COVID 1000 and Beyond: Making Better Cities


  • Marcy Burchfield—Incoming Vice President, Transit Planning, Metrolinx, Toronto

  • Kate Graham—Senior Advisor, Colliers, London

  • Alicia John-Baptiste—President and CEO, SPUR, San Francisco

  • Bruce Katz—Director, Nowak Metro Finance Lab, Drexel University, Washington D.C.

  • Peter Sloly—Canadian Urban Institute Fellow, Ottawa
  • Graham Singh—CEO, Trinity Centres Foundation, Montreal

  • Tim Tompkins—Principal, ShareCitySharedSpace, New York

5 Key

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

1. Insights on the future of cities.

Kate Graham shared insights from CUI’s recent survey, where city builders were invited to respond on how cities could improve in light of the COVID pandemic’s many lessons. 

Key observations from the survey results:  

  • In “normal times,” there’s often a bystander effect where people rely on others to take care of broader problems. During the pandemic, however, community members stepped up to fill in the gaps, with survey respondents citing Vaccine Hunters and “Care-Mongering” groups as emblematic of this spirit. 
  • Immense movement on intractable problems was suddenly possible. Basic income in Canada has been discussed for decades, while CERB was implemented in a matter of days. “There is an expectation now that governments are able to move faster and respond to issues much quicker, because the fallacy of government moving slowly was removed,” said Graham.  
  • Respondents reported that small cracks can become major catastrophes in times of crisis, with collaboration between sectors and communities frequently cited as the “secret sauce” solution.
  • Graham discussed the “DIY city” concept where people have the agency and ability to solve problems and step outside their traditional roles to address urban challenges. “The call to action for cities going forward is to keep our foot on the gas and push as hard as we cannot just in responding to the pandemic but urban crises generally.”

2. Our desire for community connection has a major impact on the places we live.

Alicia John-Baptiste, President & CEO of San Francisco-based SPUR, observed that throughout the pandemic, “the places that performed the best were the ones where people could access their connections to other people.” Areas with the most dense, mixed-use offerings performed well, while places like Downtown San Francisco, which are primarily office-based, have not recovered their role as a centre point for the region.

“What was drawing them together was both where folks felt like they belonged, and also where they found cultural vibrancy,” said John-Baptiste. “And so, as we think about how we reconceive our cities in this era of choice, we need to be focused on community connection, and cultural vibrancy as the path forward from a planning and land use standpoint.” 

In the face of growing extremism and political polarization, Graham Singh, Founder and Executive Director of the Trinity Centres Foundation, advocated for the building and facilitating of genuine and authentic community networks as the most effective way of growing social cohesion. To strengthen these networks, Singh suggested mobilizing partners within multiple layers of government, the nonprofit sector, and the social services to address the rising costs of occupying urban civic spaces that can foster these critical relationships.

3. The COVID pandemic exacerbated numerous “subset pandemics.”

CUI Fellow Peter Sloly spoke of the multiple “subset pandemics” which include crises in mental health and addictions, economic instability, and impacts on racialized and marginalized communities. A former Police Chief, Sloly also spoke of the “pandemic specific to policing” and the massive disruption resulting from the murder of George Floyd. As a result, people took on a more active role in addressing issues like the opioid crisis, and became more keenly aware of issues around public safety and public health. They engaged in constructive activities that led to a range of better outcomes that complemented the work of the police.

Sloly also spoke to the impediments that prevent the modernization of Canada’s justice system, and called for more effective integration between the health, education, and policing system to respond to the urgent desire for change while recognizing institutional and individual burnout. 

4. Instead of a “new normal,” we’re entering a period of “new disorder” where urban networks have unprecedented power.

Citing the new remote work supply chain, the exacerbation of racial and ethnic disparities, the climate crisis, the growing financialization of housing, and geopolitical issues such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, CUI Fellow Bruce Katz of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University described our current reality as the “new disorder” rather than “new normal,” one that offers us a crash course in a “new localism.”

“We don’t really know how to respond to this, because responsibility is divided and fragmented across different layers of government and different sectors of societyno one’s in charge,” said Katz. “The only folks who can bring any order out of this are city networks, metropolitan networks, and civic and public organizations that understand the challenges their own place.”

5. Urban stewards need to understand what they’re competing against.

According to Tim Tompkins, Principal at SharedCitySharedSpace, the pandemic was “a reminder that cities fundamentally still must compete.” Noting that we’re heading into a time where there will be incredible economic and fiscal stress on cities, Tompkins spoke of difficulties that national and local governments have in solving long-term problems such as affordable housing and transit access, and the critical importance of the public realm in ensuring whether people want to stay, or go, from cities.


Full Panel

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software.  Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to with “transcription” in the subject line.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:01:08
65 my colleague, Kate Graham, is joining, and she’s going to talk a little bit about our most recent experience, but the the the Interesting.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:01:14
Thing is. These are points in time and we’ve seen changes in those points in time, right and and We’ve seen things evolve and what may have looked to be the right thing with when we were a 100 days in or 350 days in might feel quite different to now

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:01:34
We’re a 1,000 days in so we have as you can see, an illustrious group gathering here to help us, parse this for the next 50 min, including my colleague from the Cui Board Marcy Birchfield Who’s going to help, with the Moderation and

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:01:49
Then Peter slowly, Who’s a new fellow with us at Cui.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:01:52
You can see all the Bios, for everybody, that they’ll be put in the chat, Peter.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:01:52

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:01:56
Nice to see you, Peters and Auto. I’m assuming teams in the big Smoke New York City.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:02:00
Also a colleague with us on the whole notion of urban commerce in public space, and Animating Main Streets, and Alicia, Nice to see you from San Francisco, your Own Set of Challenges, that We’re Keen to Hear About and Graham from the

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:02:13
Sunny, Veal, To Quebec, as so we are appreciative for all of you to be joining us for the next 50 min and I’m gonna pass to Kate first and Kate Graham who’s here, who Wears a Gazillion different Hats but came to some Coi actually

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:02:27
initially as a volunteer Kate. Can you believe it in the spring of 20 came to me.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:02:33
I was new in the job, and she said I think we need to start tracking what municipal governments are doing.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:02:38
Have you got bandwidth to think about that. And we started city watch, and then as started to build from there, and Kate’s gone on to do 19 different things since then but she’s, back with Us.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:02:48
To talk about an exercise that she led people through. So I’m gonna pass it to you, kate to talk for a few minutes, about your experience, and then I’ll open it up to all of us to talk about what we think the Covid dividend will be so Kate over to you

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:02:59
Sounds good. Well, thanks very much. Mary, for the invitation to be here.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:03:02
Not many people can moderate for 4 h, solid there you are.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:03:08
You’ve got a unique gift. And so it’s a treat.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:03:09
I I have help. I have help. Martha, I’ve got reinforcement. Marcy, helping. Yeah, yeah.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:03:10

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:03:12
Very good. Okay, so can you see this.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:03:17
Did that work? Okay, perfect. Alright. So as Mary said, I have the privilege, this morning of sharing a little bit about a reflection on the past, 1,000 days, and I don’t know about all of you but when I think Back to a 1,000 days.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:03:33
Ago I am so glad that I didn’t know that a 1,000 days later we would still be talking about this.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:03:38
That was a chaotic disruptive, confusing there was so much that we didn’t know, and and the effort kind of behind, all, of this reflection, work, as we hit these important Milestones is to sort of stop for a moment and say, okay, Wait a second big things are happening, here what should we be taking away from this Moment how can we

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:03:57
Find the seeds that we know are often found in crisis, of progress, of transformation.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:04:02
So Cui has really been living this over the last 1,000 days, for those of you who have been following this work in addition to what Mary already shared Cui has published a report that under what’s, called the sign post your Sign post meaning something to provide clarity and a confusing Environment or to

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:04:19
Provide direction. So the first report came out a 100 days into Covid, then 200 days and 300 days, then 365 Mary i.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:04:29
Don’t know what happened, after I think it was too depressing or overwhelming to keep doing them.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:04:32
But here we are. Now that we’ve hit the thousand-day milestone which again feels like an important moment to stop and reflect so to help inform and and just give a little bit of framing to the Conversation that Lies ahead, over the next hour see you I issued a call to ask Canadians to

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:04:49
share a bit about what these 1,000 days have been like for them in their own communities.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:04:54
If you haven’t had a chance to do this yet it’s still open, and it will be open for the next couple of weeks the link is at the bottom, you can find it on the Cui website.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:05:03
It feels sort of like a facetime with Mary and Like, who wouldn’t want that you can respond to 5 questions in text, and video or using audio, and tell us a little bit about what these 1,000, days, have been like for you and I’m gonna take just a couple of minutes here and tell you a bit about

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:05:19
what we’ve heard so far through this process, so about 500 people have taken the time to tell us about their 1,000 day.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:05:29
Experience which is equivalent to about 2,500.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:05:31
Responses, lots of stories lots of Anecdotes, lots of really Rich Content, that boils down for a Researcher, Like Me, to 43,000 words, to be Able to Analyze and to give you, sort of a you know global perspective, on this one of the easy things, to do with with content like this is to just

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:05:48
do. A quick analysis of what kind, of sentiments are being reflected?

