LIVABLE CITIES FORUM

Thank you to all those who joined us in Mississauga last year!

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

2023 program and presentations

LCF is widely known for its high-calibre practical sessions, diverse speakers, and meaningful networking opportunities. The 2023 program put the spotlight on implementation. Sessions featured insights, leading-edge practices, and resources to help delegates increase the pace and scale of implementation, explore financing solutions, and approach climate change differently. Sessions were designed to go beyond presentation-style delivery and included a variety of interactive elements. As a result, some sessions have few or no presentations. Speaker presentations are included in the program below as available.

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 explored the critical steps needed to make our vision of net-zero, resilient, equitable, and livable communities a reality. We set the stage by examining current local challenges and opportunities. Our panel of experts shared insights and discussed the critical role that all stakeholders can play to make progress toward a net-zero and resilient future. Our panelists shared their visions for the future and highlighted opportunities that exist for communities to work together to build a better, more resilient world. This dynamic and interactive discussion set the stage for the rest of the Forum and inspired and empowered participants to take action in their own communities.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Kim Wheatley, Obibwe Anishinaabe Grandmother, Anishinaabe Cultural Consultant, and Motivational Public Speaker
  • Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga
  • Carolyn King, Former Elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
  • Meagan Hamilton, Assistant Professor Centre for Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto
  • Mary W Rowe, CEO, Canadian Urban Institute
  • Don Iveson, Executive Advisor, Climate Investing and Community Resilience, Co-operators
  • Megan Meaney, Executive Director, ICLEI Canada
  • Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada
  • Mary Wiens, Journalist, CBC Radio

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 showcased their evolving synergy: the creation of low-carbon resilient communities. Delegates learnt 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. This session delved 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 uncovered the power of multisolving actions, which not only contribute to decarbonization but also are preparing communities for a climate adjust future.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Fernando Carou, Manager, Environment and Climate, City of Toronto
  • Lauren Valliere, Climate Initiatives Coordinator, District Municipality of Muskoka
  • Deborah Harford, Senior Adviser/Co-Founder, ACT, SFU
  • Pavils Hawkins, Senior Climate Change Officer, ICLEI Canada

Presentations

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 allowed participants to learn about leading climate change risk assessment frameworks and helped them choose which assessment to use based on objectives, parameters, available resources, capacity, and understanding of climate risks. Participants had the opportunity to sit down with experts in various climate risk assessment methodologies, ask questions, and receive guidance.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Hiba Kariem, Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada
  • Al Douglas, President, Climate Risk Insitute
  • Christina Schwantes, Practice Lead, Climate Change Planning, Morrison Hershfield

Presentation

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? 

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

While this workshop was designed with PCP members in mind, it was also valuable to anyone working on climate planning and implementation.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Adlar Gross, Climate Change Project Coodinator, ICLEI Canada
  • Kiana Simmons, Project Officer, Capacity Development | Green Municipal Fund, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Presentation

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 explored 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 examined the benefits, risks, contributions, and perceptions of collaboration and worked in small groups to identify appropriate local collaboration opportunities for their communities.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Maja Vodanovic, Mairesse de Lachine, Executif de Montreal, Ville de Montreal
  • Jean-Patrick Toussaint, Senior Director Climate Program, Trottier Family Foundation
  • Julie Salter-Keane, Manager, Climate Leaderahip, City of Kingston, Canada
  • Megan Meaney, Executive Director, ICLEI Canada

Presentations

1:00 – 2:00 PM

Lunch

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 shared research findings and discussed their relevance for cities. The posters were 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. Delegates took a tour of several community gardens in Mississauga, heard from local gardeners, and learnt about the co-benefits that emerge through unique partnerships between the City of Mississauga and local organizations and groups.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Jamie Ferguson, Manager, Parks Services, City of Mississauga
  • Kat Gibson, Community Gardens Program Manager, Ecosource
  • Monika Bianco, Community Food Systems Manager, Ecosource
  • Britt McKee, Executive Director, EcoSource
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. Participants learnt 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.

