Livable cities forum

Conversations for an inclusive future

October 3-5, 2022

Victoria, B.C.

Day one

Monday, October 3, 2022

7:30 – 8:30 am


8:30 – 10:00 am

Welcome and Opening Plenary

Welcome and Opening Plenary

The Livable Cities Forum will kick off with an opening plenary welcoming all participants to the City of Victoria. Three high-level interventions will set the scene that the world currently finds itself in regarding climate action, highlighting the impact, challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19 and the green recovery. Our speakers will touch on why conversations for an inclusive future is our theme and why cooperation at all levels is necessary to drive climate action forward.

The short opening remarks will be followed by a keynote address from Farhaan Ladhani (Co-Founder, Digital Public Square) entitled Digital Inclusion and Social Resilience: Building Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in our online and public communities. 

10:00 – 10:30 am

Networking break

10:30 – 12:00 pm

Concurrent sessions

Groundtruthing the City: My Main Street

Join CUI and city builders from across the country to exchange stories and best practices on rebuilding communities from the ground up, building local economies, climate resilience and social equity at the neighbourhood scale. Successes from the My Main Street and Healthy Communities initiatives will be highlighted, showing the success of multi-solving approaches that include place-making, street activations and other interventions to strengthen the essential fabric of communities: our Main Streets. Bring your best examples of innovation and success, and abiding challenges to crowd source solutions!

More Questions than Answers: Charting a Pathway Towards Achieving Net Zero Communities

Canada has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Many communities across the country are leading the charge and have made a local commitment to this goal and are now defining a pathway to achieving it. But what are these pathways in practical terms? What are the actions required for moving towards this net-zero future? To what extent does net zero mean reducing existing emissions, versus capturing and storing GHGs? How do we ensure that the transition to net zero is equitable and inclusive? The idea of achieving net zero seems to raise as many questions as it does answers. Join this session, where examples, promising practices, and lessons learned from communities across the country are shared.

Engaging Whole Communities to Take Action

Digital Public Square’s team has been working with communities around the world to connect people with big ideas and meaningful action that can raise the quality of life for everyone. Whether it’s supporting equitable access to life saving medicine or how to better connect everyone in a diverse neighbourhood on what matters to them — digital engagement unlocks barriers to participation. Join us for a session that will focus on how to co-create an opportunity to engage whole communities on taking climate action with a proven approach that emphasizes privacy while maximizing inclusive participation.

Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change

One of the big opportunities for adaptation lies in investing in the protection or enhancement of nature to strengthen people’s resilience. Known today as nature-based solutions, these interventions can be extremely cost-effective, either as a substitute or a complement to traditional infrastructure. Working with nature can also provide additional co-benefits, not the least of which being storing carbon rather than causing emissions. Not only do we need more investment in these types of solutions, but we also need to enable bigger scale interventions. Funding for these types of projects needs to be commensurate with this scale. Join this session, as panelists explore the opportunities relate to nature-based solutions and how we can apply them at scale across the country.

12:00 – 1:30 PM


1:30 – 5:30 pm

concurrent Sessions on the move

Head out of the conference centre and into Victoria to see  first hand climate change projects underway. Participants can choose from a variety of session topics and will include a variety of forms of transportation, including walking, biking, bus, and boat.  Enjoy one of these Sessions-on-the-Move aligning with one or more of this year’s themes!

Embedding Traditional Knowledge into City and Climate Change Planning

The Lekwungen Walking Tour is hosted by Mark Albany, a well-informed and charismatic member of the Songhees Nation. Join Mark on an enlightening and revealing tour to experience Victoria’s inner harbour and downtown through a Lekwungen lens. Learn about important Lekwungen sites and cultural practices, and about the history of displacement of Indigenous peoples in the creation of the City of Victoria. Through Mark’s words and heart, the tour is a demonstration of the resilience of the Lekwungen speaking peoples and how their thousands of years of knowledge holds lessons for those working on climate adaptation, equity, and resilience-building.

