with respect to social and economic development is
increasing it is now estimated that the top 600 cities across the world are home
to 20% of the world’s population but are responsible for about 60% of the gross
domestic product here in Canada 80% of Canadians live in urban centers
and our six largest cities are home to 50 percent of our population which are
in turn respond of all for 50% of our gross domestic
product the role of cities is continually involving evolving
increasingly cities relate to federal provincial state and other cities as
equal partners or at least we fight hard for that it is a debate that is
particularly current in our province where the role of cities is very much a
topic of current concern and interest our guests today will touch on the
involving role of cities as they relate to partnerships with non-governmental
institutions such as post-secondary institutions they are to discuss the
role of tech and potential impacts on inequality as well as intergovernmental
partnerships and innovative policy directions all subjects of great
relevance to our city of Toronto where for example we are seeking to address
inequality through our poverty reduction strategy and as the city’s housing
advocate I have helped shape our city’s housing policies as we move towards
lasting solutions to housing affordability actually as we now speak
as I said we’re on break but at planning and housing we are currently discussing
inclusionary zoning after 14 requests to the provincial government and a big hope
that built 108 does not gonna change anything and actually allow us to
proceed with the implementation of inclusionary zoning in this city which
is much much needed the enormous growth in tech jobs in our city has also
created unique partnerships between tech companies educational institutions and
our city government today’s fireside chat is focused on
issues of great relevance to our city and along you I look forward to the
insights that will be provided by our panelists I would like to thank mayor
Peduto and professor Florida for being here and like you I look forward to
engaging in this fireside fireside chat please welcome
mayor Peduto and professor Florida Thank You counselor thank you to my
colleagues in the School of City’s Madison Mia ticky Mark Fox who runs
research Miriam Lowe who runs our academic programs special thanks my
great friend Shauna brail who runs engagement for the school and who were
stewarded the committee and the process to put on this event and many many I
think Maddy mentioned we’ve done 50-plus events so Thank You Shauna for getting
us all together here thank you Bill for making the trek from Pittsburgh I just
want to say that there is a lot of common fiber between Pittsburgh and
Toronto and between the University of Toronto and Carnegie Mellon I share
those cities so I’m one thread mark Fox also shares the same thread and I know
many of you probably know this but we are seeing Pittsburgh is really the home
of artificial intelligence in the world we are now seeing as one of the most
important places in Toronto and artificial intelligence in the world and
the person who made that reputation geoff hinton was a professor at Carnegie
Mellon well before my time he left in 1980 I was telling the mayor for two
reasons I don’t know Jeffrey but for two reasons as I understand it one he didn’t
like the Department of Defense funding his research and two he had no
particular taste for Ronald Reagan and he came here to be in a more open
environment environment and he then built Toronto and Canada’s AI system and
we’re close physically we’re close our building stock looks similar Toronto’s a
lot larger now but the cities do do have a great physical connection
I think we’ve known each other for now 30 years and the mayor yeah
the mayor said to me this morning I thought he had he’s been a distinguished
counselor I thought we met when he was a counselor he he corrected me he said no
we met when he was the chief of staff to another counselor and then we
would talk and I mean this is very relevant and maybe I want to start with
this throwing aside my notes Pittsburgh for a long time was not known for its
great leadership some might say the same about Toronto in its current incarnation
at some levels and you and I would talk about how to overcome that how
Pittsburgh could elect a new generation a new kind of mayor who was an urbanist
I remember us the moaning this and talking about this how do you think that
happened you know Pittsburgh did have some mayor’s who were not not only as
urban focus but had all sorts of issues how do you think not just you but what
do you think were the set of forces that enabled you as a person but this new
urbanistic quality of leadership to come to the fore in Pittsburgh well I think
it’s important to understand that you know I tried to run in 2005 I finished
second 2007 when Mary O’Connor passed away I had to drop out of the race
because my poll numbers were so bad that the only thing that I would be able to
accomplish according to my pollster was not committing political suicide and
then by 2013 I lost the endorsement of the firefighters
