How Can Cities Respond to Climate Change?

Panellists discussed the tension between “slow” and “fast” climate solutions, the need to centre Indigenous knowledge, and the role that cities can play as climate convenors.

5 Key

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

1. Indigenous knowledge must be a part of climate resilience planning.

Through his work on the Adaptation Futures Conference‘s Science Committeeand as a writer, knowledge keeper and artistHetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) is connecting Indigenous knowledge to the climate adaptation planning world.

“Indigenous knowledge has been stereotyped and relegated to subjective matters, so people tend to think that the extent of it is just hunting and fishing,” said Huson. “But you can’t have civilizations for tens of thousands of years without having complex governance systems and very deep understandings of land. We’ve been having to adapt to severe drastic changes to our land in the past 150 years, so it would be a good opportunity to look at what we’ve done.”

2. The climate crisis is urgent, but the most effective solutions cannot be rushed.

Julius Lindsay is the Director of Sustainable Communities at the David Suzuki Foundation and co-founder of the Black Environmentalist Alliance, where he engages urban communities in climate solutionsparticularly those who are most impacted by the climate crisis’ harmful effects. He stressed the importance of long-term relationship building and intersectional analysis among leaders in the climate sector.

“We have this urgency of ‘We have 10 years left, so we have to do everything fast,’” explained Lindsay. “But if we continue to focus on those fast changes, it’s easy to implement a solution that doesn’t help everybody, and that pushes people more to the fringes.”

3. Cities can serve as powerful climate convenors.

As former mayor of Toronto, and now Managing Director of C40 Cities, David Miller knows first-hand the important role that cities can play in convening the private and public sectors towards climate action.

“Cities have the ability to use their bully pulpit to pull people and institutions together, to address the collective problem and help drive collective solutions,” said Miller. “For example, in Sydney and Melbourne, the cities do not have regulatory authority over electricity, but they’ve driven significant change by working with other large institutions like universities, hospitals, and other big energy consumers, to say to the private companies, ‘We’re not going to buy your electricity.’”

4. Our understanding of climate risk should include the entire ecosystem.

Huson encouraged viewers to broaden their understanding of climate mitigation beyond its impact on their city or community.

“Many municipalities or urban centres have created a little human bubble cut off from the rest of the world,” said Huson. “They only look at the infrastructure and sectors within the city, not thinking about the far-reaching impacts that they have on the consumption of materials coming into the city. Where is that concrete coming from? Where is the steel coming? What impact is this having on the land? Risk assessments typically focus on the impact to a city’s population or bottom line, but not on the broader ecosystem.”

5. Everyone has a role to play in uplifting climate solutions.

All panellists agreed that by working collectively, civic leaders and urban residents can support the implementation of effective climate solutions. Miller cited Oslo’s climate budget and Hydro-Quebec’s commitment to take natural gas out of buildings are strong policy examples, while Lindsay encouraged viewers to pass the mic and empower others to identify their own community-based solutions rather than imposing. “It’s not about ‘What do I do?’ or ‘What are the actions that I need to tell somebody to do?’” cautioned Lindsay.

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.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:00:44
Hello, welcome, everyone, we are right at the top of the Hour, and I’m really excited to be sitting in for my friend and colleague Mary Rowe to moderate this session today, on how can cities respond to climate change?

[Ewa Jackson] 12:01:04
Before I begin I of, course want to start today’s session with a very brief land, acknowledgement to honor, the Traditional settlers of this land, now we’re all logging in from different Parts, of this country so I’ll focus on where I am Located which

[Ewa Jackson] 12:01:21
Is in Toronto on the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit they have the Schnabe, the Chippewa the Hognoshoni and the Wendell, Peoples, I’m quite Honored that Akley

[Ewa Jackson] 12:01:34
Canada’s work happens across Turtle Island, which has traditionally been and is home to many diverse first nations Inuit and make Tea people since time immemorial and of course we Endeavor, to listen and learn from Indigenous peace, peoples, in the Process, of

[Ewa Jackson] 12:01:51
delivering our work, so as we start today’s session and I’ll introduce our panelists.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:02:01
Very shortly, I wanted to start by just acknowledging what an Exciting and Busy and maybe Overwhelming Time it’s been for climate in Canada And Internationally, and Even Cities and Communities, As A Focus, of that We’ve Just come Out of Cop 27 and Tremble

