Your monthly roundup of news, tools, and events from the world of 8 80 Cities.
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Our New 5-Year Strategic Plan!

In the Fall/Winter 2021 8 80 Cities' Board of Directors and staff began the journey to sunset our previous five-year Strategic Plan and to move towards the creation of this new 2022-2027 Strategic Plan. During this time, we worked in collaboration to develop strategic priorities to propel 8 Cities into the future.

It was also critical to ensure that our Strategic Plan was steeped and centred in equity-driven approaches aligned with and reflective of the world we live in today, and the cities and communities we want to be a part of for generations to come.

Read the Strategic Plan here.

Announcing The 20 Young Leaders Selected As Ontario Community Changemakers 2022

We are excited to announce the 20 winners of our second cohort of Ontario Community Changemakers.  We can’t wait to be able to bring this new cohort together, while also connecting them with a growing network of alumni, to exchange ideas and support their creative community projects.

Ontario Community Changemakers (OCC) is a mini-grant program designed for Ontario residents aged 19-35 with innovative ideas to activate public space, enhance civic engagement, and/or foster social inclusion. The program runs with support from Balsam Foundation.

Meet the 20 #OCChangemakers who will get $5000 in seed funding to implement one community project in one year.

What We Are Reading

Canada At Growing Risk Of A Loneliness Crisis

A new report from the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), looks at why Canada's aging population is at increased risk of experiencing social isolation and loneliness — and what some solutions might be. In this article, Carol Eugene Park talks to Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.'s Seniors Advocate, to understand the challenges and some of the potential solutions.

Continue reading...

Mountain Bike Trails And BIPOC Youths’ Love For The Outdoors 

In cities across the U.S., the Student Conservation Association -SCA- is building mountain bike trails – and BIPOC youths’ love for the outdoors. Tonyaa J. Weathersbee from the Children & Nature Network guides us through the nuts and bolts of an initiative that brings youth together, not only for exercising but to contribute to their community while sharing values of respect and appreciation for nature. 

Continue reading...

The Miracle of Milan: Taming Car Use With Paint And Ping Pong

"If you want to transform a city and have an impact on the world, one of the most effective things you can do is reclaim and reimagine your streets for people. These changes are popular—once you have city streets and public spaces filled with people, it’s hard to argue that it should be any other way," tells Janette Sadik-Khan to Carlton Reid, the author of this article, when discussing the case of Milan, Italy, and their decision to ban cars and create streets for people. What's the recipe for success? Political will and community participation. 
Continue reading...

Bridging What Divides Us

In 2016, a group of public and nonprofit partners decided to intentionally design, manage, and operate public spaces that would welcome people of all races, incomes, and backgrounds in Memphis Tennessee. In this article, Bridget Marquis, Director of Reimagining the Civic Commons at U3 Advisors, reflects on the strategies for bringing diverse people together through parks and recreation.

Continue reading...

What We Are Watching

What Does A City Look Like From A 3-Year-Old Perspective?
If you could experience the city from 95 centimetres, the height of a healthy 3-year-old, what would you change? Urban95, an initiative of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, seeks the answer to this question, by working with city leaders, planners, architects and engineers, to support the healthy development of young children growing up in cities.
Watch the video...
Revisiting Bicycling In Minneapolis
Minneapolis has not had one cyclist dead in over 2 years! It is certainly one of the best cities to bike in and it is getting even better with a commitment to on-street protected or sidewalk-level paths. 
Follow Streetfilms' Clarence Echerson Jr. on his wonderful 3-day trip to experience the beauties of safe cycling!

Watch the video...

Tools & Resources

Dangerous by Design 2022. Smart Growth America:  Another great report from Smart Growth America shares alarming data about road safety that rose during the pandemic. 7,485 people walking were struck and killed in 2021. This would be the highest number in 40 years and one of the biggest single-year jumps in decades—between 11 and 13 percent in one year.

New Free Resource on Disasters and Resilience: AARP recently released the AARP Disaster Resilience Tool Kit created in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help local leaders build community-wide resilience, and reduce risks and better protect older adults before, during and after extreme weather events.

Health Impact Evaluation Framework. NRPA: The framework will help agencies better evaluate the benefit of park and recreation health interventions and communicate this benefit more effectively to local-elected officials, members of the public and philanthropic supporters.

Events & Announcements

A Walk in the Park with Gil

Tune in on Tuesday, August 9th at 11:00 am EST, for another exciting session of A Walk in the Park with Gil. Vision Zero: from talking to doing. How to save lives & have a more enjoyable city. Presents: Leah Shahum, Founder & Director of Vision Zero Network, San Francisco, U.S.

Register here

The Bentway Block Party is back! This day-long, free, celebratory street party across The Bentway site includes musical performances, family-friendly games and workshops, food and drink, and much more. Check the event information here.

September 21-23, 2022, The Park People Conference will bring park professionals, community park group leaders, non-profit organizations, municipal staff and urban enthusiasts to create an abundant future for city parks. Sign-up here

Join active transportation professionals and advocates at the 2022 APBP Conference this August! The Planning Committee is coordinating over 40 panels, workshops, poster displays, keynote speakers, and mobile tours that you won't want to miss! Register here.

Save your spot now to be part of this specialized event of educational and experiential content, aimed at public space professionals and urban parks. Monterrey, November      14-18, 2022.Register here.

As seen on our Twitter this month


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