I lost the endorsement of the police I lost the endorsement of the building
trades I lost the endorsement of the downtown
corporate community I didn’t have the endorsement of either newspaper all the
traditional powers that built mayor’s in the past were all with my opponent who
outspent me during the last few weeks of the campaign two to one and we won
because we had the support of the people and we had the support of the
neighborhood groups we had the support of the unions that worked in social
services in the service industry we had support of the the faith community and
we put together a grassroots campaign that has you’ve seen that happening
council races you’ve seen that happen in state representative races at the
smaller scale throughout Allegheny County there is a new electorate how
that was created part of it is my generation doesn’t live
in Pittsburgh we were forced out in the 80s and the 90s the older population is
passing away and it’s being taken over by a younger generation Pittsburgh leads
in the top five cities in the United States and the attraction of Millennials
in their being brought there by the universities and unlike my generation
they’re staying because now there are jobs the unemployment rate in Pittsburgh
today is that its lowest since the 1970s since before the steel and deceit
crashed and what you’re seeing are those young people voting how you you know you
and I were talking don’t I were talking about the different periods of
Pittsburgh history because we both care deeply about the city and we both know
the history pretty well Pittsburgh obviously had a very
devastating economic body below going back to the 70s and 80s I want you to
talk about that because you lived through it your native Pittsburgh and
what that Delta City to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs but you were saying
something very interesting to me this morning you were saying the 1990s are
kind of a lost period in the city’s history when when so much of the seed
that died no one wasn’t planning the seeds see work spade work was being done
to grow very small scale initiative see Bill was mentioning them that later
blossomed into many of the things that are credited some at university some at
the arts and cultures I mean in city building why don’t you take us through
and feel free to take as long as you want that how that historical trauma hit
and then the process of rebuilding to get to today which is probably the real
Renaissance I’ll take you back a little bit further and then so 1940s pittsburgh
is producing more steel during World War two than Germany in Japan combined we
were in the industrial powerhouse of the Second Industrial Revolution and we also
produced air that was dangerous to breathe water that was poisonous to
drink in the greatest disparity between the haves the people that owned and
managed the mills the mines and the factories and those like my
grandfather’s that worked in them so we put together a public-private
partnership called the Allegheny Conference and Community Development we
created the first Clean Air Act in American history 20 years before
Congress ever brought it up we rolled up our sleeves and we went to work to clean
our water and to make sure that our city didn’t flood every spring and we
organized in the mills and the mines and the factories and created the labor
movement in the United States that allowed us not only to build America but
we built the middle class so we learned through our mistakes what it was we
needed to do and in that process changed from the industrial giant to the third
largest corporate headquarters in the United States New York Chicago
Pittsburgh the most fortune 500 companies headquartered in the United
States then came 1979 yep Steelers won their
fourth Superbowl in six years Pyar Kiya Steelers Pirates won their second World
Series in the 70s Willie Stargell we are family in Pittsburgh died we died the
entire economic heart was ripped out of us we lost more people in the 80s the
New Orleans lost after Hurricane Katrina we saw unemployment greater than during
the Great Depression and that’s even after everybody left there was no
economy in all of those companies that located started to leave and there was
no plan for us there was no financial bail-out or anything else we had to roll
up our sleeves and go to work and that really was what led us into those 90s
because there was no plan there were creative people who were finding their
own way in being able to do their own thing and they were they were sprinkling
seeds but it goes back I mean 1979 when the the the industry finally crashed was
the same year that Carnegie Mellon created the first program in robotics
yep it was in the 1980s where they created the first PhD in robotics and
it’s people from around the world started to come into pit
it’s it’s back in those 1970s when Tom Dietrich took a little Hospital on
University of Pittsburgh’s campus and started to build out a medical empire
that today employs nearly 80,000 people the largest employer in the state of
Pennsylvania and whose letters UPMC are on top of the u.s. steel building and it
