Over the past two years, Sidewalk Toronto has brought some important questions about cities – and our collective futures
– into sharp focus. Some of those questions are new; others we’ve been asking for a long time. This is a collection of
ideas to help build on and continue these discussions.
We asked contributors for a short, standalone description of an idea, policy, strategy,
or best practice that might expand this conversation about cities. The people we asked met three basic criteria: a)
people that have shown an interest in contributing to the discussion b) people that have a history of participating in
public discourse and c) people with an explicit mission of inclusivity in their work. This list of contributors is not
comprehensive or complete.
Within the collection there are conflicting ideas and world-views, which is exactly the point: to open up dialogue and
create the largest possible tent to discuss what we want to see in our cities and spaces and how we might make those
things happen. Our hope is that this convening will make space for more collaboration and conversation in the future.
The entries are presented in tables, to represent conversations that might happen over a meal. We have immense gratitude to the contributors for sharing their thoughts quickly, and
with an openness to debate.
Thank you for taking the time to engage with us all.
Colonialism, City-Building, and What Could be Next?
‘Smart’ Cities Begin at the Neighbourhood Level
Cultural Homes in Cities
Civic Data Trusts
Indigenous Design, Infinite Capital
Dr. Walter Greason
Economic Development: From Big to Small and Back Again
Non-Citizen Voting Rights
sava saheli singh
Digital New Deal
Unplanning the City
John van Nostrand
Public Data Belongs in the Public Library
MyData in the Smart City
Show Me the Money: How the Transit Funding Model is Broken
Supporting Newcomer-owned Food Businesses
Urban Collective Solidarity
Alejandro Mayoral Banos
Socially Responsible Intellectual Property
Myra J. Tawfik
Public Space in a Smart City
Land as a Platform
Community Benefits Agreements
Art Shaping the Rules that Govern AI
How Do We Ask Wise Questions About Technology & Cities Amidst Our Climate Crisis?
The Connected Community Approach: A Community Development Framework
Ajeev Bhatia & Anne Gloger
Deliberating on the Uses of Data in Cities
What If People Were Sensors, Not Things to be Sensed?
Renegotiating the Social Contract in Smart Cities
Mental Health Design Playbook
Pam Sethi and Deborah D’Amico
Municipal Briefings for Vendors and Partners
Digital Justice Principles
Canada Needs a National Data Strategy
How Should a City Like Toronto Pay for Transit and Other Infrastructure?
A Walkable Community 2.0
Coming to Terms with Digitally-Enabled Cities
Howard Tam & Amy Zhou
The Time and Space of Urban Technologies
The Community Collaboratorium – Community Centers for the 21st-century
Radical Rurality: Imagining Multiple Futures Beyond the City Limits
Municipal Regulation, Disruption & Public Good
Extract from Review of AGAINST THE SMART CITY by Adam Greenfield
In Visible Cities
Cities Could Be the Key to Better Digital Governance
Pulling on the Threads of Civic Imagination
Public Libraries in an Open, Smart City
The Promise of Free Local Wi-Fi
Food Independence in the City Requires Indigenous Knowledge Supported by New Technology
Artificial Intelligence Has a Problem With Gender and Racial Bias. Here’s How to Solve It.
Open Smart Cities and Systems Thinking
A Path to Affordable Housing in the Port Lands
Urban Information Ecologies
Urgency for a Bike-friendly City
Keeping Promises: Who Really Gets to Make their Canadian Dream a Reality?
Say Yes. Yes, and... or why City Council is afraid of its constituents choosing their own adventure
Let’s Get Together
Teams of Teams, Railways not Sandwiches
Testing the Waters to Navigate Change
Take Back Civic Life from the Commercial Platforms
City-Builders Are Failing the Future Of Toronto
Building Resilient Networks that Serve Local Communities and Economies
Communities Need a Say on How Their Data is Collected and Used
We’ve Been Here Before - Technology is Not Necessarily the Servant of Democracy
John Ralston Saul
The Importance of Peripheral Vision
Unprogrammable Cities and the Department of Possibilities
Urbanization and the Public Good
Radically Transparent & Accountable Data Use
Surveillance Capitalism and the Challenge to Lawmakers
Bilbao Transformational Narratives
Gorka Espiau Idoiaga
Closing the Digital Divide & Increasing Digital Inclusion
We must Cut Carbon out of Construction – NOW
How Should Economic Policy for the Data-Driven Economy be Framed?
How Can We Make Our Justice System More Just?
Micro Fashion Breweries
Juan Carlos Goilo
For an Intelligent, Excellent City
This is the World We Built
Future Cities - Who or What Decides?
City of Experiences
Making a Difference in the Lives of Vulnerable Youth
Valuing the Sacred in the City
Evaluating Cities: How We Treat Our Most Vulnerable Citizens
Digital Masterplanning: A New Discipline?
Why We Need Political Parties at City Hall
A Digital Layer for All Torontonians
Smart City Digital Architecture Must Put Cities First
The Silver Room
From “Value for Money” to “Capacity Over Time”
Re-Ground Urban Developments
Building Livable Communities
Living in the Messiness of Change
Marc De Pape
Government Procurement Reform