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:05:52
Are people feeling positively or negatively about the topic, how and what you see here on the right, is that this is kind of a mixed bag.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:05:59
You know, in a slightly lean towards positivity, maybe more indicative of the positive framing of the Questions, Being, future oriented, and so on but people shared with us that they have had a whole range of experiences from you know Counting Catastrophic Loss to really important moments of Revelation

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:06:16
And transformation in their lives, and their organizations and in their communities.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:06:21
And if I can be even a little bit more pointed about this.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:06:25
There are tools to be able to analyze big amounts of data and really draw out from words and combinations of words.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:06:32
What are the things that people are feeling and the important. Part here if you haven’t seen a diagram like this, is usually, one or 2, base emotions.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:06:39
Pop! Out, when you do things like this, what you see here is the opposite of that people have been feeling.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:06:45
All the feels right combined, you know emotions ranging from Surprise, joy, anger, anticipation fear for most of Us, you know, this has been an absolute roller coaster, and that was one of the words that came up more often than we expected so and even those of you in the conversation in the in the

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:07:04
Chat, it’d be good to hear from you, like what are the emotions that you have been feeling.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:07:08
Because my guess is at least for me, and many that I know it does kind of reflect this, you know it has been a a wild ride of a 1,000 days, with very low lows and very high highs okay, so let me catch the chase here so we have we have heard from 500 people a lot

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:07:24
Of really insightful things shared. There are 5 things that leap off the page, as being important observations that Canadians have shared with us and I’d like to just walk through this quickly so number one in normal times I think most of Us have a pretty high awareness of big problems going on in the

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:07:41
world, around, us. But there’s this sort of sense that like somebody else is handling a lot of those things and during the pandemic, this what we could sort of loosely have categorized being the bystander, effect where people sort of stand by hoping somebody else takes care, of it this was

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:07:56
interrupted and in instead, people stepped up to do unusual amazing things.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:08:02
This included from Vaccine hunters to the Care Mongering Groups, to organizations, stepping outside their Mandate, the examples that people have shared with us all across the Country, are hella, inspiring, and it turns out that the people who are willing to step outside their normal work to help people and help in

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:08:18
their community, emerge, as being the heroes of the Pandemic lots of Mention of Course, of Frontline, Health Care, Workers, Frontline, Workers generally, people who went above and beyond in their Jobs, or People who Stepped Outside of the Normal Work, entirely and if you Roll it Up to Kind of A Bigger Scale, thinking

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:08:35
about, our public, institutions, government, and so on. What we learned and what a lot of people, comment on was it turns out that things we’ve been talking about and that seemed intractable or like we weren’t able to make progress, all of a sudden change was possible you know serve as a good example, we’ve been

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:08:51
talking, about, basic income in this country, since the 19 sixtys, and within a very short time, an instrument was actually delivered and providing support for people.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:09:00
And there are many examples like that at all levels of government, where all of a sudden mounts were moving the important thing.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:09:07
To what we were hearing from people about. This is, I think, that there is an expectation.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:09:11
Now that governments in particular are able to move faster and be able to respond to issues much quicker, because now we’ve seen that they can the sort of fallacy of government moving slowly was was removed and so I think it changes our expectations and perceptions of government across the walls number 3 and this one has been already

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:09:31
Assigned theme of the conversations today laid painfully clear and in plain sight, in front of Us, was the inequities that already existed even in the Covid 100, Report this was the punchline was that our experiences were depending on who we are and where we live and

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:09:47
Existing and inequities, and oppressions were being intensified.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:09:51
So we cannot wait until there is a crisis. We should expect that when things as dramatic, as this happened that those in aequalities will be deepened.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:09:59
So addressing them outside of times of crisis is really really important.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:10:04
And again, something that a lot of people mentioned their responses.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:10:07
Okay, number 4. and this existed a lot of scales, those little nagging things that were bothering Us little challenges in times of crisis, can become total catastrophes, this ranges, from like little family, and friend dynamics, or issues, within organizations, all the way up to things

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:10:25
Like the Housing, Crisis, or Mental Health, Where we had, you know, cracks in our systems, those became even more apparent and even more urgent and in a time where we were less equipped to be able to resolve them and then the last one and again kind of a theme that we’ve already heard

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:10:41
Today, over and over and over again, the secret sauce of being able to respond to crisis was identified as being collaboration, so organizations that could figure out new ways of working you know the last conversation, to Mary is talking about people just showing up and breaking down the system where we saw that happening was where

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:10:56
Transformation, rest, and so really important, less than from the past 1,000 days that surely has great applicability for the 1,000 ahead and beyond so the final thing I will leave you on this is a quote I know many of us.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:11:08
Have heard Mary say, or a phrase, the diy city where in crisis, we saw people, having the agency and ability to solve problems, and step outside the role, we saw governments moving quickly we saw new collaborations forming we saw you know, greater attention, on issues, that had been there before and in a moment where in our

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:11:28
Cities, we have huge important issues from integrity to climate change.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:11:33
And so many more, how do we carry this sense of urgency, personal agency, all the way up to transformative policy, change, how do we carry those things forward I think if I was to put all of the things, that we heard from 500 people, so far into a sentence.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:11:48
It would be this this is the call to action, for cities going forward is to keep our foot on the gas and push, as hard as we can not just in responding to prices of the pandemic but in responding to urban crises generally and with that I will stop sharing

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:12:03
Thanks, Kate, I’m glad you’ve got the keep the foot on the gas that is the challenge that we are all struggling with and I’m interested.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:12:11
I’m gonna ask you a couple of questions, and then I’ll pass to Marcy, who will do the round table with folks here, but but and We’re, you know We’re interested in Hearing, from each of you, what you, think the Key Covid Lessons, are going Forward and what You’ve

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:12:22
Observed Kate. One quick question, do you think people and I would encourage people to go to the link and do the do.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:12:28
The questionnaire unfortunate, you have my face in your face, but you it it finished it does finish but the but the good thing is it does make all of us just take a moment, and try to see if we can glean learnings and we heard amid on a previous session too.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:12:32
Beautiful place.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:12:45
Before say he’s worried that we’ve already forgotten the lessons. We’ve learned.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:12:48
So do you think Kate, from your perspective. Our people willing to actually do the tough reflection are we over it enough that we can actually say this worked and this didn’t or did you find that people were still in it.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:13:01
And hard to see.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:13:03
I I, think we have this combination like, I I’m not sure on one hand, I do think we see evidence.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:13:09
People are tired. They’re done like everything from low Voter turnout, like General lack of trust, and so on.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:13:15
People are feeling pretty exhausted on the other hand, I think in a moment where people have had to reflect on what actually matters.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:13:22
To them you know what kind of life do you want to leave?

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:13:25
Where do you want to live? How do you want to move all of those questions, of in Front and Center, and especially, where people have been inspired, personally, or by those around them to do great things?

