September 25 to 27, 2023
Mississauga, ON

Ai, Summer connections, 2022.

Preliminary LCF 2023 program

LCF is widely known for its high-calibre practical sessions, diverse speakers, and meaningful networking opportunities. This year, the program puts the spotlight on implementation. Sessions will feature insights, leading-edge practices, and resources to help delegates increase the pace and scale of implementation, explore financing solutions, and approach climate change differently. “Nothing that could be a webinar” is the motto for LCF program sessions. These are designed to go beyond presentation-style delivery and include a variety of interactive elements.

We are pleased to share the preliminary LCF 2023 program. Stay tuned as more sessions and study tours will be added to the program in the coming weeks! To receive the latest LCF updates, please sign up to ICLEI Canada’s email list.

Day one

Monday, September 25, 2023

8:00 – 9:00 am

Meet, greet, and eat networking breakfast

9:00 – 10:30 am

Welcome and Opening Plenary

The path to a net-zero and resilient future

The Opening Plenary we will explore the critical steps needed to make our vision of net-zero, resilient, equitable, and livable communities a reality. We will set the stage by examining current local challenges and opportunities. Our panel of experts will share insights and discuss the critical role that all stakeholders can play to make progress toward a net-zero and resilient future. Our panelists will share their visions for the future and highlight opportunities that exist for communities to work together to build a better, more resilient world. This dynamic and interactive discussion will set the stage for the rest of the Forum and will inspire and empower participants to take action in their own communities.

10:30 – 11:00 am

Networking break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Concurrent sessions

So you want to do a risk assessment?

Risk assessments are an integral part of any climate change adaptation effort. A variety of frameworks can be used to undertake climate change risk assessments. But which one is right for you? This session will allow participants to learn about leading climate change risk assessment frameworks and help them choose which assessment to use based on objectives, parameters, available resources, capacity, and understanding of climate risks. Participants will have the opportunity to sit down with experts in various climate risk assessment methodologies, ask questions, and receive guidance.

Beyond the implementation gap: PCP Milestone 3 and 4 workshop

Most of us are aware of the “implementation gap” — a systemic obstacle that impedes progress towards a net-zero future and gets in the way of achieving urgent climate action. How then can municipal planning departments set clearer, more comprehensive guidelines for local climate action while promoting greater transparency and accountability? And how does this help set municipalities up to receive more climate funding?

In this PCP training workshop, participants will use implementation matrices to identify and better understand planning and implementation gaps that exist in their communities and how to address these. Participants will review the purpose and function of an implementation matrix, receive access to implementation matrices, and have the chance to fill out their own to support the development and implementation of their climate actions.

Local climate partnerships: A mechanism for collaborative implementation

Local governments from across Canada have set ambitious goals for deep emissions reductions, made commitments to energy transition, and have an obligation to protect their communities from climate risk. They cannot do this alone. Robust, inclusive, and long-term partnerships are required to implement the variety of actions that are required. These partnerships take a concerted effort to develop and sustain — particularly if they are to mobilize action at the pace required to address existing and emerging challenges.

This workshop will explore a variety of collaboration models among local government, non-profits, and businesses and how these can accelerate progress on climate actions while generating multiple community benefits. Participants will examine the benefits, risks, contributions, and perceptions of collaboration and work in small groups to identify appropriate local collaboration opportunities for their communities.

12:30 – 2:00 PM


2:00 – 5:30 pm

Concurrent Local Study Tours

Urban agriculture in action

Community garden programs contribute to community-level resilience. They also encourage active, healthy living and creating community spaces. Take a tour of several community gardens in Mississauga, hear from local gardeners, and learn about the co-benefits that emerge through unique partnerships between the City of Mississauga and local organizations and groups.

Sustainable transportation ✕ tactical urbanism

Tactical urbanism is all about taking action. Also known as “DIY Urbanism”, “Planning-by-Doing”, or “Urban Prototyping”, this approach favours short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions as a catalyst to long-term change. Examples of tactical urbanism initiatives include things like pedestrian plazas, parklets, and pop-up bike lanes. Learn how the City of Mississauga has been using this approach since 2019 to support its sustainable transportation goals with a biking tour extending from City Centre to the Credit Woodlands.

Public engagement through urban forest restoration

How can municipalities engage community members in climate action? Getting residents involved in forest restoration and invasive species control offers a practical approach that generates multiple co-benefits. Visit various parks and learn how the City of Mississauga engages community members in tree planting and invasive species control while simultaneously working to conserve, enhance and connect its wetlands, woodlands and natural areas.

