September 25 to 27, 2023
Mississauga, ON

Ai, Summer connections, 2022. mississauga.ca/publicart

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.

Are you attending the Forum?

We are using the EventMobi app for LCF 2023. Use the app to access all the information you need to make the most of each day including a detailed version of the full program, venue maps, announcements, and more. The app also allows you to build a custom schedule, build a profile, and connect with other attendees. Download the app and use event code “LCF2023” or click here to use the desktop version. Free Wifi is available so you can access the app throughout the Forum.

Day one

Monday, September 25, 2023

8:00 – 9:00 am

Meet, greet, and eat networking breakfast

9:00 – 11:00 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.

11:00 – 11:30 am

Networking break

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Concurrent sessions

Innovative action towards low-carbon resilience

Where mitigation and adaptation were once seen as separate and sometimes competing strategies, this session showcases their evolving synergy: the creation of low-carbon resilient communities. Learn how cities are working to harmonize adaptation and mitigation efforts, forging a path towards sustainability, through  innovative strategies that simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience. Delve into a collaborative learning experience as adaptation and mitigation experts converge to explore the integral role of local governments in combating climate change. Through in-depth discussions, we’ll uncover the power of multisolving actions, which not only contribute to decarbonization but also are preparing communities for a climate adjust future.

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” and how this impedes our ability to make progress in line with net-zero by 2050 directives. But what—at the municipal level—does implementation really mean? What are the different components that make up this process? For the components that tend to be left out or neglected, how can we change this pattern? How can those in charge of planning set clearer, more comprehensive guidelines and promote greater transparency and accountability at the same time? 

Join representatives from the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program in this networking and training workshop, where we will tap into our collective implementation knowledge and review the value of using an implementation readiness survey and implementation matrix when developing a climate action plan. Delegates will also have the opportunity to meet peers and exchange ideas. As a bonus, two online resources – PCP’s Implementation Readiness Survey and Implementation Matrix – will be provided to participants. 

This workshop is designed with PCP members in mind and will also be valuable to anyone working on climate planning and implementation.

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.

1:00 – 2:00 PM


Poster session: Research insights towards a net-zero and resilient future

A tremendous amount of research is being conducted to help communities reach net-zero targets and resilience goals. In this poster session, researchers will share research findings and discuss their relevance for cities. The posters will be set up in the Forum’s networking area to allow delegates to read the posters, meet the researchers, and have conversations while socializing.

2:00 – 5:30 pm

Concurrent Local Study Tours (made possible with the generous support of Tourism Mississauga)

Local study tours provide an opportunity to head out of the conference center and explore examples of energy transition and community climate action in Mississauga and neighbouring regions. All study tours involve a combination of bus transportation and walking unless otherwise indicated. Comfortable footwear and clothing are recommended.

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 (e-bike tour)

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.

Please note that closed-toe shoes are required for this study tour. Delegates must wear closed-toe shoes to participate in the tour.

Thank you to Neuron Mobility for sponsoring the Forum and providing the e-bikes and e-scooters for this tour.

Nature next door: Building a new conservation area in Mississauga

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Region of Peel, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) are working together to transform Mississauga’s Lakeview neighbourhood into a hub for passive waterfront recreation, a hotspot for wildlife migration, and a green oasis in the heart of the city. The Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area is currently being built in what was formerly part of Lake Ontario using clean, recycled fill material, and will provide 26 hectares of new habitat including meadow, forest, wetland, and cobble beach. Join CVC and TRCA staff for a guided tour of the site while it is under construction and learn about the vision, planning, collaboration, and challenges involved in creating this new conservation area including its visitor amenities and Indigenous placemaking features.

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.

Welcome aboard! Transforming communities with higher-order transit

Urban transit systems have an important role to play in building resilient, equitable, and livable communities. Once in service, the 18 kilometre Hazel McCallion Line will bring a new, environmentally friendly, and reliable method of transportation to the rapidly growing cities of Mississauga and Brampton. This light-rail transit (LRT) system will feature 19 stops, travel through two urban growth centres, and connect to major transit systems. While provincially-led, the Hazel McCallion Line is a key city-building initiative and the largest transit infrastructure project to take place in Mississauga’s history. Learn more about this exciting project as you travel through what will become the new transit corridor along Hurontario and learn about other transit infrastructure projects on the city’s horizon

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 (walking tour)

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.