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:13:33
That have more of an impact in the place where they live, I hope that’s a lingering motivation, that even though we’re tired even though it’s been a long 1,000 days you know we have it in us to be able to do things that we don’t normally do so how do we

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:13:46
use that as a driver to say, okay, we got this whole Host of things Let’s keep pushing as long as I don’t know

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:13:51
Yeah, hey, Mars Mars I’m gonna go over to you, to do the the Tour de tablet here, thanks for joining us always.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:13:59
Okay, can you hear me. Now, okay, perfect, great thanks, Mary and I.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:14:00
Yeah, we can.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:14:04
I I I agree with the with Kate there.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:14:08
You’re you’re hosting skills, I cannot match.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:14:12
But but I will try I will try so, yes, so, thanks.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:14:16
Kate, that was really interesting, and she said, You know people can still fill out the survey to get more data as as all great researchers love to love to to Gather this this information, both survey, and and to cross-check it with sort, of what other tabular data that we that we can we can

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:14:33
Measure, stuff, by so I have the the pleasure of Introducing the Panelists, and asking them to reflect on some sort of I would say, a combination of what Kate presented, but also Lessons Learn in your own Communities, and you know in your own experiences so maybe I will start with Alicia from San

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:14:52
Francisco are you on the line. I can’t see everyone here.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:14:57

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:14:58
Great great, so maybe you could. We could start with you all the way in the and the West coast. and and hear what’s gonna happen in San Francisco

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:15:07
Thank you Marcy, and thank you all for Ask me to be here today.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:15:12
It’s great to be with you all that was a super interesting presentation I think, in terms of lessons learned.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:15:19
I would I would sort of boil it down to a couple of buckets, and one is from the standpoint of place.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:15:26
I think what we learned, in the in the Covid experience was how important what a significant force, the desire for community connection has on place.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:15:38
What we saw throughout the course of the pandemic was that the places that performed the best were the ones where people actually could access their connection to other.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:15:50
People, so whether that was people coming out to pick up take out from their local restaurant, because they wanted to make sure that that restaurant stayed in business, or the success of Outdoor, dining or slow streets, converting streets, into Spaces, that people could just occupy, what we saw was this

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:16:09
Strong desire for people to be able to remain connected, and I think you know, looking at the the results that you shared, Kate, that that spectrum of feelings that people have held it’s no surprise that what people.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:16:23
Were seeking was community connection. I think, also, what we saw was that diversity was really our strength.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:16:30
During Covid, that you know from a place standpoint.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:16:34
The the places that had the most kind of Dense Mission, use, offerings were those that performed, the Best and Places like Downtown, San Francisco, which were primarily Office-based Completely Hollowed Out and Frankly, have not Recovered their Role, as a as a Center Point for the Region you know.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:16:53
Even a 1,000 days in so there’s that aspect of it, I think also, when we started to see people exercise choice, about where to be?

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:17:03
During this time. What was drawing them together was both where folks felt like they belonged, and also where they found cultural vibrancy.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:17:13
And so as we think about the next kind of stages, and how we kind of reconceive our cities in this era, of choice, then of course, not everybody has choice to be very clear about that but millions, of people do and particularly in an economy like ours, in the bay area, when we think about sort of

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:17:33
A a future of choice I think we need to be really focused on community connection, and cultural vibrancy as the path Forward from a planning and land use standpoint, the other thing I want to speak to is this idea, that we can move mountains.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:17:50
I think we did very much see that when we have a sense of urgency and focus and resources because resources are often the missing component.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:18:00
When we have those 3 things, we can change things overnight.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:18:04
We saw that happen in the United States with the Expansion of the Child Tax Credit, sort of our version of it, of a Guaranteed Income, millions of Kids, Lifted Out of Poverty but What We’re Faced with now, is from my Perspective this Gap, between How are Value Set and our

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:18:24
Goals and our aspirations, expanded so dramatically during the Pandemic and a large part thanks to the social justice movements, that really gained Force during that time, period, what we believe we should be able to Accomplish is Significantly greater than it was 2 or 3 years, Ago, but our

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:18:45
Skill set hasn’t caught up. And so I think we run the risk of falling into cynicism falling into despair, falling into grief and it’s going to be important for us, as a community of civic actors, to sustain that sort of sense of grace that sense of

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:19:04
Innovation, that sense of we can do this together, while our skill set while our policy understanding catches up to the new Set of Goals, that We’ve created for ourselves, so that’s what I’m thinking about is we’re as we’re moving forward

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:19:20
Great thank you Alicia i appreciate that, and the the desire for community connections I think, is was very much felt. it’s here. And it still still is in toronto, maybe Peter go. To you

[Peter Sloly] 12:19:36
Thanks. Very much. Marcy, can you hear me? Okay. Great great session, and I’m grateful to Mary and the Canadian Urban Institute folks for bringing me on board as a Visiting Fellow very excited to Start my my Formal Role on this Session and I’m learning a lot as We go through

[Peter Sloly] 12:19:56
It you know, there was the global pandemic, there was sort of a second pandemic, mental Health and Addictions, and I’m, just gonna quickly go through a couple of these sort of subset of Pandemics, that we’re still dealing with a 1,000 Days into it the economic

[Peter Sloly] 12:20:10
Pandemic Inflation, Recession, and all the other tensions that go with it, race, and and Marginalized, Communities, I Think Kate, gave some Great Stats Elisa, References that this Just Became that much more clear to so many other People, Who rather than talking about a Crime, problem

[Peter Sloly] 12:20:27
Where usually issues of race get raised. We’re talking about a health problem, and then a whole range of other issues.

[Peter Sloly] 12:20:33
So I think it brought it into the forefront of people’s minds in new ways.

[Peter Sloly] 12:20:38
That were very impactful, both in and not just in the public sector, not for profit sector, but I think right across broader, society, I would say there was another pandemic very specific to policing and very.

[Peter Sloly] 12:20:51
Relevant, to the experience of this experience, of racialized or marginalized communities, and that was the effect of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which happened once after the Onset of the Global Pandemic from a Policing and Public Safety Standpoint it was a

[Peter Sloly] 12:21:05
Massively disruptive event on top of the series of massively disruptive events that were taking place in the years leading up to to this and going back, but that one in the midst of the global pandemic the as broadly traumatic as it was I think had a deep disruptive, impact

[Peter Sloly] 12:21:27
On policing one greater than I’ve ever seen before.

[Peter Sloly] 12:21:30
In my 30 years, in Policing, certainly the the summary that Kate gave you know the bystander Effect I’m sort of doing a deeper dive, now Into the Policing and Public Safety, Context, and I’ll try to come Back up again, and Give Some Bigger Lessons learned We Saw that

[Peter Sloly] 12:21:46
Both on the community, side, you know, people, taking a much more active role in addressing things, like the Opioid crisis, not just within the downtown, core and the Service Providers, but Just average citizens here, in in Ottawa across the Country being Far more Keenly, Aware of a range

[Peter Sloly] 12:22:01
Of issues and certainly public safety, public health issues, and being far more active in engaging, not necessarily Calling, the Police, but engaging in constructive activities that led to a range of better outcomes, different outcomes, that that complemented it in some cases Accelerated the on where the Police could go

[Peter Sloly] 12:22:21
Mountains move the justice. System was extremely reticent to do to use digital platforms for Accelerating and moving people through the justice System and avoiding incarceration Levels and trying to get people through their judicial Processes and so the use of Technology, by judges, by by by

[Peter Sloly] 12:22:41
Courts. Significantly accelerated systemic inequities.

[Peter Sloly] 12:22:44
Again I think we could go on and on. I think the reference to George Floyd’s murder, and so many other aspects around that were clearly Front and center in the minds of policing and Justice leaders and the Officials, and Oversight Bodies that that Address them the Nagging Challenges, and Cracks.

[Peter Sloly] 12:23:01
again I’m not looking for a lot of sympathy here, but the reality is most police agencies and North and south of the Border were built back 60 70.