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. Delegates joined CVC and TRCA staff for a guided tour of the site while it is under construction and learnt 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. We visited various parks and learnt 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.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Lauren Negrazis, Woodlands and Natural Areas Technician, City of Mississauga
  • John MacKinnon, Natural Areas and the One Million Tree Program Coordinator, City of Mississauga
  • Allie Abram, Invasive Species Coordinator, City of Mississauga
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. Participants learnt more about this exciting project as they travelled through what will become the new transit corridor along Hurontario and learnt about other transit infrastructure projects on the city’s horizon.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Tim Lai, Manager of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, City of Mississauga
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. We learnt 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 explored Saigon Park which provides 11ha of public green space, recreational amenities, and stormwater infrastructure near the City of Mississauga’s downtown core.

Speakers and moderators for this session included:

  • Muneef Ahmad, Stormwater Project and Approvals Manager, City of Mississauga
  • Sharon Chapman, Parks & Culture Planning Manager, City of Mississauga
    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. This tour explored Mississauga’s waterfront parks and we learnt how the city is leading flood-resilient parks and public space redevelopment along the shores of Lake Ontario and the Credit River.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Geoff Bayne, Team Leader in Park Development, City of Mississauga
    • Beata Palka, Acting Team Leader, City of Mississauga
    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? Participants learnt how the City of Mississauga is using circular economy concepts to reduce waste. We joined 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.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Dwayne Cromwell, Community Recycling Centre Technical Operations Supervisor, Region of Peel
    • Eileen Orr, Donation Manager, Creative Zone
    • Vasya Jeyakanthan, Waste Management Assistant, City of Mississauga
    • Diane Gibson, Environmental Sustainability Supervisor, City of Mississauga
    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, featured some of the many sustainability initiatives taking place on campus. Delegates learnt 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.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    Arash Ghoravshi, Senior Energy Engineer, University of Toronto Mississauga
    Samantha Dilorio, Sustainability Coordinator, University of Toronto Mississauga

    5:30 – 8:30 PM

    Evening reception

    Local food celebration

    This evening reception celebrated local food and sustainability in action. We 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 stayed for the whole celebration also had 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 shared research findings and discuss their relevance for cities. The posters were 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

    Plenary

    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 discussed the importance of relationships and the role of storytelling when it comes to weaving Indigenous ways of knowing in local climate action.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), Author, Knowledge Carrier & Research Associate
    • Jennifer Angel, CEO, Evergreen
    • Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

    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, we heard 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, we listened in on the panel discussion where our speakers highlighted 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. Participants also had a first-hand opportunity to ask questions glean insights from our speakers.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Rena Viehbeck, Climate Change Program Manager, ICLEI Canada
    • Isabelle Charron, Head of Knowledge Transfer and Training Team, OURANOS
    • Kerra Chomlak, Executive Director, ClimateWest
    • Ellen Pond, Training Lead, Canadian Climate Centre for Climate Services
    • Pouriya Jafarpur, Physical Scientist, Canadian Centre for Climate Services
    • Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

    Presentations

    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? Delegates joined 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.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Michelle Brown, Managing Director, Property Management, Bentall Green Oak
    • John Barber, Business Analyste, conomic Development Office, City of Mississauga
    • Jennifer Taves, Senior Manager, Sustainable Communities, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
    • Diane Gibson, Environmental Sustainability Supervisor, City of Mississauga
    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 made 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 explored 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 were followed by a non-hierarchical dialogue where the audience and panel members discussed equity, diversity and inclusion in the context of local climate action.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Manuel Riemer, Proffessor, Wilfrid Laurier University
    • Uzma Shakir, Strategic Leader, Diversity and Inclusion, City of Mississauga
    • Angie Dazé, Director, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion for Resilience, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)/NAP Global Network
    • Julius Lindsay, Director, Sustainable Communities, David Suzuki Foundation
    • Hiba Kariem, Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada

    Presentations

    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 shared examples of ways regional governments can effectively work with their member municipalities to advance climate action towards a low-carbon, resilient future. Participants learnt from examples of successful joint mitigation and adaptation initiatives within Ontario and British Columbia. Participants also had the chance to engage in a discussion on best practices and strategies for effective collaboration, shared their own experiences and challenges, and explored solutions.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Hemant Grover, Manager, Office of Climate Change and Energy Management, Region of Peel
    • Sara MacRae, Manager of Climate & Energy, Dufferin County
    • Nav Hundle, Senior Policy and Planning Analyst, Metro Vancouver
    • Ian McVey, Manager of Sustainability, Region of Durham
    • Lisa Westerhoff, Principal, Introba