Please note that closed-toe shoes are required for this study tour. Delegates must wear closed-toe shoes to participate in the tour.

Back to school: Campus sustainability initiatives

The University of Toronto Mississauga is taking bold action to create a net positive benefit for the environment and achieve their vision of becoming a world leader in sustainable practice. This walking tour, led by the Sustainability Office, will feature some of the many sustainability initiatives taking place on campus. Learn about the award-winning Instructional Centre’s geothermal heating and cooling system, solar electric system, and rooftop beehives, as well as the Maanjiwe nendamowinan building’s green roofs and rainwater harvesting system.

5:30 – 8:30 PM

Evening reception

Local food celebration

This evening reception will celebrate local food and sustainability in action. We have partnered with local food trucks, wineries, breweries, and artisans to give delegates a taste of Mississauga. Savour the diverse flavours of Canada’s sixth largest city and mingle with other delegates all while enjoying live entertainment from a seven-piece jazz band. Delegates who stay for the whole celebration will also have a chance to win a variety of local door prizes.

Day Two

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

8:00 – 9:00 am

Meet, greet, and eat networking breakfast

Poster session: Research insights towards a net-zero and resilient future

A tremendous amount of research is being conducted to help communities reach net-zero targets and resilience goals. In this poster session, researchers will share research findings and discuss their relevance for cities. The posters will be set up in the Forum’s networking area to allow delegates to read the posters, meet the researchers, and have conversations while socializing.

9:00 – 10:00 am


The power of relationships and storytelling: Weaving Indigenous ways of knowing in local climate action

For communities to build and improve resilience to climate change impacts, it is essential to continually develop and update ways of approaching action. A thoughtful approach to relationship building can lead to the mobilization of information and the ability to put that information to use. Similarly, the practice of storytelling can play a central role in inspiring action. In this plenary session, we will discuss the importance of relationships and the role of storytelling when it comes to weaving Indigenous ways of knowing in local climate action.

10:00 – 10:30 am

Networking break

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Concurrent sessions

Have we met? Get to know Canada’s climate service providers

Canada has a network of climate service providers working both at national and regional scales to support Canadian decision makers to become more resilient to both current and expected future impacts of climate change. Climate services help people, communities, and economic sectors plan for climate change. These services include providing access to both historical and future climate data, providing training and guidance to help understand climate change, and translating technical climate data into information that is clear, meaningful, and practical. In this session, you will hear from climate service providers from across the country: how they work, what they offer, their tools and resources, and how they can support your local work directly. Afterwards, listen in on the panel discussion where our speakers highlight what is new in the realm of climate data, services, and action, what trends they are seeing and where these services need to be prioritized. You will also have a first-hand opportunity to ask questions glean insights from our speakers.

Engaging business in climate action

In order to reach community net-zero, resilience, and sustainability goals, local governments and local businesses must work together. But what does this look like? How can public and private stakeholders work together in their climate resilience planning? And how can we break traditional silos and harness the dynamism, innovation, and resources of the private sector to implement climate actions? Join us for an insightful session where local businesses, non-profits, and city representatives will discuss the crucial role of city-business collaboration in building net-zero, resilient, and sustainable communities.

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


Poster session: Research insights towards a net-zero and resilient future

A tremendous amount of research is being conducted to help communities reach net-zero targets and resilience goals. In this poster session, researchers will share research findings and discuss their relevance for cities. The posters will be set up in the Forum’s networking area to allow delegates to read the posters, meet the researchers, and have conversations while socializing.

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Using future climate data to support adaptation implementation

Climate projections — or future climate data — for Canadian municipalities can inform our understanding of climate impacts and help shape our adaptation planning. Building on the wealth of information on ClimateData.ca, this hands-on session will unpack future climate data and community priorities. Learn how to access and use future extreme heat data, and where to find future technical design data for buildings and infrastructure. Let’s explore how future climate data can support implementation and drive adaptation action.

Nature conservation and climate action

Cities and regions have a leading role to play when it comes to taking action to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. Sustainable urbanization is needed to achieve climate and biodiversity goals. Join this session to hear from conservationists and municipal staff from around the country as they explore the direct linkages and opportunities to bring together conservation and climate action.

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.

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.