[Peter Sloly] 12:23:11
Years ago were modernized to the level of probably the 1,900 and Eightys, and Ninetys, and certainly never made it into the Millennium and the Pandemic and all the other, sub Pandemics and other Effects I’ve talked about Exposed those Cracks and they became Major

[Peter Sloly] 12:23:24
Catastrophes in so many ways, I’m not for a moment suggesting you know a need to divide the Pi Further and figure out how to advance policing the Justice, System while we Advance all the other areas of society that are so much in need but I think as as Kate Referenced if we if we

[Peter Sloly] 12:23:42
Don’t now recognize those catastrophes and do something material to address them.

[Peter Sloly] 12:23:46
It will happen again and again, and more, quick quick in quicker ways, and more catastrophically.

[Peter Sloly] 12:23:51
So somehow, we’re gonna have to figure out to maintain that urgency of accelerating, of Raising all the boats in the harbor rather than just trying to figure out which boats will Sink and which ones will Swim Effective Collaboration, I think I Would just Take that to a step Further

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:05
effective integration. We certainly see now that the health Care system can’t handle this on their own.

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:11
The Policing system can’t handle it at home. The education system.

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:14
We can’t do this on our own so greater integration.

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:17
Greater collaboration, a greater sense of urgency around that our theories that I think we really need to focus on, last.

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:24
But not. Listening again. I just appreciate Alicia’s comment.

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:27
There is an expectation gap. We did some amazing things.

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:30
We survived some incredibly traumatic things. And there’s an urgency to keep going, and a need to keep going.

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:37
But there is a lot of burnout, there’s systemic level, burnout, there’s, an institutional burnout, there’s individual Burnout, how do we keep that sense of urgency, that fear sense, of urgency, is always turned on when the reality, is we are just about emptied out

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:51
Individually and institutionally, so it’s a challenge.

[Peter Sloly] 12:24:53
I don’t have an answer, to but I’m willing and to put my shoulder to the Wheel behind cuis efforts here.

[Peter Sloly] 12:25:00
And see what we can do, to move things forward, and I’m again grateful for the opportunity to be here and hope I can continue to contribute on the session

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:25:07
That’s great. Thank you so much, Peter and and you know, I think this this idea of we’ve gone through multiple pandemics.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:25:15
I really feel like many of us have felt that But this idea of this deep disrupted in an impact on policing and the criminal justice system and tying that to resources needed to bring things to the 20 first century twentieth century versus 20 first century really I think great observations so I will

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:25:37
Move over to Graham, over to you.

[Graham Singh |] 12:25:41
Thanks so much marcy and again to everybody for this great time together.

[Graham Singh |] 12:25:46
Peter, I’m so inspired by what you said, and I, I will.

[Graham Singh |] 12:25:50
I know we have our beautiful bios on there. I’m I’m also a priest in the church.

[Graham Singh |] 12:25:53
Okay, I’m a priest of the Anglican Church, from the Uk, that’s a lot of my perspective on urban work comes from that level and one of our greatest supporters for our Work in creating the Training Centers, Foundation Served as the Head of Counterterrorism, for the British

[Graham Singh |] 12:26:07
Government, and he wrote in favor of our work. He said, This Peter Wilson, he said, building and facilitating genuine and authentic community Networks has proven to be the most effective way, of growing Social Cohesion and Countering the Toxic Narrative of Extremism, and

[Graham Singh |] 12:26:22
Organized crime. So that’s from the head mi 5, and Mi, 6 counterterrorism, reported to Peter and his answer was all of the Police.

[Graham Singh |] 12:26:30
Resources that were there all of the surveillance resources.

[Graham Singh |] 12:26:32
None of them were as if as effective, as the building of resilient local, community.

[Graham Singh |] 12:26:37
We’ve heard that from Kate, and if we go out and think if we wanted to get some of that, where could we buy some, and we might go to government and realize there are many willing, partners, in multiple layers, of government, but it’s not something that they’re very willing to deliver, all the

[Graham Singh |] 12:26:52
Time. There are other stakeholders. Who who does this who’s who has budget for it which I think, is a key question for our day today, and really, if we then want social workers to do it realize what the budget problems.

[Graham Singh |] 12:27:05
Are even harder and we get down to us as local stakeholders realizing, what would we do for many social issues and I loved what was said earlier on parks and also the I mean i’ve just been loving, this whole day so far the question I have is to what extent, do we need the social

[Graham Singh |] 12:27:20
Sector do. We need charities. And nonprofits.

[Graham Singh |] 12:27:23
That’s what I’m bringing to the conversation today in Canada that’s about 170,000 organizations and of those we know from data sources, like imagine Canada the Ontario Nonprofit network Canada Revenue, Agency and Others and Mary’s, been on my

[Graham Singh |] 12:27:36
case about some new data compilations, We’re working on some of that.

[Graham Singh |] 12:27:39
We know that the overall cost of running, a charity in Canada was rising at far above the rate of inflation before the pandemic.

[Graham Singh |] 12:27:48
We also know that occupancy costs the cost of being in a physical central location, urban or rural, was increasing faster than that overall rate of overall expenditure.

[Graham Singh |] 12:27:57
Granting was trying to catch up, but it wasn’t catching up fast enough.

[Graham Singh |] 12:28:01
We don’t have good enough data. Since the Pandemic but what we know roughly, is that inflation has hit the social sector very hard and it’s also had a massive Impact on its Main force, or One, of its main drivers which are volunteers so we have Occupancy Costs

[Graham Singh |] 12:28:16
going through the roof for the Social Sector, revenues going down and our we’re counting on this sector to do a lot, right we deal with issues of Homelessness Food Security we used to Call Peter I’m in in England, we used to Call this the Urban Trinity, okay, the

[Graham Singh |] 12:28:30
Urban Trinity, we call the Police, Services, the Municipalities, and the Rest of the social Sector and we we called it the Urban Training because we realized we relied on each other the Social Sector, folks, in Canada is really Struggling with its Operating Model It’s, same as you said

[Graham Singh |] 12:28:46
Peter the police force is trying to modernize. It’s taken a huge hit.

[Graham Singh |] 12:28:50
Our work with churches, looking at churches, as the largest single stock of real Estate within the Social sector does that make sense.

[Graham Singh |] 12:29:00
So we can talk it. We talk a lot in these circles, in commercial, real estate, and the the realities of High Street.

[Graham Singh |] 12:29:04
I really appreciate What’s Ci has done over these 1,000 days to bring libraries churches, parks, into this conversation, so that we can sit as equals to talk about main Street just to give you and then hand back to you on this Marcy, to give everybody a bit of a snapshot we have 12

[Graham Singh |] 12:29:23
1,000 places of worship in Canada, that’s about that’s about 3 for every 10,000 people in Canada, 3 for every neighborhood does that make sense of those at least one of those is in crisis, in every neighborhood, in Canada, and many of them, you already know the typical story is Church cells

[Graham Singh |] 12:29:39
Condo tower is built. I think well, it’s Housing.

[Graham Singh |] 12:29:41
Is it the kind of housing we wanted, and what kind of mix, city, biodiversity if I may say, as we’re here, in the middle of the Cop 15, Conference, here in Montreal?

[Graham Singh |] 12:29:50
What did we lose what we realized is we lose all the places for addiction.

[Graham Singh |] 12:29:53
Cessation, we lose all the Youth clubs, anything remotely ethnic that has no chance of paying commercial rents is based out of those places.

[Graham Singh |] 12:30:01
Go to any movie, and you look at all those groups. Where does where do? Those groups gather?

[Graham Singh |] 12:30:05
They gather in the church basement, we know it. So when we lose those spaces, we’re losing a type of diversity that we need to deal with and just jumping ahead to a question I know has been asked earlier you know what could we ask government for I want to say this I I would first

[Graham Singh |] 12:30:20
Of all, thank our Federal Government. For what they’ve done, and the the supports that have been given and I’m so thankful and excited for the Federal Social Finance Fund.

[Graham Singh |] 12:30:30
This is 755 million dollars. It’s coming up soon, and we as the social sector, particularly on the real estate side.

[Graham Singh |] 12:30:36
We are ready and we’re trying to do this. So it’s in terms of collaboration rather than just say, we need more collaboration.