Cooksville Creek stormwater management: Flood resilience and beyond

In the face of more frequent and intense extreme precipitation events, many municipalities are using stormwater management to build neighbourhood-level flood resilience. Learn how the City of Mississauga is doing this within the Cooksville Creek watershed (i.e., using stormwater management to help reduce the occurrences of flooding) and how it is also integrating stormwater infrastructure with parkland planning and development as the city continues to grow and urbanize. This tour will explore Saigon Park which provides 11ha of public green space, recreational amenities, and stormwater infrastructure near the City of Mississauga’s downtown core.

At the “waterfront” of resilience

Did you know that Mississauga includes 22 km of Lake Ontario’s waterfront? This stretch of shoreline includes 26 existing and 5 planned parks that are connected by the Waterfront Trail and by Lakeshore Road. Explore Mississauga’s waterfront parks and learn how the city is leading flood-resilient parks and public space redevelopment along the shores of Lake Ontario and the Credit River.

From waste to circular economy

When integrated into community systems, circular economy concepts can help achieve climate goals while also supporting social equity. But what does this look like in reality? Learn how the City of Mississauga is using circular economy concepts to reduce waste. Join city staff for a first-hand discussion of waste diversion tactics used to manage surplus assets, reduce waste during events, and learn about several other circular economy initiatives being implemented by the municipality.

5:30 – 8:30 PM

Local food celebration and reception

Day Two

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

8:00 – 9:00 am

Meet, greet, and eat networking breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 am


New ways of leading and working together

Collaboration and cooperation are more important than ever to achieve climate goals. Reaching net-zero commitments, improving long term resilience, adapting to the immediate impacts of climate change, and doing so in ways that are equitable and inclusive requires new ways of working together. Breaking down silos within administrations, jurisdictions, professions, and perceptions will support the transitions needed to achieve our climate commitments. In this plenary, delegates will hear local leaders share how they are working with partners, networks, and their constituents to achieve this.

10:00 – 10:30 am

Networking break

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Concurrent sessions

Equity, diversity and inclusion fishbowl 2.0

Our response to climate change affects how we live, work, and participate in our communities. Ensuring that all voices are heard and equitably included in climate conversations is crucial as we plan and build for our shared future. This session will make the case for investing in and pursuing climate action — policy changes, programs, and infrastructure development — in a way that prioritizes equity.

Together, speakers and participants will explore examples of how climate change disproportionately impacts equity-denied groups and the necessity for local governments to centre equity in climate action. Three context-setting presentations will be followed by a non-hierarchical dialogue where the audience and panel members discuss equity, diversity and inclusion in the context of local climate action.

Regional and municipal governments working TOGETHER on climate action

Navigating the relationship between upper and lower tier governments as it relates to climate change can often result in a jurisdictional quagmire. In this session, speakers will share examples of ways regional governments can effectively work with their member municipalities to advance climate action towards a low-carbon, resilient future. Participants will learn from examples of successful joint mitigation and adaptation initiatives within Ontario and British Columbia. Participants will also have the chance to engage in a discussion on best practices and strategies for effective collaboration, share their own experiences and challenges, and explore solutions.

From quick-wins to bold solutions: Leadership and GHG mitigation

Municipal climate leadership often starts with climate emergency declarations and mitigation plans. But what happens once the promises have been signed and the plans adopted? How do we get beyond quick wins and low-hanging fruit?

In this session, participants will hear from municipal leaders in climate action to learn about innovative initiatives and how to bring bold solutions to the table. Part presentation, part facilitated discussion, this session will explore noteworthy mitigation initiatives along with their implementation process and related challenges.

12:00 – 1:00 PM


1:00 – 3:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Climate implementation speed dating

To implement local mitigation and adaptation solutions, municipal staff often need to find the right match for their climate project. That may mean finding the right funding, resource, expertise, or technical assistance; however, this “match making” step can present a major stumbling block that often impedes progress.

In this session, participants will explore the drivers and constraints of implementing successful on-the-ground actions with their peers. This session will also feature a unique “climate implementation speed dating” format to help participants discover and learn about funding opportunities, technical services, and resources. Participants will have the chance to ask questions in a relaxed casual setting and they connect with potential climate collaborators.

Ready for climate curve balls

“Expect the unexpected” is sage advice for municipalities that are implementing climate solutions. From delays in funding to construction hurdles and political roadblocks, curve balls are all too common. So how can municipalities prepare for these and, better yet, take advantage of them?

In this session, learn how others have successfully pivoted and implemented climate change actions despite running into unexpected obstacles, and how taking advantage of curve balls can actually lead to greater success. Get inspired by stories and take notes so that you can replicate these actions in your community the next time you run into the unexpected.