was those planning of those big seeds but cultural the investment in the arts
and culture during the 80s and the 90s by the philanthropic community the
Warhol Museum the grenade’ Science Center the Children’s Museum the
cultural district we didn’t sell it off we invested and doubled down we built
riverfront trails knowing maybe someday this city will come back and it will be
even better in the smaller groups you know we met through a group called
Ground Zero that was created because of the plan of the mayor at the time was to
demolish the downtown core in put in anywhere us a shopping mall into it and
we fought like hell to keep those abandoned old buildings there and today
they’re filled with stores it’s really interesting this mayor Tom Murphy who’s
become a very close friend we were not friends and he says to this day
introduce me at the Urban Land Institute he said when when you all came to the
office with these ideas we thought you were from the moon including the
university partnership but over time we realized you were right so that’s the
kind of place pittsburgh is a mayor who was hunkered down into downtown
demolition and redevelopment saw afterwards and has become an advocate
you mentioned two things that i think that an audience from here could benefit
from because in we are very different although we’re very similar there are
things were very different on you mentioned the role of philanthropy
pittsburgh i think you said it has the second largest philanthropic sector
after seattle with gates and Alan and Beezus and all of these riches the role
of philanthropy which we don’t have I mean we have benefaction here to some
degree but we don’t counter those and have an estate tax like the US so people
can hand the money down the second thing you mentioned I want you to capture both
is the role of the business community he mentioned the Allegheny conference on
community development in Pittsburgh history for good and bad I’m not saying
this is all an unalloyed good the leader is the captains of industry when the
city was down in the dumps came together and said we have to fix the flooding
problem we have to fix the environmental problem we have to make our city more
livable we have to invest later in universities the business community was
a big player which which also doesn’t happen our business community is
honestly not involved so the role of philanthropy and business partnered with
government in addition to government candidly good in bed how has that played
a role in Pittsburgh’s transformation well it’s I don’t know who said it first
but partnership is the new leadership is the model for cities all throughout the
world you can’t do it alone you can’t rely on your federal government or your
provincial government to do it for you sorry you have to find the way to do it
yourselves and the only way that you can do it yourself is by partnering
partnering with your corporate community partnering with your philanthropic
community partnering with institutions large universities hospitals being able
to become partners and then putting together a common mission and seeing it
done so Pittsburgh was Seattle a hundred and fifty years ago we were the home of
Westinghouse in Heinz and Frick the Mellon’s in Carnegie and all these
extraordinarily wealthy white guys back in that time you know I sometimes get
upset that Frick and Carnegie hated each other so much because I have no doubt
that if they did get along the school would have been known as Pro Negi
freaking Mellon pretty good but anyway so their wealth never left they left the
legacy to the city of Pittsburgh and during those times in the 80s when I
mean we were at the worst economic point in American history they held our head
above the water and they helped us to get to the other side and to be able to
then rebuild and today we look at it in slightly a different model
try to find where there is core mission of what we want to be able to accomplish
what the philanthropic community wants to be able to accomplish and we work
together in order to be able to do that I think that if you look at the
difference between Mayor David Lawrence and the 1950s in an administration today
his partners were the heads of industry but the heads of industry were
Pittsburghers the melons were running melon the Hunts were running Alcoa you
still had the family interests that didn’t answer to a bunch of Trustees or
stockholders but had to answer about why your mill is putting out that dirty air
so we sort of lost that ability but fortunately in Pittsburgh the corporate
community today understands that they have a vital role and a responsibility
before we get back to Pittsburgh I want to flip roles on you just for a second
because I think your advice could be very helpful and I don’t want you to
have advice for our mayor mayor Tory very capable guy come he actually comes
from one of these families he comes from one of the families his dad helped built
many of the great kinds of lawyer Benny to build great companies of Pitts of
Toronto what would you say to our business community we have some of the
biggest banks in the world headquartered in Toronto Toronto is kind of if you