[Ewa Jackson] 12:02:22
Shake and I’m hoping one of our Presenters, Barbara will be able to share some thoughts on having attended we’ve just seen the release of the national adaptation Strategy and all the excitement and really I Meaningful work that went into Developing that Strategy, and I’m

[Ewa Jackson] 12:02:42
Hoping we’ll have a little bit of a conversation around how to get that Implemented as a collective.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:02:48
But I thought I’d use my 2 s of Introduction here to just mention some of the work that we’ve done in the last month in producing our building Adaptive and Resilient Communities Impact report some of you may know Akley, the Organization for which I Am Managing Director has been

[Ewa Jackson] 12:03:11
running a national campaign for cities and towns, around adaptation resilience, since 2,007 and We’ve seen Immense Growth, in the Work in that time We’ve also seen Unprecedented Impacts, from across the Country, most recently you know with Hurricane Fiona Out East and so We

[Ewa Jackson] 12:03:35
We took some time in developing that impact report to think, to reflect on what we’ve heard and delivering this work with Hundreds of communities big, and small across the Country and to set a vision for the future and I think for us, it.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:03:50
Goes without saying that we’ve set our sites on an inclusive and equitable, future, when it comes to climate action, and that’s another theme.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:03:58
I really hope that we can unpack a little bit as we move forward in our conversation today.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:04:04
So without further ado, I’ll invite today’s panelists to turn on their cameras.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:04:13
And join me in video, conversation, and I’ll just perhaps introduce you verbally and give you a chance for some very quick opening remarks on that theme and we’ll really Launch into the Conversational Nature of the City Talk, Series together.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:04:31
So I’ll start with the Presenter, The Panelist on my Right, which Is Barbara, Spartz and Truer She’s the Founding Executive Director of the Smart City’s Office at the City of Wealth So Barbara, a Couple of Minutes Over to you

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:04:44
Oh, thank you so much. I’ll I’ll spend my opening minutes just reflecting on my experience at Cop.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:04:52
It was. It was my first time there, so bit of a no, a lot of a newbie, and but I used it as a opportunity to kind of look at it, through maybe rose colored glasses I didn’t you know I Wasn’t thinking About what actually came out of it at the end in Terms, of

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:05:08
High-level negotiations, and I turned a bit of a blind eye to the corporate Lobbying and positioning and and so it it really opened up a world to me about the literally millions and I don’t think, that’s an under estimation of the efforts that are

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:05:26
Underway, by subnational governments, by civil society, groups, by individuals, by youth, by indigenous people’s, the rich and diverse and varied responses to climate, action were just incredible to see and an incredibly, inspiring, it, was billed as a implementation, cop but many people felt that it was

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:05:49
Moving away a bit from mitigation, and keeping the 1.5 degrees alive to adaptation strategies, which I think, is certainly an important part of the Conversation, We’re Gonna have today, about the role of Cities.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:06:04
In the intersectional issues of inequality.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:06:08
You know, got somewhat beginning addressed through the Loss and Damage Compensation.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:06:15
That was program that was started there, but really there was a tremendous discussion.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:06:22
About how do we do this inclusive just transition to a new clean economy.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:06:27
Certainly cities, and local governments were at the forefront, and for the first time, egg, agriculture, and food, which is important certainly to Us.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:06:38
And many people in terms of their economic systems had a stronger focus and the circular economy so I’ll I’ll stop there.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:06:47
And look at the conversation.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:06:48
Yeah, thanks. So much Barbara excited to have you? I wonder, bread, if that’s a nice segue to you picking up on Barbara’s comments around adaptation and I know brett That’s a Key part of the work, You’re doing so before giving you the

[Ewa Jackson] 12:07:02
Floor Brett Houston is a friend and it gets an author knowledge keeper, an artist based in Winnipeg.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:07:10
So over to you, Brett, for an introduction.