[Graham Singh |] 12:30:41
Which I know, we all do. I also want to say in this couple of minutes, please join us we’re trying to gather some of the big players on this and really come up with a strategy for Social-purpose Real Estate Around Canada so big learnings we Need to collaborate We need

[Graham Singh |] 12:30:54
Those spaces, we have them. We’re losing them.

[Graham Singh |] 12:30:58
We could keep them, we’re here, we’re ready to go.

[Graham Singh |] 12:31:00
The conversations have actually sharpened over the pandemic period you know we haven’t had to wait for conferences.

[Graham Singh |] 12:31:05
We just jumped on zoom sometimes because Mary’s called us, and said, Hey, you, you and you get on zoom.

[Graham Singh |] 12:31:11
Now, and and you know we just obeyed, and we will continue to obey. Mary, thank you

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:31:18
There, there, you go, Mary, lots of Followers, there thank you, Graham.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:31:21
That was that was excellent. In this idea of the Urban Trinity.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:31:24
I love my first time. I’ve heard that, and it’s a it’s great to it’s great great great image, Bruce over to you

[Bruce Katz] 12:31:32
Well, first of all, it’s great to be with everyone.

[Bruce Katz] 12:31:34
This is the the Mary rule, you know. Just get on zoom.

[Bruce Katz] 12:31:39
You know. It’s really interesting just to think about the last 1,000 days, because I I think we’re We’re dealing with a lot of these implications.

[Bruce Katz] 12:31:47
Obviously of Covid Around Spatial Impacts.

[Bruce Katz] 12:31:52
You know the remote Work Supply Chain. You know Production networks, but also the unveiling of these intense racial and ethnic disparities, Class Disparities, We’re also dealing I Think, with Longstanding Dynamics, Around Technological Advances, the Climate, Crisis the

[Bruce Katz] 12:32:15
Financialization of housing which in many respects has gotten worse during this period.

[Bruce Katz] 12:32:21
But it’s been not as focused on as as some of the Immediate and the more urgent Effects I Wanna come back to the Housing Piece in the Us, obviously We’re Dealing with a Fire Hose, of Money, from the Federal Government the Federal Government is like you, know, Snap back

[Bruce Katz] 12:32:40
to some functionality, though now it’ll be divided government again.

[Bruce Katz] 12:32:44
But that is caused it’s all its own anxiety because the Federal Government is delivering programs and investments.

[Bruce Katz] 12:32:51
Through literally hundreds of programs, across dozens of Agencies, it’s a Rubik Cuba programming that just Assumes, there’s Capacity out there when in many Places There’s not and then the last piece, i’ll just Say is the Ukraine I Think, the

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:06
Geopolitical issues here, we’re we’re moving back to a you, know, a a divided world or globalization.

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:14
And this notion, that you know what stays, in your own national territory, and what becomes partnered with others around the world.

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:23
Is now, being you know, tested because of Russia and because of China.

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:27
And so all this put together, I think, is giving us a crash.

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:31
Course, on Federalism, you know which level of government does what no one in the Us is a clue.

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:36
Frankly, because we just don’t spend a lot of time ever talking about Federalism and it’s also a crash course on localism.

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:43
You know which sector does what you know to Graham’s point.

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:48
Just a few thoughts about challenges and opportunities. I think we are coming out of this crisis in the United States.

[Bruce Katz] 12:33:56
And this may be Canada as well with the Housing market being structurally changed, we are seeing technologies come into housing which allow investors, domestically and Globally to pinpoint what they want to buy and where and then particularly in the Single Family Home Market large Shares of Properties.

[Bruce Katz] 12:34:21
are being transferred to institutional investors and corporate landlords that are basically using this moment and supply Constraints to Just Boost Rents, unvulnerable Populations, All Across the Board We’re Gonna Wake Up from All this and basically being a

[Bruce Katz] 12:34:42
New world of who owns. What you know in the United States, in particular, but perhaps beyond

[Bruce Katz] 12:34:49
And we we don’t really know how to respond to this, because again, responsibility is divided and fragmented across different layers of government and different sectors of society, no one’s in charge right so the the private investor community has found a new Asset class, single phone Homes right to come in crowd out

[Bruce Katz] 12:35:11
Home Buyers, change the character of Neighborhoods and and basically make evictions, you know, a feature of their investments.

[Bruce Katz] 12:35:23
I mean, you cannot make this stuff up to tell you that I mean, it is just absolutely pernicious.

[Bruce Katz] 12:35:30
And amoral, immoral. Whatever the hell you want to call it so that’s on Hello, Houston, or Washington, or Ottawa.

[Bruce Katz] 12:35:40
We have a problem. Here we have financialized the housing sector to a point or we Don’t have the tools to respond anymore, and this is global money, not just domestic, Capital on the positive side you know because just sync with that sinking for a second but on the positive side, I do Think.

[Bruce Katz] 12:35:59
The left, the electrification of the august auto sector, Decarbonizing of the built Environment, is gonna create Enormous Opportunities, for Research, commercialization Business Expansion, business Formation Job Creation, Workforce Wealth Creation, all of it is anyone, prepared for this not particularly we are Seeing

[Bruce Katz] 12:36:24
A reassuring of production in the us which is quite remarkable, it’s stressing our workforce systems, it’s it’s beginning to you know, sort of change, the spatial order, of manufacturing of production in the us this is enormous Effects for Canada I mean.

[Bruce Katz] 12:36:41
Enormous effects, for Canada, because of our Partnerships

[Bruce Katz] 12:36:44
But it’s still, you know, appease, I mean.

[Bruce Katz] 12:36:48
There was a New York Times article which talked about a snow Globe just being shaken up.

[Bruce Katz] 12:36:52
You know, this is back in March of this year, the flakes had not settled really this is a new disorder.

[Bruce Katz] 12:36:57
It is, not a new, normal, and I would say, with regard to the Housing Sector, and the Production Innovation sector.

[Bruce Katz] 12:37:06
We are still going through sort of the you know dynamics and the disruptions of all.

[Bruce Katz] 12:37:13
This at the end of the day, the only folks who can really bring any order out of this or city networks metropolitan networks, corporate Civic, University, public that really begin to understand in their own place, what this all means, but you, know 1,000 days, whoa, this is

[Bruce Katz] 12:37:34
No wonder, we’re all exhausted if it was just Covid that would be enough.

[Bruce Katz] 12:37:38
Covid, Ukraine financialization, I mean George Floyd, I mean just keep Piling it on right?

[Bruce Katz] 12:37:45
So it’s not surprising, we’re all exhausted.

[Bruce Katz] 12:37:47
But I I I do. Think there’s some opportunities out there and there’s some urgency for us to respond to what is a different world. I think in terms, of who owns what and where is wealth going to be created

[Graham Singh |] 12:38:01
Marcy, please forgive me. But I just want to jump in quickly, to say to Bruce, Bruce, we were approached 3 months into the Pandemic Whatever 90 days into the 1,000, days by one of Canada’s, Large Institutional Funds, and they said are you are you Doing something like

[Graham Singh |] 12:38:14
building, a wheat of church properties. And we said, No, but what if we were, would you be interested and are you trying to kill us?