Improving our understanding of climate change through western climate science and Indigenous Knowledges

To build and improve resilience to climate change impacts, it is essential to continually develop and update the climate change information that guides adaptation strategies and action. Mobilizing information and knowledge requires a thoughtful approach including adequate and accurate translation of scientific knowledge and Indigenous Knowledges. In this session, participants will discover and discuss how climate change adaptation knowledge is developed, and how to build the capacity and incentive to both create and act on it.

Mind the gap: Accessing private capital to fund resilient infrastructure

Communities across Canada are experiencing increasing and worsening climate events. Despite the strong economic case for investing in climate adaptation, public funds remain limited. Given the accelerating changes in our climate and the multi-billion-dollar loss events Canadians have recently experienced, a whole-society approach (including private investors, professional engineering and solutions designers, and innovative bundling and project delivery mechanisms alongside all levels of government) is needed to achieve the scale and speed of construction required for communities to prosper.

This session will bring together local government staff and financial experts from both the private and public sectors to discuss infrastructure project feasibility, “bankability” (i.e., return on investment), and other finance-related questions. Join this dialogue and exchange ideas, experiences, and perspectives.

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Networking Break

3:30 – 5:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Building social connection for climate resilience

Social connection refers to the sense of belonging and feeling of closeness that individuals experience as a result of their interactions and relationships with others. It can manifest in various ways, such as through shared experiences, common interests, mutual support, and open communication. Communities where residents are more connected, not only offer a better quality of life and day-to-day experience, but they are also more resilient to climate change impacts.

Join this session to hear from the City of Beaconsfield, QC, which is working with several local social service providers to increase social connection among high-risk populations (i.e., those experiencing loneliness or those with mobility challenges) while at the same time building resilience to extreme weather events and other climate hazards.

Scaling-up implementation towards net-zero

Municipalities are implementing key decarbonization strategies such as building retrofits, district energy, and EV charger networks. However, the pace and scale of such initiatives are insufficient to meet net-zero targets. How can municipalities close this implementation gap? What are the barriers and what are solutions to deploying initiatives at scale? In this session, join industry leaders in an interactive discussion on a range of solutions and how these could be implemented in your community.

Getting to net-zero: Municipal climate budgeting and disclosure

Monitoring, measuring, and achieving local GHG mitigation goals is often easier said than done, which is where the municipal Net-Zero Action Research Partnership (N-ZAP) collaboration project comes in. In this session, participants will learn how N-ZAP is working to help local government monitor and disclose progress towards GHG mitigation goals, and about efforts being made to integrate net-zero accounting and climate budgets into municipal level decision making. Experts on climate budgeting and disclosure and municipalities that have used the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as part of their annual reporting will discuss the benefits of applying these tools at the local level and how to avoid common pitfalls, and interactive exercises will help participants think about how these concepts can be applied in their communities.

5:00 – 7:00 pm

Happy hour

Day three

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

8:00 – 9:00 am

Meet, greet, and eat networking breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 am


10:00 – 10:30 am

Networking Break

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Concurrent sessions

Building to net-zero

As the key authority responsible for the implementation of building codes, municipalities have an integral role to play in improving building energy efficiency. They also have the opportunity to influence the adoption of high-energy performance codes. Many municipalities have already begun to do so through mechanisms such as Green Development Standards (GDS) and other planning tools available in their jurisdictions. However, many municipalities face barriers, limitations and constraints. In this session, panelists will explore ways in which municipalities can overcome these obstacles.

Financing climate actions through co-operatives

How can co-operatives, municipalities and community members work together to finance climate actions? In this session, participants will learn about co-operatives through case studies and take part in an engaging workshop to explore how climate actions could be financed through co-operatives in their communities.

Integrating health equity considerations into municipal climate action plans

Climate change will affect all of us, but some communities and populations are at greater risk of experiencing health impacts related to a changing climate. Factors such as housing, income, social support networks, and community capacity all affect the ability of individuals and groups to engage in climate solutions and adapt to climate change. Implementing low-carbon solutions through the lens of equity and inclusion has the potential to improve community health. This workshop will explore what health equity means, and how municipalities can better integrate these considerations into the design and implementation of policies (e.g. thermally safe buildings) and climate action plans.

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The Livable Cities Forum is ICLEI Canada's annual event to bring communities together. ICLEI Canada supports local action to achieve net zero, resilience, sustainability, and biodiversity goals. We provide programming, training, and consulting services on a variety of local climate and sustainability issues.


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Toronto, ON
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ICLEI Canada's work happens across Turtle Island which has traditionally been and is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples since time immemorial. We endeavour to listen to and learn from Indigenous Peoples on an ongoing basis in the process of our work.