[Brett Huson] 12:07:13
A healer, good morning, had to Schedule why, my name is Hathum’s get many people know me by my government name Brt Houston assume you get good morning Honorable men, honorable women and everyone else, of Vulnerable birth I, come, from the Territory, of the

[Brett Huson] 12:07:38
Caribbean, I will be good, with which we I come from the house of the white Owl I’m originally from the Northwest, Interior of What Settlers, now call British Columbia, I’m from Gitson Territory, so I Work now with the University of

[Brett Huson] 12:07:54
Winnipeg at the Prairie Climate Center. I’m a Research associate there, and as Well as an author.

[Brett Huson] 12:07:58
I am a member of the Science Committee for adaptation futures, which is an adaptation conference that’ll be happening next year in Montreal, so a lot of my Work is very focused on connecting Indigenous knowledge is into the Adaptation planning world you know looking

[Brett Huson] 12:08:15
at what indigenous knowledge is, are, and kind of translating what those into that information can be for people who are planners.

[Brett Huson] 12:08:23
So typically a lot of times, our knowledge systems have been stereotyped and relegated to subjective matter and one of the kind of weaknesses with that is that you know people tend to think, that are the extent of our knowledge is just about hunting and fishing but you can’t have complex

[Brett Huson] 12:08:41
civilizations for Tens of Thousands of years, on Territories, without having complex governance, systems, and understandings of the and very Deep Understandings of land.

[Brett Huson] 12:08:49
So my hope is to look at utilizing these knowledge, to help change human behavior.

[Brett Huson] 12:08:54
That’s happened now, because now you have a lot of people looking at climate anxiety.

[Brett Huson] 12:08:59
Something that we have been going through for a couple of 100 years, and so a lot of the ways that we have been adapting ourselves.

[Brett Huson] 12:09:08
We’ve been having to adapt to severe drastic changes, to our land in the past 150 years.

[Brett Huson] 12:09:15
So it would be a good opportunity. To look at what we’ve done to be able to adapt.

[Brett Huson] 12:09:21
Because people are now seeing having to do the same with the lens they are now on so that’s kind of where I want to bring the intersectionality between what we know to help people adapting where they’re living, now which is on the lands we’ve been on for Tens.

[Brett Huson] 12:09:38
of thousands of years.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:09:39
Thanks. Thanks so much Brett, I love this idea of Weaving knowledge systems together.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:09:46
So I am really excited for our Conversation Julius. I’ll ask you to unmute, your microphone and I’ll introduce you, Julius Lindsay, is a Director of Sustainable communities, with the David Suzuki Foundation and He’s Based here, in Toronto.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:10:01
Thanks eva I yeah, I’m also located in dishwasher, oneoon, Territory and a lot of what I was thinking about when we were conceiving this Talk, and and with your Introduction, is around Engaging people in this Conversation and and community Specifically, but also the people

[Julius Lindsay] 12:10:27
That live within communities within cities, within, towns, and

[Julius Lindsay] 12:10:33
I for the sort of context, for the audience I’ve been at the foundation for about a year, and I spent the city the 10 years before that in cities, leading the development of climate change plans and so I was referred to myself as a Recovering Public Servant, and and so a lot of my Interest

[Julius Lindsay] 12:10:50
Is how to bring people together within communities to do this work to to to hate climate action, and

[Julius Lindsay] 12:11:00
I think we spend a lot of time, trying to get government to do that.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:11:02
But there’s lots that people within communities can do.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:11:06
And and and I think it’s really important to connect to the various parts of communities in in that transition.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:11:13
And then doing that work, because ensuring that all parts of the community and all peoples who live within those communities, especially marginalized in the most Affected by Climate, Change, are included in that Conversation, are included are included in the solutions that are being proposed is a really important Part of that but also

[Julius Lindsay] 12:11:34
Just the you know intersectionality has been mentioned here, and also Multi, like the multidisciplinary Nature of Climate, solutions, is really important as well.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:11:43
And so bringing many voices to the table and and to build solutions is a really important part of this Work. As well, so i’ll stop there

[Ewa Jackson] 12:11:54
Yeah, thank you, Julius, this idea of small sea cities, cities more than just local governments.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:11:58
But the things that make them up, and the people that make them up.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:12:01
I think is a really important one that we can unpack today.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:12:04
I think you’ve teed up our Last Panelist, who may also classify himself, as a Recovering Public Servant, quite Nicely, David Miller of Course for many Needs, no Introduction, but is now the Managing Director with C 40 Center for City Climate Policy, and Economy David over to you

[David Miller] 12:12:24
Thanks. very much, and thanks for the opportunity to be here today, and for the Canadian Urban Institute for Organizing this very interesting Panel I’m Looking Forward to the Conversation and I’m also here in the Traditional Territories, of the Mississippi itself, the Credit and want to

[David Miller] 12:12:45
Acknowledge their presence, stewardship, and leadership over many centuries.

