the summit

The Inclusive Cities Summit (ICS) will bring together national and global leaders to translate the New Urban Agenda into a Canadian context. The Summit will examine how we can build the cities and world of the future - based on trends - through a New Urban Agenda and 2030 Agenda lens that advances the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The summit will develop real, credible and results-based solutions for our cities and societies to sustainably grow and prosper.

ICS will focus on five key areas:

  1. The future of local democracy and governance
  2. Accessibility and mobility in a connected city
  3. Resilient and sustainable cities for the 21st Century
  4. Building a healthy and prosperous city
  5. Closing the affordability and fairness gap


summit co-chairs

Kevin Vuong, FRSA is a social entrepreneur, city-builder and military officer focused on building safer, more liveable and family-friendly communities. 

For his service and impact, Kevin has been named:

  • Canada’s Top 30 Under 30; 
  • Her Majesty The Queen’s Young Leader for Canada;
  • Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and The Aspen Institute.

He leads the Agency for Public + Social Innovation and serves as a Local Pathways Fellow for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and Principal Innovator for ventures with the Institute for Global Health Equity & Innovation and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Kevin also has a second career in the Royal Canadian Navy as a Naval Reserve Officer at Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship YORK.

Active with his alma mater and community, Kevin serves on Western University's Council of Presidents, and the board of directors for multiple community organizations, agencies, and a foundation.

Olivia Labonté is an economist with a passion for global youth advocacy and sustainable cities. She has advised and worked with a number of local and international institutions, including the OECD and the IMF. She is currently the Executive Director of the national non-profit Young Diplomats of Canada. She was also recently appointed by the United Nations to sit on the UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board representing the North American region.

Olivia represented Canada on numerous occasions, including the recent United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3) in Ecuador and the Y20 Summit, analogous to the G20, in 2014.

She was also a member of the Standing Committee of the World Urban Campaign and is the Vice-Chair of the Congress for New Urbanism (Ontario), both focused on raising awareness about positive urban change in order to achieve green, safe, healthy and inclusive cities. Olivia holds a Masters (M.Sc) in Applied Economics from the University of Montreal (HEC). 

Summit project manager

Edward is currently a student at the University of Toronto Schools. Previously he has worked to coordinate volunteers and logistics for over 200 attendees at Canada’s Singularity University Global Impact Challenge, hosted at Toronto City Hall. 

As a youth, he is passionate on providing platforms for students to speak on politics and world issues. In conjunction with working on the Inclusive Cities Summit, Edward organizes the Southern Ontario Model United Nations. He is bringing the Inclusive Cities Summit to the very same location that hundreds of youth annually organize Canada’s largest and oldest Model UN, at the University of Toronto’s historic St.George Campus.

 
 


 

our story

The Inclusive Cities Summit was born out of Habitat III. Habitat III is the United Nations' conference on housing and sustainable urban development. Convened every 20 years, it most recently took place in Quito, Ecuador, from October 17-20, 2016.

The conference was a unique opportunity to discuss the vital role planning and managing cities, towns, and villages has in driving global sustainable development, and shaping the implementation of new global development and climate change goals.

The Inclusive Cities Summit will build on this, using the Urban Thinkers Campus model and defining the new urban agenda for Canada in the context of the global impact that cities have in shaping our common future.

why now

Only one urban agenda conference has ever been hosted in Canada. The Inclusive Cities Summit will be the first meeting in Canada in the post-Habitat III era and the timing could not be better.

As Canada celebrates the historic milestone of its sesquicentennial and reflects on the last 150 years, we have a unique opportunity to chart out the next 150 years. What will Canada 300 look like? What will our cities look like 150 years from now?

With over 80% of its population living in cities, Canada is incredibly urban. We are at the forefront of the global trend towards urbanization, which presents us with the opportunity to be a leader in urban thinking. This is our moment.

 
 
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urban thinkers campus model

The Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) model is an initiative of UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign (WUC), conceived in 2014 as an open space for critical exchange between all stakeholders and partners aims to promote sustainable urbanization. It is also envisaged as a platform to advocate enlightened planning and design of our cities and propose urban solutions in addressing urbanization challenges to urban futures. WUC is an advocacy and partnership platform that raises awareness about positive urban change in order to achieve green, productive, safe, healthy, inclusive, and well-planned cities. Its goal is to place the urban agenda at the highest level in development policies. It is coordinated by UN-Habitat and driven by a large number of committed partners - currently more than 190 partners and networks - from around the world.