    Presentation

    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 heard 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 explored noteworthy mitigation initiatives along with their implementation process and related challenges.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Teresa Chan, Climate Change Programs Supervisor, City of Mississauga
    • Trevor Donald, Project Coordinator, Town of Huntsville
    • Shannon Miedema, Director, Environment & Climate Change, Halifax Regional Municipality
    • Deborah Harford, Senior Adviser/Co-Founder, ACT, SFU

    Presentations

    12:00 – 1:00 PM

    Lunch

    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 shared research findings and discuss their relevance for cities. The posters were 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 unpacked future climate data and community priorities. Delegates learnt how to access and use future extreme heat data, and where to find future technical design data for buildings and infrastructure. We successfully explored how future climate data can support implementation and drive adaptation action.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Ellen Pond, Training Lead, Canadian Climate Centre for Climate Services
    • Pouriya Jafarpur, Physical Scientist, Canadian Centre for Climate Services
    • Rena Viehbeck, Climate Change Program Manager, ICLEI Canada

    Presentation

    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. Participants joined this session to hear from conservationists and municipal staff from around the country as they explored the direct linkages and opportunities to bring together conservation and climate action.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Craig Cassar, Councillor, City of Hamilton
    • Mike Velonas, Manager of Planning and Conservation, Meewasin Valley Authority
    • Anne Bell, Director of Conservation and Education, Ontario Nature
    • Kate Potter, Exsecutive Director, Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association
    • Megan Meaney, Executive Director, ICLEI Canada

    Presentation

    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.

    Delegates joined 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.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Andrew Duffield, Director, Sustainable Development, Ville de Beaconsfield
    • Elizabeth Lemyre, Chef de Division, Bibliothèque et Culture | Division Head, Library and Culture, Ville de | City of Beaconsfield
    • Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada
    • Leopold Kowolik, PhD Candidate, York University

    Presentations

    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 learnt 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 discussed the benefits of applying these tools at the local level and how to avoid common pitfalls, and interactive exercises helped participants think about how these concepts can be applied in their communities.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • David MacLeod, Sr. Environmental Specialist, City of Toronto
    • Amelia Clarke, Professor, University of Waterloo
    • Wes Anderson, Manager, Business Planning & Financial Services, City of Mississauga
    • Jillene Diamond Marlowe, CPA CA MEB, PhD Candidate, ABD / Assistant Professor in Accounting /University of Waterloo /Memorial University
    • Adlar Gross, Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada
    • Angelina Giordano, Project Officer, Capacity Development | Green Municpal Fund, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
    • Megan Meaney, Executive Director, ICLEI Canada

    Presentations

    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, delegates joined placemakers and municipal staff from across the country as we think about the role of communities in driving change on the ground, and explored the relationship — and possibilities — of linking placemaking and climate action!

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Britt McKee, Executive Director, EcoSource
    • Heidi Campbell, Senior Program Manager, Evergreen
    • Catherine Craig-St-Louis, Urbaniste, Vivre en Ville
    • Elizabeth Lemyre, Chef de Division, Bibliothèque et Culture | Division Head, Library and Culture, Ville de | City of Beaconsfield
    • Andrew Duffield, Director, Sustainable Development, Ville de Beaconsfield
    • Joanna Prescod, Program Manager, Community Arts Guild
    • Leah Karlberg, Urban Planner & Designer, Happy Cities

    Presentations

    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 explored the importance of data and indicators when implementing climate actions. We learnt about different types of indicators, when to use them, and how to use data they provide to support implementation.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Jamie Skimming, Manager, Energy & Climate Change, City of London
    • Ting Pan, Manager, Sustainability, City of Nanaimo
    • Somayyeh Montazer-Hojat, Senior Policy Analyst, Environment Climate Change Canada

    Presentations

    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, participants joined industry leaders in an interactive discussion on a range of solutions and how these could be implemented in your community.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Darynne Hagen, Deevelopment Manager, Geosource Energy
    • Mattea Turco, Transportation Planner, City of Mississauga
    • Ashley Jones, Account Executive – Sustainable Infrastructure, Johnson Controls
    • Bryan Purcell, Vice President of Policy and Programs, The Atmospheric Fund
    • Fatima Crerar, VP, Strategy and Partnerships, The Atmospheric Fund