[David Miller] 12:12:53
I guess 2 things, just from introduction. Perspective. The first is that I was not at this call.

[David Miller] 12:13:01
However, I have been to several, to Glasgow Cop, 26, Paris, Cough, 21, and Copenhagen, Cop.

[David Miller] 12:13:11
15, all of which were transformative cops in in different ways, and I different roles at each but it’s clear from this cop, and from the fact, that this is the 20 eighth year that national governments, have come together, to discuss the issue of Climate change that the process Fundally is a

[David Miller] 12:13:37
Failure. Yes, there has been progress. Paris was important. It was important in Egypt, this year, that national governments acknowledged loss, and damage, but when we think about the urgency of addressing climate change the science, tells us we have to have overall global Emissions, by

[David Miller] 12:14:00
Twenty-thirty, that is 7 years and if we’re gonna achieve that goal, it means we need to do everything that is possible today, we’re not going to invent our way out of this by technologies that might arrive 1020 30 years, from now, we need to act today, and the

[David Miller] 12:14:20
Consequences of not keeping within 1.5 or severe, as we can already begin to see from Canada’s, Arctic second, point.

[David Miller] 12:14:27
I want to make is that from my perspective, given the structural challenges with international negotiations, and the Structural Challenges, essentially the Negotiations have to be built around Consensus, so when Promised to Harper was in Canada at Cop 15 the Canadian Government Systematically, put

[Ewa Jackson] 12:14:31

[David Miller] 12:14:52
Brackets, around words all over the agreements, just to delay things.

[David Miller] 12:14:55
That’s what you can do. And there’ll always be somebody like that that’s acting on the instigation of the oil industry to delay.

[David Miller] 12:15:04
Given that structural problem, what’s the alternative well, if we are gonna do everything that’s possible, over the next 7 years to dramatically reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions caused by the use of Fossil, Fuels, we have to look to where the solutions are and from my

[David Miller] 12:15:21
Perspective, the real actions are happening in cities, perhaps not enough, not enough at scale.

[David Miller] 12:15:28
Certainly otherwise, would be on a different path. But the solutions are to be found there, and I look forward to today’s conversation about how we find those solutions, how we ensure they’re inclusive how we learn from Traditional knowledge not just science and how we work together, to really expedite the solutions.

[David Miller] 12:15:47
Because if we don’t the consequences are real and extremely serious.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:15:51
So it sounds like familiar from your opening remarks that were We’re coming at this issue from a number of perspectives all of which though speak, to the need for more action increased action, and a different Way, of taking Action from within Cities, so perhaps we can pick up on something Barbara that you started at the

[Ewa Jackson] 12:16:15
beginning of your Marxist idea of Implementation and David of course you carried that forward that there is some happening at perhaps not at Scale or not commensurate with the level of Action, Required from the Scientific, Community, and from the Impacts We’re, Seeing, I Wonder, if Somebody would like to Kind of Pick up on this Narrative, of how

[Ewa Jackson] 12:16:35
can we how can we keep that implementation, moving further, faster, given the the timelines given to us from the scientific, community, and from the targets set by our own communities and governments.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:16:54
Well, I just jump in on that. And but first I’ll say I got over excited to talk about cop and and just wanna acknowledge that I’m coming to you from the Traditional Territory.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:17:05
Of the Mississippi of the Credit, First Nation, and I just, I I I think I agree with David it it the urgency can only be matted at a local Regional Level and cities, Working with Communities, working with business Working with Researchers, Indigenous groups people, that for a long Time

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:17:31
Have understood what the impact and the Urgency is.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:17:36
I I think that sees are doing a great job. And they’re really first responders, and but I I think there’s more that can be done in terms of using all the Levers at their disposal, basically economic focused levers in wealth we’re working on creating a circular economy, we’re focused