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Networking Break

3:30 – 5:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Climate x Placemaking: Exploring the relationship between placemaking and climate action

Whether it’s coming together to build a community garden, attending a local farmer’s market, visiting an open-street festival, or broadening our perspectives through public art exhibitions, placemaking activities help us feel that we belong to a place, and that the place belongs to us too. This connection can be a powerful tool. It strengthens social ties and is essential to co-building community resilience in crises. In this session, join placemakers and municipal staff from across the country as we think about the role of communities in driving change on the ground, and explore the relationship — and possibilities — of linking placemaking and climate action!

Is it working? Using data and indicators to measure progress on climate action

Many communities are in the process of implementing climate actions. But are they working? A rigorous approach is needed to evaluate progress, support decision-making, course correct when needed, and ultimately achieve the desired outcomes. This engaging session will explore the importance of data and indicators when implementing climate actions. Learn about different types of indicators, when to use them, and how to use data they provide to support implementation.

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.

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.

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.

5:00 – 7:00 pm

Happy hour

Day three

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

8:00 – 9:00 am

Meet, greet, and eat networking breakfast

Poster session: Research insights towards a net-zero and resilient future

A tremendous amount of research is being conducted to help communities reach net-zero targets and resilience goals. In this poster session, researchers will share research findings and discuss their relevance for cities. The posters will be set up in the Forum’s networking area to allow delegates to read the posters, meet the researchers, and have conversations while socializing.

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

Workshop: Help Shape Infrastructure Canada’s New Climate Toolkit & Support Services

Calling all infrastructure practitioners! Join us for this opportunity to help shape Infrastructure Canada’s new Climate Toolkit and support services. Share your knowledge, expertise, and experiences on planning for and implementing low-carbon resilient infrastructure projects (i.e., projects that take both mitigation and resilience into account). This session will include a short presentation followed by a World Café to discuss the key features and functions of the Climate Toolkit and support services, including a Help Desk and a Roster of Practitioners. The best currently available tools and resources will also be discussed and there will be an opportunity to identify resource gaps to inform future knowledge creation and funding mobilization. The workshop is capped at 50 participants, so arrive early!

Please note that this workshop will end at 12:45 pm.

Show me the money: Funding your Climate Action Plan

Financing climate action is frequently cited as a barrier to implementation. Accessing reliable, dedicated, and long-term funding for both mitigation and adaptation is crucial for local governments to implement actions at the scale and pace required. This session will explore traditional third party funding as well as other financing mechanisms and will highlight innovative approaches for municipalities to finance climate actions.

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.

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.

Mitigation and resilience on Canada's main streets: Implementing local place-led climate solutions

Main streets form the backbone of thousands of communities across Canada and function as key organizing units in cities and towns of all scales. Along these streets, an array of civic assets, economy, and people intersect, interact, have exchanges, and provide mutual aid. When viewed as an organizing unit for infrastructure, main streets offer the ideal conditions to implement local place-led climate solutions. Join the Canadian Urban Institute in an interactive workshop to explore how main streets provide a framework to implement place-led strategies for climate action.

12:30 – 4:00 PM


Placemaking from the ground-up

Community-led placemaking projects foster connection and can help us build a deeper understanding of our interconnectivity to place, the land, and the larger community. Over the last 3 years, an unprecedented number of projects — including those funded by the Healthy Communities Initiative — were activated in municipalities across Canada, and in many communities disproportionately affected by the Pandemic.

From projects to foster social connection, community gardens to provide fresh food, campaigns to support local businesses, interventions to rethink the meaning of public space and create greater access to nature, public performances to support local arts and culture, pop-up spaces to provide digital access, and much more, these initiatives help create a sense of stewardship and connection within communities.

This special side event of the 2023 Livable Cities Forum is an opportunity to share, discuss, and build upon the takeaways and learnings that emerged from conversations with over 100 community leaders around the role of placemaking and the interwoven relationships between place, community, and wellbeing.

Learn how fostering a feeling of belonging and an appreciation that we are all in this together plays an important role in building sustainable futures and environmental awareness. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with local community leaders and hear their learnings on how to foster the conditions for change and the importance of building cities from the bottom up.

This special side event is hosted by the Healthy Communities Initiative team at the Canadian Urban Institute. Lunch will be provided and an informal networking and social gathering will follow the presentations and discussion.

Please note that space is limited and registration is required for this side-event. The event is full but you can email lcf@iclei.org to get on the waitlist. 

The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $60-million investment from the Government of Canada, developed in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Urban Institute. To learn more about the HCI community of practice, visit Canada’s Placemaking Community.

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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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