Your monthly roundup of news, tools, and events from the world of 8 80 Cities.

Connected Communities: Solutions for Social Isolation

People are experiencing social isolation more than ever, with serious impacts on their health and well-being. Far from being a personal choice, social isolation stems from the poor community design and systemic injustices that keep neighbors and neighborhoods apart. How can we reshape our communities to foster meaningful social connections, rebuild broken trust and create a sense of absolute belonging? A new report by Healthy Places by Design and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grantees offers five recommendations for creating socially connected communities.

Read the report...

Post-COVID Cities: A Report from UN-Habitat

Cities and Pandemics: Towards a more just, green and healthy future, a report from UN-Habitat, evidences how cities can reduce the impact of future pandemics and become more prosperous, fair and environmentally friendly. The Report calls for the response and recovery to pandemics to be based on human rights principles. It outlines how cities should lead the move towards a New Social Contract between governments, the public, civil society and the private sector to reduce poverty and inequality, provide adequate housing and strengthen social protection while rebuilding from the pandemic.

Read the full report...

Urban Consulate brings people together to share ideas for better cities. Since 2016, the Consulate has hosted hundreds of conversations in Detroit, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Austin, Cincinnati & Chicagoland to ask daring questions and imagine how to build more just & equitable communities together. In this episode of Urban Consulate Confidential, host Orlando P. Bailey a life-long Detroiter, community builder, and an ECC Alumnus, talks with Toronto's Jay Pitter, international placemaker, author, and lecturer, and Los Angeles' Tamika Butler, urbanist advocate and lawyer, for a candid cross-city conversation rooted in radical truth, joy, and love.
Watch the episode...
New Book: Curbing Traffic -The Human Case for Fewer Cars in our Lives
Have you ever packed your life and moved to a new city? In 2019, mobility experts Melissa and Chris Bruntlett did it and began a new adventure in Delft, the Netherlands, to experience the biking city as residents rather than as visitors.  

Their new book highlights the benefits of treating cars as visitors rather than owners of the road. They weave their personal story with research and interviews with experts and locals to help us picture what it’s like to live in a city designed for people.

Check it out

Ravines: A Toronto's Treasure  

Toronto’s ravines are an amazing natural asset but not equally enjoyed and accessed by everyone in the city. Race, gender and economic status can all be barriers to the city’s green spaces, but there are simple steps – better signs, more volunteer guides – that could make the urban wilderness more inclusive in Toronto. Learn more about one of our greatest treasures in this article by Alex Bozikovic and Oliver Moore for the Globe & Mail.

Continue reading...

Outdoors for All: Access to Nature is a Human Right

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways we interact with public spaces and nature. Having to stay, work and learn from home, has added more anxiety to our children's lives and their caregivers. Online classrooms are the only way to try and keep up with education but have jeopardized everyone's access to outdoor adventures and play. More than ever, we need to rethink and evaluate the role of nature. In this fascinating article, Dr. Richard Louv makes the case of the urgency of declaring access to nature a human right.

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What Matters Most When We Hit the Third Act 

Another aspect of the pandemic that has made us all reflect is isolation in older adults. When we age, we need to be in touch not only with our loved ones but with something as simple as a window facing a park or some nature, that will connect us to the world. Offering the possibility of a room with a view should be a must in seniors residences, long-term care facilities and homes. For a human being who lives alone, it is almost essential. It was the case for Sarah White's 95-year-old mother. Read her article to understand why

Continue reading...

Second Application Period for Funding Will Reopen May 14th, 2021 

Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Urban Institute with the support of the Government of Canada have received a significant volume of applications for the first round of the Healthy Communities Initiative. Applications for Round 1 are now closed. Reviews are currently underway and the timeline has been extended to ensure that all applications are given due consideration. All applicants will receive results by May 14, 2021. 

The application portal will reopen on May 14, 2021, at 9:00 AM AST for Round 2 and applications must be submitted by June 25, 2021, at 5:00 PM PST.

Visit to find out more about how to apply, explore resources for applicants and sign up for community mobilization sessions. 

Visit the website...

Welcoming New 8 80 Cities Team Members!

We are so pleased to announce two new staff members joining our 8 80 Cities team. Jiya Benni and Jayne Armstrong have recently joined us as Project Managers helping us move forward our innovative public space projects and programs. These two are already bringing fresh new ideas and insights that will help us grow and strengthen our approaches to creating more inclusive, healthy, and age-friendly cities. Read more about them here.

Thank You to Rossana Tudo & David Simor

After some incredible years of leading innovative projects, our two Senior Project Managers David Simor and Rossana Tudo are moving on to new professional opportunities. On behalf of everyone who’s had the privilege of working with you two, learning from you, laughing with you, stressing (and de-stressing) with you, we want to express our deepest thanks for all that you have contributed to this small but mighty organization. You’ve left a hefty mark and legacy behind. We are going to miss you terribly, but we are also so excited for you as you pursue this next phase of your career. This is not goodbye, more like see you around!

Shift into Gear: A Bicycling Advocacy Resource Webinar

PlayCore's Center for Outreach, Research & Education is hosting Shift into Gear: A Bicycling Advocacy Resource with our Executive Director, Amanda O'Rourke, today, 2:00pm - 3:15pm.

Register here 

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