[Bruce Katz] 12:38:16

[Graham Singh |] 12:38:21
Are you trying to help us and I don’t think we got the answer on that question, but the questions being asked, and I would just take everything you just said and put that same question Institutional ownership over properties that are currently social-purpose real estate, they’re up for Grabs

[Graham Singh |] 12:38:34
big Time, They’re vulnerable and same wake up, call just copy paste, Thanks Marcy.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:38:40
Yeah, no, no no problem, Graham, I was gonna say, with the financialization of housing, is not unique to the Us.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:38:46
Obviously, we have our we feel it here, in Canada and and yeah, I I think this whole notion of a new disorder, as opposed to a new normal,

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:38:57
Yeah, I I agree. I think there’s there’s a lot to chew on there.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:39:01
And so finally, Tim over to you to talk about the COVID-19,000 days into it in New York

[Tim Tompkins] 12:39:09
Yes, so first of all, thank you, Mary, and see for giving us a moment to pause and think about where we’ve been, and where we’re going, and I’m speaking my Experience both in the having worked in the parks, World supporting Parks and Public and place making Entities, in new York we having Run

[Tim Tompkins] 12:39:27
the business improvement Area and District for Times Square, and also being part of the International Downtown Association, which is that the trade association of Bids and Bias I’d say A few things both in terms of Lessons and Dividends One is that It’s a Reminder

[Tim Tompkins] 12:39:44
that cities fundamentally still have to compete. And I think of LED.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:39:48
Glazer. Professor. There’s this book where he wrote triumph of the City, and then a few years later, in Covid said wrote sort of of the City Funding We’ve been Reminded and this is really really important for the Bigger Climate Change, Agenda Cities, have to be Half have to continue to

[Tim Tompkins] 12:40:04
Compete effectively with suburban areas and and areas that are car oriented.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:40:09
If we’re going to survive with climate change and to do that there’s a bunch of things that they need to do that we’d sort of forgotten about when cities were ascendant, for the last 15 or 20, years, which you know obviously education is key affordable housing those are things that as Bruce was just talking about

[Tim Tompkins] 12:40:25
There’s a lot of structural issues there that that means that it’s gonna be.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:40:29
It takes time, if not decades to solve some of those problems.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:40:33
Adequate and frequent public transit is critical and then also I would argue that quality of the public realm is a really critical thing.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:40:42
Where there can be a much shorter, turnaround time in terms of those either getting better or significantly worse and and I think that we saw whether it was in vancouver or Halifax or Toronto you know Bias and place making entities, playing a really really critical role, at the local

[Tim Tompkins] 12:41:01
Level, And Managing and Improving and protecting this spaces, not only when cities were struggling back in the Seventys, and eightys, but especially once again, during Covid Number 2, I would say that well, government.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:41:14
Got better at certain things. Sometimes it got better by getting out of the way, and that that in fact, those cracks that turn to chasms, were reflections of the fact, that government, still isn’t working in terms of conflict problems at the local level think about policing you think about Public space Management and the

[Tim Tompkins] 12:41:29
Quality of the public space experience, think about dealing with with people with addiction and mental health issues.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:41:36
What we saw is that actually you know government overall nationally at a prevention level and locally is still struggling to solve those problems and in fact, there’s there’s a need for a new new sets, of solutions, the other I think lesson but also dividend is a greater recognition of

[Tim Tompkins] 12:41:54
The critical importance of the public realm. Both in a positive sense and in the negative sense, the public realm, in a positive sense, as this place where we we how important it was to be able to gather in person, and how important sort, of social interactions were to the life, of the city, and the building of trust but also

[Tim Tompkins] 12:42:13
How critically important, it is to make sure that the public experience, a a public space, experience, is a negative, and that when it became more negative, that that plays a really key role, in a very visceral, way and whether people, want to stay, or go from cities, along with those other larger-term structural things and

[Tim Tompkins] 12:42:33
But the you know, the the dividend is that that there’s a greater appreciation.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:42:37
I think of that also there was an additional a a significant expansion of what people, thought, of the Public realm with respect to streets and sidewalks had started with things precovered like, using more Street Spaces, for public Space but with things like Patio Dining Outdoor

[Tim Tompkins] 12:42:54
Dining the closer streets, when when some of the automobile Traffic receded, there was a new appreciation of how these spaces that were formally just for transportation, could be used for Civic vibrancy, Culture and other things and that a critical Thing, now for Us, to think about looking

[Bruce Katz] 12:43:01
That’s nice

[Tim Tompkins] 12:43:14
Forward, is We’re Heading into a time, now where there’s going to be incredible economic and Fiscal stress on Cities, and we already know that there’s tremendous stress in terms of the Experience of the public Spaces who and what were the entities it really made a difference several Decades.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:43:30
ago when we were in a similar you know existential question about whether cities could survive.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:43:36
They were these place, making entities and it was in Toronto 50 years ago that Via’s were invented a critical tool that actually had sustainable finance, a many public space waterfront and park entities ngos were critical collaborators, and network creators, that made one size.

[Tim Tompkins] 12:43:55
fits, all government work, better at the local and neighborhood level, building the trust that is, that we have seen is often so absent, but what we don’t have is a really systematic policy and for philosophical, legal financial and regulatory.

[Bruce Katz] 12:44:06

[Tim Tompkins] 12:44:12
Approach, to how those partnerships and collaborations at the local level can be supported and catalyzed and and funded in a sustainable, way that works not just in prosperous downtowns and Center cities but in Lower-income Areas, as Well There’s a Lot.

[Bruce Katz] 12:44:18

[Tim Tompkins] 12:44:28
Of work to be done in that. Bruce is led much of that research, talking about hyper, local government, but there’s a lot more work to be done

[Bruce Katz] 12:44:31

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:44:39
Great thank you, Tim. It was excellent I know we have about 5 min off.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:44:45
Maybe a little bit over 5 min before I pass it over to Mary at that.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:44:50
Maybe we can use a lightning round of 45 to seconds, to a minute to it for a panelists want to respond to other to what other panelists have, said, and maybe Kate I can start with you, because you, had you had the luxury, of listening to folks, respond to you and so it’d, be.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:45:05
Great to hear what you would. If there’s any reflections from what the panel has said

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:45:09
Well did both interesting and a bit overwhelming actually hearing.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:45:12
We all have various vantage points, and that’s true of everyone broadly participating in the call as Well and are seeing different problems emerging.

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:45:20
And so it feels like a very very long list of things that need very, very urgent attention, and you know many people talked about kind of the stresses and strengths that people are under and so figuring out how we collectively, rally what’s needed to solve these problems, we’re all in different places, and spaces, we’re

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:45:38
All aware of different challenges. And I think, if if one of the big Takeaways is that we have people have more power, than they think, they do to change the things, around them it is going to be I think an Exercise, really Digging deep so it’s, been interesting, here, the quite different Vantage points on what are some

[Kate Graham, PhD] 12:45:53
Of the Challenges, that We’re We’re left with now, What’s Needed and What’s, the role of each of us as citizens to try to make change in the Places where we are

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:46:03
Great thank you Alicia

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:46:07
Maybe similar to what Kate is saying. What strikes me is

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:46:12
I, actually, I think we mostly have shared vision when I talk to folks at least in the Bay area.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:46:18
When I talk to folks about what is it that we are trying to create this idea of a truly equitable, sustainable, thriving community is really commonly held we also oftentimes have at least the starting point the building blocks of what those policy interventions, need to be we know that we need

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:46:40
To be thinking about guaranteed income as an example.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:46:45
The the I think what we really need to be focusing our time.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:46:49
And I appreciate Bruce’s point about when nobody’s in charge.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:46:54
Nobody’s in charge, and also everybody’s in charge, and so the to Me, where we really need to be focusing our time is in building out those cross sector, relationships and I see this you know our community Foundations.

[Bruce Katz] 12:46:59

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:47:08
Are taking a leading role in working with grassroots organizations to get them ready for the money.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:47:15
That’s coming from the Federal Government, but it’s coming through the regional agencies, then passing through counties, and etc.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:47:22
And so for that whole ecosystem to work it has to be on a foundation of relationship, and a lot of that relationship building actually happened during the course of the Pandemic because it was forced to happen because we had to respond quickly and to to Kind of Keep this moving forward again, with a Relatively, shared

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:47:41
Vision, and with a pretty clear set of steps. it it does take that kind of coordinating all of the actors, and allowing each actor to play to their strengths, because there is such a huge spectrum, of Need Ranging from the physical public realm to the social to the more Existential you know Climate.

[Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR] 12:48:04
Impacts, etc. So that that’s kind of what I, what I’m reflecting on listening to everybody’s great points. Today.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:48:11
Great thank you, Alicia and Peter, what would you like to respond to any anything you heard from the panelists

[Peter Sloly] 12:48:18
I was just great great great interventions from everybody. I’ll go back to Graham, the Quote from Peter Wilson couldn’t agree more resilient Cities, Resilient Communities and Resilient individuals Families Within those communities are the best Crime Prevention, and Any Prevention, Effort, that We’re looking for

[Peter Sloly] 12:48:36
In terms, of health and social, determinative of health, outcomes, so I you know that for me resonated a lot it existed before the Pandemic, probably just came to you know, you know, pure clarity, as a result, of it the challenge though I just the other part I feared I

[Peter Sloly] 12:48:54
Heard the term money come up. I used it budgets and if this quickly becomes a zero-sum game, where we’re Trying to Grab every Last Dollar, that’s about to come from this latest, injection of Federal Cash, people way, wiser, than me have actually Tracked the

[Peter Sloly] 12:49:09
Funding. Certainly within Canada and there they are billions, and Billions of Dollars of the system more than enough to make the system, operate at a far, more Optimal level it’s a system itself, that’s Failing to operate optimally, not so much to funding and I know some people push back against

[Peter Sloly] 12:49:25
that probably somewhere in between is is the truth. You know. If we can work better together differently together with existing resources, we can do so much more, together for the people, that really need that and then when new, funds do come in because there are always needed we’ll do even better with those new funds

[Peter Sloly] 12:49:42
so I know nobody said it, but I just you know caution.

[Peter Sloly] 12:49:45
You know more money is not more. Anything, is not necessarily the solution.

[Peter Sloly] 12:49:49
For what we’re dealing with better working together is always going to be the most sustainable solution.

[Peter Sloly] 12:49:53
What we have, we’re facing.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:49:55
Thanks, Peter, I. I. I’m afraid we are out of time, for the other assumption of battle.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:50:03
So I I apologize for this, and I apologize tim Graham.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:50:06
You you did have your chance to weigh in a second time.

[Marcy Burchfield] 12:50:09
So Mayor, I’ll pass it over to you

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:50:10
Thanks, Mars, I listen. I such an interesting conversation. I want all afternoon with you.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:50:16
So if we just all go to the airport, we could meet somewhere.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:50:18
Maybe we’ll meet in Chicago and I’ll see you there for supper, the you know the thing about this conversation, I know it’s complex and I appreciate you only got a little bit of time to kind of highlight these things.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:50:28
But this is a bit of a buffet today, to just sort of start to identify what are the Gordian knots that we’re going to try to tackle collectively and I Appreciate each of you, suggesting that and this notion, that we double down on the local and then figure out.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:50:41
what, those collaborative relationships are we have to develop some good collaborative muscles in the crisis.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:50:46
Now we have to figure out how to keep those muscles going. Right?

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:50:48
So I I so appreciate that a number of you and listen, I know, your phone numbers, so we’re never Losing Drug of any of you because it’s such a vital conversation that We’re all in Together, and and you, all have different Perspectives, so I appreciate, that so thanks for taking the

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:51:02
Time, Alicia great to see, you hope you’re coming to Toronto soon soon.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:51:05
I hope so. Again. Graham, always important to hear the sectors perspective and the challenges that that spacing, Peter, we are looking forward a lot, to having you as a fellow, here and the whole, reimagining of of community safety because I think this is if That’s.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:51:19
Let’s hope that’s a legacy coming on Covid is that we need.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:51:22
We have to have a new lens on that Tim, you you’re right.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:51:26
Bia founded in Canada thanks for that little shout out downtowns and economies are critically linked as Bruce made very clear to us, it’s all About the economy.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:51:35
And jobs and now, we’ve got to deal with financially.

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:51:37
I appreciated Bruce your Litany of Fatigue and another thing, and you know what’s next Frogs, Pestilence, thank You for the shout-outs, that all of you, Provided to place making because that is the session we’re leading to now and how it really

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:51:51
Can start with places and people in places. You’re all in that business and we’re all about the physical and the social, and how the City means where people in place meet so Kate always, great to have you thanks to thanks always for your analysis, here and i’ll see you soon in 2,000 and

[Mary W Rowe, she/her, CUI/IUC] 12:52:07
23, the Work only gets going. It just gets better.


Full Audience
Chatroom Transcript

Note to reader: Chat comments have been edited for ease of readability. The text has not been edited for spelling or grammar. For questions or concerns, please contact with “Chat Comments” in the subject lin