took New York Los Angeles and San Francisco and put them together we have
the biggest tech companies we have the biggest the companies building New York
Brookfield and Oxford are Toronto companies real estate companies but for
some reason they’re not as involved now who know I could give reasons for the
political environment of Canada the difference well if you had to come and
give advice to the business community of Toronto the banks the real estate
community tech companies to be involved more than the city what might you say to
them and using yeah no I’d say the same thing I’d say the Pittsburgh companies
and which I have said the idea of a single bottom line of profit was created
in the nineteenth century and it won’t be a part of 21st century
at least not for city’s economic theory in Pittsburgher we call it p4 people
plan it place and performance and that’s how we measure what we are going to fund
with government money those should be the same standards that we look at as an
economic standard instead of seeing things like air pollution as
externalities they actually need to be put into the equation of what is true
economic growth not limited economic growth and what I would say to the
Toronto CEOs is look at us we were the example we made a ton of money we
produce billionaires and we made air that killed people water that killed
people in disparity between the haves and the have-nots if you put those into
the equation now you don’t have to spend time later trying to fix what went wrong
but if you don’t and you’re not proactive in putting that and addressing
it as part of your business model you will have to fix it so planning becomes
more than just an Adam Smith model of economics it becomes a model of
understanding where people are Pittsburgh during the the 50s and the
60s and the 70s referred to it’s come back as the Renaissance the Renaissance
historically was followed by the humanist movement and it was the
understanding of not arts and science but the investment in people and to any
city that really wants to leapfrog other cities the United Nations sustainable
development goals or a great way in order to see if you’re really succeeding
or if you’re just making money so the other partner in Pittsburgh’s renewal
have been the university’s University of Pittsburgh which you mentioned with its
great Medical Center and many of the things it does Carnegie Mellon where I
taught for nearly 20 years artificial intelligence you mentioned robotics
computer science we have a university here that’s bigger than both of them
combined the University of Toronto we have other great universities Ryerson
OCAD York what were some of the key things that
you did went when remember when Bill and I met the universities in the city
didn’t get along didn’t really talk to one another and if you know Pittsburgh
there’s a downtown which was the corporate Center and the universities
are what four or five miles uneven not even three miles and they’re separated
but it was we used to say maybe that’s the new downtown we’d be sitting around
maybe that’s the second downtown maybe we can create an innovation corridor but
in the city hall and many people said oh that’s nonsense so that Mayor was saying
it’s crazy R&D research and development
universities they don’t play any role in economic development how did that happen
and it’s what we’re doing what Sean is doing what our president America is
doing and others here how did that happen so that now Carnegie Mellon
University of Pittsburgh when you talk about Pittsburgh you’re talking about
them and what are some of the key things you’ve been able to do with the
universities to help move this even further forward well I think that the
previous Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and the previous president Jerry Cohen of
Carnegie Mellon really were instrumental in getting the universities to talk to
each other to realize that there was this common goal in understanding as we
were coming out of the 90s that they were not only the rudder of economic
growth but they were the engine and what they were producing had this ability to
be able to transform an entire region of the United States so what ended up
happening was an entrepreneurial effort on their behalf to empower faculty
research drawing in hundreds of millions and billions of dollars into the region
and then producing and creating jobs when we started our administration I had
the benefit of working with them for 12 years as a council member that was my
district and we were the only part of the city of Pittsburgh to grow in
population in 50 years so we grew by 10% in council district 8 while the rest of
the city of lost population and continued a 50-year
trend what had happened was our goal we wanted to see that type of growth
happened throughout the city so we created a memorandum of understanding
with Carnegie Mellon of University a legal document that allowed them to
become the Rd Department for the city and allow us to become the urban lab for
the university we created the world’s smartest traffic signals traffic signals