    Presentations

    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, we learnt 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. Delegates were inspired by stories and encouraged to take notes to replicate these actions in their communities the next time they run into the unexpected.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Carey Campbell, Manager Office of the Mayor and CAO, City of Niagara Falls
    • Jennifer Babin-Fenske, Climate Change Coordinator, City of Greater Sudbury
    • Mike Fair, Director of Community Services, Township of Huron-Kinloss
    • Raphael Shay, Manager – Sustainable Development, Sunshine Coast Regional District

    Presentations

    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 brought 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. Delegates joined this dialogue and exchanged ideas, experiences, and perspectives.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Don Iveson, Executive Advisor, Climate Investing and Community Resilience, Co-operators
    • Erin Placatka, Climate Adaptation Specialist, City of Saskatoon
    • Shannon Miedema, Director, Environment & Climate Change, Halifax Regional Municipality
    • Paul Manias, Special Advisor, Climate Resilient Infrastructure, Addenda Capital
    • Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

    Presentations

    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 shared research findings and discuss their relevance for cities. The posters were 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

    Plenary

    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 heard local leaders share how they are working with partners, networks, and their constituents to achieve this.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Jennifer Angel, CEO, Evergreen
    • Amelia Clarke, Professor, University of Waterloo
    • Tee Duke, Director, Indigenous Initiatives, University of Toronto Mississauga
    • Don Iveson, Executive Advisor, Climate Investing and Community Resilience, Co-operators
    • Nadia Paladino, Director, Parks, Forestrey and Environment, City of Mississauga
    • Megan Meaney, Executive Director, ICLEI Canada

    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 included 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 were also discussed and there was an opportunity to identify resource gaps to inform future knowledge creation and funding mobilization.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada
    • Devin Causley, Manager / Senior Policy Analyst, Infrastructure Canada
    • Deborah Harford, Senior Adviser/Co-Founder, ACT, SFU

    Presentations

    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 explored traditional third party funding as well as other financing mechanisms and will highlight innovative approaches for municipalities to finance climate actions.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Marion Siekierski, General Manger, Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative (OREC)
    • Tom Ewart, AVP Sustainability, The Co-operators Group
    • Kate Fleming, Acting Director, Program Development, Federation of Canadian
    • Mary Warner, Co-Executive Director, TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative / Tapestry Community Capital
    • Adlar Gross, Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada

    Presentations 

    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 explored ways in which municipalities can overcome these obstacles.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Rebecca Newlove, Manager of Sustainability, District of Saanich
    • William Grou, Chef D’Équipe – Changement Climatique, Ville de Québec
    • Gaby Kalapos, Executive Director, Clean Air Partnership
    • Kevin Lockhart, Researcch Manager, Efficiency Canada
    • Tonja Leach, Executive Director, QUEST Canada

    Presentations:

    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 explored 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.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Shelley Rogers, Project Manager, City of Hamilton
    • Craig Brown, Senior Scientist, Climate Change and Health, Vancouver Coastal Health
    • Dr Ghazal Fazli, Assistant Professor & Lead in Education and Training for the Network for Health Populations, University of Toronto
    • Lynda Lukasik, Director – Office of Climate Change Initiatives, City of Hamilton
    • Kim Perotta, Executive Director, Canadian Health Association for Sustainability and Equity (CHASE)
    • Ruth Marland, Strategic Leader, Engagement, Strategic Communications and Initiatives Division, City Manager’s Office, City of Mississauga

    Presentations

    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. Delegates joined the Canadian Urban Institute in an interactive workshop to explore how main streets provide a framework to implement place-led strategies for climate action.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    Mary W Rowe, CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

    Presentation

    12:30 – 4:00 PM

    SPECIAL SIDE EVENT

    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 was 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.

    Participants learnt 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 had 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 was hosted by the Healthy Communities Initiative team at the Canadian Urban Institute. Lunch was provided and an informal networking and social gathering followed the presentations and discussion.

    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.

    Speakers and moderators for this session included:

    • Gabriela Masfarre, Healthy Communities Initiative / Canadian Urban Institute
    • Naomi Wolfe, Healthy Communities Initiative / Canadian Urban Institute
    • Leah Karlberg (TBC), Happy Cities

    Presentation

    The Power of Placemaking

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    About

    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.

    Contact

    ICLEI CANADA
    Suite 204, 401 Richmond St. W.
    Toronto, ON
    M5V 3A8
    icleicanada.org

    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.