From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

12:01:44 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Marcy Burchfield — Incoming Vice President, Transit Planning, Metrolinx, Toronto Marcy has worked at the forefront of regional planning for nearly two decades, influencing transportation, land use, and environmental and economic development policy; using a unique placed-based, data driven lens to understand metropolitan scale problems. She is a champion of regional collaboration and is respected for her ability to bring cross-sectoral stakeholders together. Prior to joining Metrolinx, Marcy was the Vice President of the Economic Blueprint Institute (EBI), a strategic initiative of the Toronto Region Board of Trade with a mandate to strengthen and influence its regional policy agenda through data driven insights. Marcy also led the Neptis Foundation think tank where she drove the conceptualization and development of the Neptis Geoweb, a unique web-based mapping and informatics tool used to inform engaged stakeholders and the public on complex policy matters.
12:01:54 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Kate Graham — Senior Advisor, Colliers, London Kate researches, writes, speaks and teaches about politics in Canada and supports municipal governments across the country in areas of governance, council-staff relations, decision-making and priority-setting. She holds a PhD in Political Science and teaches at Huron University College and Western University. Before entering academia, Kate spent a decade working in local government, most recently as the Director, Community & Economic Innovation at the City of London. She was the youngest member of the senior leadership team and received a Top 20 Under 40 award for her work in this role.  She is a three-time published book author including as co-author of the textbook, Local Government in Practice: Cases in Governance, Planning and Policy (2019). Kate is an active politico, including running for Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party in 2020 and leading the party’s platform in 2022.
12:02:06 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Alicia John-Baptiste — President and CEO, SPUR, San Francisco Alicia John-Baptiste is the president and CEO of SPUR. A seasoned leader and public policy professional, Alicia has over 20 years of experience reimagining systems to create better outcomes for people. Prior to her time at SPUR, Alicia developed deep appreciation for local government and its commitment to the collective good while serving in leadership roles for the City and County of San Francisco, most recently as Chief of Staff at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Locally and nationally recognized for her public policy expertise, inspirational perspective and creative approach to systems change, Alicia focuses her talents and experience on building shared dreams.
12:02:16 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
Welcome to this next panel, Making Better Cities
12:02:21 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Peter Sloly — Canadian Urban Institute Fellow, Ottawa Peter Sloly is the CEO of “Sloly Solutions Inc.” and is a “Visiting Fellow, Change Maker in Residence” at University of Toronto’s Massey College. Peter has enjoyed three very successful careers; a professional athlete, a Partner in a professional services firm; and as a police officer who served at every rank including police chief. Peter has an Master’s in Business Administration and is a graduate of the FBI’s “National Academy” and the Canadian Forces College “National Strategic Security Studies” program. Over the course of his working life, Peter has travelled to four continents and over forty countries, including two tours of duty in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo. Peter leverages his deep knowledge, vast experience, and broad network to provide trusted advice, impactful services, and thought leadership to help organizations achieve differentiated outcomes to build a safer, more inclusive, and more just society.
12:02:33 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Graham Singh — CEO, Trinity Centres Foundation, Montreal Graham is the founder and CEO of the Trinity Centres Foundation, a new Canadian charity established to transform 100 historic city centre church buildings into community hubs. TCF’s team of 50+ advisors from the social innovation, property finance, urbanism and faith sectors are currently developing what may become one of Canada’s most significant social purpose real estate investment offerings. Over the past 12 years, Graham has led four historic building and community renewal projects in the United Kingdom and Canada, including in his current role as Rector of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal’s recent church plant, St Jax Montreal. Graham also acts as a consultant in the area of social impact investing in the private wealth management sector. He is a regular speaker and author in areas of urbanism, social finance, heritage, adaptive re-use of churches and social purpose real estate.
12:02:44 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Tim Tompkins — Former President, Times Square Alliance, New York City Tim Tompkins has worked for over three decades to understand and improve cities, with an emphasis on neighborhood-driven economic development, place management, public art, and public-private partnerships. In 2022 he created SharedCitySharedSpace which nurtures the interaction of ideas, institutions, individuals and culture —through public, private and civic sector collaboration —to make more prosperous, vibrant and equitable cities. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. Tim was President of the Times Square Alliance, one of the nation’s pre-eminent Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), from 2002-2020. While at the Alliance, he created Times Square Arts, the first fully-staffed, full-time public art program by a BID in the nation. Tim was the Founding Director of the award-winning Partnerships for Parks and subsequently co-led Parks 2001.
12:06:09 From Karen DW To Everyone:
could someone please share the link to the survey?
12:06:17 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Bruce Katz — Director, Nowak Metro Finance Lab, Drexel University, Washington D.C. Bruce Katz is the Co-Founder and inaugural Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab. He regularly advises global, national, state, regional and municipal leaders on public reforms and private innovations that advance the well-being of metropolitan areas and their countries. He is the co-author of two books that focus on the rise of cities and city networks as the world’s leading problem solvers: The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism and The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy. Bruce was the inaugural Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution (2016-2018) where he focused on the challenges and opportunities of global urbanization. Prior to assuming this role, he was a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.
12:06:42 From Jennifer Barrett To Everyone:
12:07:05 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
If you would still like to submit your thoughts for this project, we’d love to hear from you.
12:07:25 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
^^ Karen DW: there’s the survey link.
12:07:54 From Karen DW To Everyone:
thank you
12:08:41 From Lanrick Bennett To Everyone:
#CovidIsntOver It is wild to think about 1000+ days of how our cities (and the people living, learning, working and trying to play in them) have handled Covid. Here comes the deep dive via Kate! Can we Build Back Better?
12:12:22 From Jared Kolb To Everyone:
Does ‘burnout’ fit within cracks becoming chasms or elsewhere? Anecdotally, of the three friends of mine who were ER nurses at the outset of the pandemic, each of them have switched to administrative or part time non ER roles…
12:13:55 From Robert Plitt To Everyone:
we accepted that we were in crises and manufactured responses – how can we maintain the collective awareness that we remain in crises? crises of equity, climate, housing, mobility, reconciliation, mental health, seniors care, etc.
12:14:18 From Downtown Halifax To Everyone:
Richard Florida says innovation always follows these sorts of crises. However, exhaustion is a very common thing – do people, org, govts have the energy to be innovative now?
12:15:50 From Kim Ryan To All Panelists:
Urbanized rural girl here- I want to live in distraction and connect with others who r challenged. Kids r suffering now. Lockdown were necessary but government can change and it is not as scary.
12:16:06 From Abby S To Everyone:
The energy against banning strikes in public sector did seem to not only create mobilization but changed the course of legislation. I hope the same efforts will continue. It seems focused issues create more energy than generalized problems which are so hard to focus on.
12:16:34 From Abby S To Everyone:
And where individuals feel impotent.
12:17:19 From Jared Kolb To Everyone:
Great point Abby about focused issues creating more issues than generalized problems especially as we exit 2022.
12:25:02 From Zahireen Tarefdar (CUI) To Everyone:
Further readings on the use of technology in criminal justice:
12:27:35 From Jennifer Barrett To Everyone:
I’ve always been struck that in many crises we reach out to people for help and we work collaboratively in physical proximity. But the risk of COVID as a public health crisis encouraged us to stay physically apart and this tendency may continue with WFH, less use of public transit, etc. This creates a risk that we have fewer opportunities to connect with people who are not like us, causing further social and economic separation.
12:28:21 From Lanrick Bennett To Everyone:
Policing, the actual Police Force within the urban context will be a particular battlefield going forward across Canada. Reimagine community safety is a tall order. Toronto had it’s awakening moment and the fixes will not be easy
12:29:08 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
Non-Profits Experience a Shortage of Volunteers in Summer 2022
12:29:29 From Zahireen Tarefdar (CUI) To Everyone:
I was just looking for that link Lanrick — thanks for sharing!
12:30:47 From Lanrick Bennett To Everyone:
12:31:17 From Jennifer Barrett To Everyone:
On the federal social finance fund:
12:33:06 From Lanrick Bennett To Everyone:
Graham Singh you need to write a book on utilizing Cultural Hubs. Churches and Libraries! Palaces for the People Part Two!
12:34:56 From Charles Ketchabaw To Everyone:
I would read that book!
12:37:12 From Graham Singh | To Everyone:
Lanrick/Charles/Rita, you are all very kind 🙂 Point taken! In the meantime, you may find this reading list to be helpful:
12:37:19 From Alex Tabascio (CUI) To Everyone:
Report on Financialized Landlords
12:37:28 From Kim Ryan To All Panelists:
It’s is the urbanization of population density and needs, but more single families homes push the demand of homeless population being pushed out of market, and all for high rises, in many cities. Many homes r being tore down, and condos built.
12:38:38 From robert barnard To Everyone:
I’d be keen to hear thoughts on the massive generational inequity in Canada that accelerated during Covid. Young people sacrificed 25% of their formative years for older generations. What have they received in return? Zero thanks, a housing and affordability crisis and being stuck on your bed as your office instead of in actual offices.
12:39:02 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
Bruce Katz writes an excellent newsletter about urban issues:
12:39:40 From LOCO BC To Everyone:
Curious what you think about how the financialization of housing affects businesses. Not only in terms of housing for workers but the impact on the cost of commercial spaces.
12:39:51 From Zahireen Tarefdar (CUI) To Everyone:
A 2020 deep dive on the financialization of housing, relevant to the US:
12:40:01 From Downtown Halifax To Everyone:
Go Tim!
12:40:24 From Zahireen Tarefdar (CUI) To Everyone:
A simple guide on the topic, more relevant to Canada:
12:40:37 From Downtown Halifax To Everyone:
Ed Glaesar would be a good future panelist. Have not heard him post-pandemic.
12:41:31 From Bruce Katz To Everyone:
We are also seeing the financialization of commercial corridors … changing the character of these areas as well
12:42:45 From Sherwin Lau To All Panelists:
The Financialization of creating suburban sprawls was documented in Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone book from the 2000s. When homebuyers don’t have stakes in long term community development, and only interest in short term holds, it creates rippling long term effects on social capital, civil society engagement, municipal affairs, and schools—something that all residents care about because it’s a RS price valuator.
12:44:42 From Bruce Katz To Everyone:
Here’s our research on parasitic capital // investor purchases of single family homes–
12:48:18 From Lorena Zárate To All Panelists:
yes! focusing on the many possible ‘how’ can help us addressing the many fundamental and urgent ‘what’ – we all know the multiple ‘why’, right?
12:50:05 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
Alicia John-Baptiste is President and CEO of SPUR. They just released an insightful report about impact of flexible work on downtowns:
12:50:17 From Nick Hanson (CUI) To Everyone:
Thanks to this session’s panellists:
• Marcy Burchfield—Incoming Vice President, Transit Planning, Metrolinx, Toronto
• Kate Graham—Senior Advisor, Colliers, London
• Alicia John-Baptiste—President and CEO, SPUR, San Francisco
• Bruce Katz—Director, Nowak Metro Finance Lab, Drexel University, Washington D.C.
• Peter Sloly—Canadian Urban Institute Fellow, Ottawa
• Graham Singh—CEO, Trinity Centres Foundation, Montreal
• Tim Tompkins—Principal, ShareCitySharedSpace, New York City
12:50:43 From Lorena Zárate To Everyone:
yes! focusing on the many possible ‘how’ can help us addressing the many fundamental and urgent ‘what’ – we all know the multiple ‘why’, right?
12:51:26 From Graham Singh | To Everyone:
My parting thoughts are that: there is a ‘social finance’ solution to some of these problems. How could we make sure that, in an ‘outcomes market’ we can properly define and measure the deliverables of local stakeholder engagement. This work is VALUABLE however we do not yet clarify the MARKET for it. The federal government is on the case for this and it’s a great place for us to lean into!! Thank you so much everyone!
12:52:29 From Carolyn Whitzman To Everyone:
Multiple crises (racism and anti-Indigenous violence, active and sustainable transit, public space, housing precarity and homelessness), hm, is it time to centre neo-liberalism as a barrier?