that actually learn and that use real-time data in order to be able to
lessen idling time by 32% we’ve been working with them with sensor detection
in order to determine the conditions of roads putting that information out so
it’s not who lives on the street determine which street gets paved what
street needs to get paved and we’ve been working with them on basically taking
those types of initiatives and then turning them into industry and how we do
it is a partnership that is three parts it’s the city being willing to open up
we are the first city to allow autonomous vehicles on our streets we
now have five companies that have over 3,500 jobs and are investing four
billion dollars into the city with autonomous vehicles on our streets but
we allow the city to be become that urban lab we find the research that is
being done that can become industry and then we partner with our foundation
community in order to fund it to get it started and then to help us to grow it
locally so it has a benefit where everyone plays a role and I don’t want
to harp on this too much I’m gonna ask you a different question but the last
thing he said if the city and the university said to that foundation
community this is important there’s money and it shows up very quickly so
all our research at Carnegie Mellon I was brought there you probably don’t
have we were I was brought there by Senator Heinz when he was still alive
and his father who was still alive that created an endowment for a Center for
Economic Development and it’s just on when the problem was identified in
people and we were talking about those arts and cultural their creation of a
sprout fund to make these very small scale investments so that foundation
piece before we turn to inclusion which I want to get to because that’s the
second part of the story I want to ask you a very specific question because you
and I had a chance to catch up Bill’s hopefully gonna serve as
literally a is no term limits he needs to serve as long as he feels
like he but I asked him I said if you left the mayorship what would you do I’m
not putting you on the spot I don’t think he said well I would work with the
public policy schools at the two great universities gift SPEA which is at the
University of Pittsburgh the Graduate School of Public and International
Affairs I screwed that up and the hind school it used to be called the school
of urban and public affairs it’s now the hind School of Management and
information and he said I’d work with the two of them to bring them together
with a focus on urban in cities so I guess what I’m asking you is we have
created the world’s first school of cities according to the benchmarking
Shawn and others done we’ve have more than 400 maybe 500 faculty members
engaged in doing urban affairs some in computer science some in public health
some in social sciences some in geography some in planning some in
business like me what would you encourage us to do or a school or a
center of urbanism like that as a mayor what would be the kind of pressing
problems that you would see our work best informing or helping to solve so I
would think about it as would think tanks that work on global issues do and
provide to countries to be able to work together on the local scale we have a
mutual friend Don Iverson the mayor of Edmonton one of the best mayor’s in this
world he was instrumental in putting together what’s called the Edmonton
doctrine and what the Edmonton doctrine is is the science behind climate change
it’s a way of creating a metric where we all work off of the same set of data and
we all are able to show accomplishment at a local level over something that we
can all agree upon not as politicians but it by deriving it
if you were to create the Edmonton doctrine for traffic mitigation for
ability to do predictive analytics for crime the opportunity to look at the
benefits of park and open space and you think about all the critical issues that
involve a city and you can provide that standard a school of cities could
provide the world the opportunity to work off best practices better than any
of the large philanthropic organizations that are doing it today and it’s a
natural for Toronto in Canada because we are a place that the work you know we’re
50 percent foreign-born or a place that the world feels comfortable let’s turn
to inclusions because sorry because I hit on the UNSC geez before yeah yeah
yeah but everybody thinks of them is how our house my federal government’s gonna
do this they’re never gonna be implemented at a federal level they’re
going to be implemented on a local level you’re going to eradicate hunger you
don’t do it on a national basis you do it by making sure that that food kitchen
has enough food that if they’re being able to provide it to the people in that
area and it’s hyper local so if you were to take the you UN SDG amps and put
together the plan of how each city can adopt them and be able to have cities
compete because cities love to compete then you would have an amazing tool to
actually make that happen and this has recurred in Toronto history what can it
do like the UN what kind of international institutions I hate to use