Get to Know Neighbourhood Hubs

Bike around the city to learn about Victoria’s Neighbour Hubs! These Hubs are designed and built by Shift Collaborative’s Building Resilient Neighbourhoods, Neighbour Lab, the City of Victoria and residents that live in the area to inspire connection, resilience and community. With the threat of climate change, earthquakes, and future health crises, community mutual aid is vital for strengthening emergency preparedness. Each Neighbour Hub was co-created with area residents to best reflect the vision and needs of each community. The Hubs are equipped with accessible seating, storage for emergency supplies, solar-powered charging stations and bulletin boards that include emergency information.

Local Food Solutions: Growing Together!

Interested in equitable food systems while cultivating community? This tour will explore Victoria’s resilient local food network and hear from champions including small scale commercial urban food producers, community garden coordinators, soil health and gardening education experts, and organizations supporting communities that face barriers to accessing fresh, healthy, affordable food. Topics highlighted will include innovative programs like the City’s award-winning Get Growing, Victoria! and regional initiatives like Growing Together. Site visits will include a tour of an urban farm, a community garden, the Compost Education Centre, and regional food distribution hubs (Food Redistribution Centre, the South Island Farm Hub), and Kitchen Connect!

Buses, Bikes, and Boats... Oh My!

Join the City’s Transportation Team on a multi-modal tour to explore transportation infrastructure, transit-oriented development, and placemaking features within the downtown streetscape. Learn about the City’s efforts to support safe and accessible, active transportation, traffic signal technologies, transit initiatives, shared mobility and EV charging. Sites will include City Hall, Chinatown, Old Town and transportation hubs, including the downtown ferry terminal and harbour airport. Participants will get a chance to experience the City by bike, walking and public transit with stops along the way to discuss mobility trends, pressures and opportunities in the growing capital city.

Zero Waste in Action

Join the City’s Zero Waste Team on a guided bus tour showcasing Victoria’s momentum towards a circular economy. Learn how clever bin design, labeling and new sensor technology is helping to divert waste from the city’s streets and parks. Visit a local deconstruction site where experts in salvage and reuse are taking apart a building piece-by-piece to preserve old growth lumber. Finally, tour the Food Rescue Distribution Centre to see how fresh food is being rescued and re-distributed throughout the region, feeding over 35,000 food-insecure households.

Exploring Victoria's Climate Friendly Buildings

Victoria is a hotbed of game changing climate-friendly new construction and retrofit projects of all types. It is also a place that is considered “the cradle of the craft beer revolution” where good beer is very much a part of the city’s social fabric. Join Victoria’s Community Energy Specialists to visit and learn about some notable buildings that are addressing climate, equity and other challenges. The tour will conclude at a selected craft brewery (or two) where attendees will have the opportunity to sample some of the town’s best ales and get to mingle with other attendees.

Re-Connecting the Cycle: Bringing Water Back to the City

Victoria’s nature-based solutions, including the urban forest and green stormwater infrastructure, are sustainably and simultaneously adapting to and mitigating climate change. Explore numerous examples throughout the community where practical action is being taken to restore, protect, and enhance the urban water cycle. Discussions will also include the tensions between preservation and development. Join this urban nature session-on-the-move to learn and have meaningful conversations together.


The range of program topics is intended to highlight the need to integrate equity and inclusion into action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.  The program will overlap and interconnect these themes as they are weaved throughout two days of content.  Sessions are uniquely designed to go beyond presentation-style delivery, and include many interactive and engaging workshops, trainings, and discussion forums for more networking and hands-on learning opportunities. Explore the details of each day’s programming using the buttons below!


The Livable Cities Forum is ICLEI Canada's annual event to bring communities together. In 2022, the Forum is being hosted by the City of Victoria in partnership with ICLEI Canada and the Canadian Urban Institute. We provide capacity building, consulting, training, and information services to support local governments in becoming more sustainable.


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