a crude analogy like a UN four cities we come up with how to give a new United
Nations four cities a silly but you could see Toronto and the school of
cities and the character of this city doing that I want to turn to inclusion
because it’s something you know when we were sorry we were pittsburgh’s a very
inclusive place although like any American city its had its issues of
racism and racial injustice terrible slum clearance program in the hill but
it is a city that through its political apparatus through its Community
Development Corporation’s which are another part of the full story you know
neighborhood base revitalization not just top-down developed kind of
inclusion is part of its bloodstream in its DNA but
what happened of course in a way that I don’t think you and I would have
predicted only anyone have affected we were looking at a city in decline a city
in crisis a city in catastrophe a city that couldn’t keep police in schools and
then all of a sudden BAM Technology Center high tech next Silicon Valley or
at least the next Lawson Pittsburgh takes off and then the issue becomes
hold on are these new I’m just giving you what I
read in the press is this gentrification is this a neighborhood that I can feel
comfortable in is there a battle between again from the headlines of the paper
the old Pittsburgh in the new Pittsburgh now your mayor so you might if I’m
reading this in the paper you must be feeling some of this in a city that has
great neighborhood based in so you began to think in a different way about
inclusive innovation placemaking with an inclusion and I towards inclusion how
did that happen in your administration because I was I had left the city I’d
not watch how have you begun to steward this next shift away from just
innovation and tech and growth towards more inclusive innovation and more
inclusive growth so first off you’re dealing with a culture that has watched
the city consistently lose people jobs and companies for 50 years so there is
part of that community that is excited to see the stabilization and growth but
there’s also a part of it that may not have been around for the bad days that
see any of the growth right now is a threat and you have to take both of them
equally so it’s sort of like Jeff and say is driving with one foot on the gas
and one foot on the brake you want to see the growth occur but not at the cost
of other people gentrification occurs when a person or a company is displaced
when there’s no longer an opportunity for them to stay what is considered home
and we do have areas in the city right now where the market is so hot that it
is affecting long-term businesses or long-term families to start to move out
and we have created for the families a affordable housing trust fund that we
put 10 million dollars a year into in order to be
able to minimize any of the negative effects that is that enough known I
would like to see that be twenty million dollars a year and I think we’d have a
much more effective means to be able to address it but at that same time I have
neighborhoods that haven’t seen a dollar of investment for fifty years and people
are leaving those neighborhoods because they don’t want to be in a neighborhood
where there’s crime and blight and disinvestment can drive people out of a
community just as fast or faster than investment so there is no
one-size-fits-all economic tool and when you deal with a city that has very cold
and very hot markets you’d create policies around the neighborhood so you
know when Soho saw the rapid growth of about twenty years ago and all of a
sudden in Old Navy’s moving into what is the bohemian heart of New York
they created laws within that area to limit the amount of square feet that any
business can operate in order to push out big box and be able to protect small
business and they used a very interesting tool they didn’t make it
throughout all of New York they used it for Soho so as we look at areas like
Lawrenceville and East Liberty we’re looking at inclusionary zoning as a
mandate when we look at other areas that are hold markets all housing is
affordable because nobody is moving there for a high price and then as we
look at markets in between we look at how we can incentivize affordability so
you you do it by the specific neighborhood and you use different tools
for different purposes but let me just say this about equity we get so caught
up in talking about equity when it comes to housing or especially in the United
States access to health care or education but equity applies to every
service that a government offers you should be thinking about what are you
doing with light equity in what neighborhoods do you have streetlights
on every single pole and then in what other neighborhoods is there only a
light at the corner because the way that we distribute
anything needs to be put through a filter of equity so we’ve created where
the fifth city in the United States are created within my office we have a staff
of 13 an office of equity so that everything that we look at just as our
Office of Management and Budget looks at efficiency in effectiveness our office
of equity looks at equity well your um your city was hit by an unspeakable
tragedy I mean he even thinking about it almost brings me to tears the tree life
synagogue in what is America’s greatest neighborhood there is no doubt in this
is America’s greatest neighborhood was hit by a terrorist attack your
leadership was the most amazing thing I ever seen in my life
and your leadership now on gun control you know we don’t have that we have
problems in Toronto but what and I think this audience would like to hear about
that because we had our own terrorist attack here with a car it’s something
all of our cities are gonna have to live with but how you responded to that how
it’s affected you and then and then your continued leadership on gun control so
on gun control the United States has a problem that we aren’t recognizing or
not at least being truthful about and there are solutions and we’re not
considering them and we decided in Pittsburgh we were done waiting for
Washington to do something and even though the state of Pennsylvania is
added to the crime code to put criminal charges against any elected official who
tries to implement gun laws we decided it was worth it and I had six very
courageous members of council we’re all facing criminal charges there’s orders
for my impeachment in Harrisburg and we have several lawsuits against the city
so we we put together what we believed were reasonable and common-sense
approaches and the other cities in the country are watching our court case if
we get some traction I think you’re gonna see it spread throughout the
United States and maybe that will warm the water enough to get Washington to do
so thing I lost friends at tree life I live
seven blocks from Tree of Life I was there that morning was the only time my
chief of staff ever had to do the to call rule which means on a weekend if
I’m sleeping in I’m not picking up the phone and if it’s an emergency
hang up and call a second time and I knew something was wrong and it was we
were standing outside and it was raining and cold I looked across the street and
I saw a friend of mine huazi Mohammad and I walked across and I said what are
you doing here and as I looked I saw woz he was the executive director of the
Islamic Center I saw the entire executive board of the Islamic Center
there standing in the rain and he said we have to be here the Jewish community
was there for us after September 11th something like that doesn’t happen
unless it’s been worked in worked in work on a continual basis Pittsburgh has
always had a very strong interfaith community and they do work together but
what was really symbolic was we waited until a week after the last funeral
before we came together as a city we we followed Jewish role in being able to do
that and as we gathered there with Franco Harris and Michael Keaton came
home for it and all these other people just had to be there
it was the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht and it was the 80th
anniversary when Jews were being killed in Czechoslovakia Austria and Germany in
the police turned their back it was the 80th anniversary when synagogues were
being burned to the ground and elected officials did nothing and it was the
80th anniversary as the beginning of the Holocaust took off the the community
leaders stayed silent and what Pittsburgh did on that 80th anniversary
you said never again and police officers ran into that
building Paul tsch ins democrats and republicans said
no more hate no more hate talk because hate talk leads to hate speech which
leads to hate crimes and we pulled together all of our community leaders
and we stood up for our neighbors that’s what shone through I was just
saying what Pittsburghers were doing yeah well it shone through to the world
what do you think now given the political climate in both our
countries and and don’t think it’s that rosy here we have a several populist
right populist premiers look we’re gonna have a federal election the United
States has Donald Trump and populism is on the resurgence you and I have talked
about this since the day we met and the need to build a kind of new progressive
herb and I hate those words but some kind of coalition you know maybe it goes
back to when we were talking about trying to fix Pittsburgh back in the
dark days of Pittsburgh’s poor leadership what could we all start to do
now at the city level at the local level you know what I’m saying you kind of
said it it’s happening at the local level what could we do in Canada in the
United States in our towns and our neighborhoods to kind of begin the
process of building a new a new kind of movement that maybe isn’t coming through
you tell me I’m wrong that isn’t coming through our national parties you know
what I’m saying that there is some other maybe path any any hints or hopes on
that absolutely so it was my friend Denny Coderre in 2016 said don’t let him
become your president and I said we’re not that crazy Denny and he said if he
does I’m building a wall and you’re paying for it it really gets back to the basics of
what we’ve been talking about for this past 30 minutes it is at the local level
where the