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:17:58
On the Agra food system, but it is a massive undertaking of so many leaders across all sectors, of our Community and working really hard to create space.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:18:10
And you know, center, Indigenous and marginalized voices, but that the ways in which you do that I think there’s more levers, that cities can use from percurement, to economic Development to urban, planning and they know how to do that they know how to do it

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:18:28
Fast they’re on the front line in terms of responding to to resident and Citizen needs.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:18:36
And so I think there’s more. But they definitely need the support and policy levers, the private sector, finance, but really think it has to be done at the local, level.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:18:48
What of the things that struck me from Brett and Julius.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:18:53
Your comments was

[Ewa Jackson] 12:18:57
Thinking, about the issue of Intersectionality and climate, that is a slow moving process, that is a systems, change, we’re addressing, systemic crises.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:19:09
Related to you know colonialism and reconciliation as well as racism and equity.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:19:14
How can we balance the need for speed and action and implementation?

[Ewa Jackson] 12:19:18
With these kind of systemic problems that need to be addressed.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:19:24
But are not they cannot be addressed transactionly, I wonder if you have thoughts on kind of that that tension, or the way I perceive it anyway, attention

[Brett Huson] 12:19:35
Well, I I think one of the the biggest components that we have to look at right.

[Brett Huson] 12:19:40
Now is just, the the tokenism of I I would say like the indigenous way of life.

[Brett Huson] 12:19:47
You know, like even the term you seeing traditional knowledge is so you’re a centric term, that places the time period on a knowledge system that has never stopped.

[Brett Huson] 12:19:57
We have constantly evolved, and we have constantly adapted throughout thousands of years.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:03
So our knowledge systems are now their current, I’m a representation of that there are many young people, younger than me, who are representations of that that are doing the same thing that I’m doing one of the unique opportunities.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:14
That we have in this era is looking at social media.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:17
So a lot of people find that that could be a risk.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:21
But the only ones that find that at risk are the ones who have to listen to those of us, who are having a voice.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:28
Finally, so it’s a change of the systems through who the people are actually listening to.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:33
And this goes not even to just the indigenous communities.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:36
But you look at the the communities that are at risk. So there’s a lot of talk about how to put the onus on to civilians, about climate change and how they’re recycling and what they’re consuming and but you look at the what is put in Front, of people the cheapest.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:52
Foods, for low-income communities are the most garbage or wasteful types of Foods.

[Brett Huson] 12:20:57
The Most healthy and and what the the Foods that Provide well, being for everyone, are the most expensive so the system is set up for industrialization of Con of consumption, and this Doesn’t allow for people to even have the ability to consider climate, change and adaptation so when we want to

[Brett Huson] 12:21:18
Mobilize people, we need more people to be able to do things like vote in different policies, or voting, whatever it may be.

[Brett Huson] 12:21:27
But a lot of those people can’t take the time to consider that because they’re just trying to survive.

[Brett Huson] 12:21:32
So there’s a lot of themes that are disconnected.

[Brett Huson] 12:21:35
There’s a great ideals out there for people to say.

[Brett Huson] 12:21:38
Oh, we can do this this and this if we just, get more people on board, but you look at what people are having to do.

[Brett Huson] 12:21:43
Now There’s less and Less, middle class. It’s really kind of hampering.

[Brett Huson] 12:21:49
What people are able to do in urban centers.

[Brett Huson] 12:21:51
So a lot of the organizations that I volunteer with are trying to work with that risk communities, and we’re trying to help them.

[Brett Huson] 12:21:59
Consider a more environmental way of doing things. But a lot of them are just surviving.

[Brett Huson] 12:22:05
And if you look at the talk about infrastructure and stuff like that you have large urban centers getting water from where indigenous communities are like here in Winnipeg, at show like 40 and there are many communities across the country, that don’t even have clean drinking water.

[Brett Huson] 12:22:21
So there’s a lot of consideration needs to be taken taken in, not just from indigenous communities, but all of the communities that are at risk.

[Brett Huson] 12:22:29
Because that would enable us to have overall human change and behavior cause.

[Brett Huson] 12:22:34
That’s what’s causing it. The climate change is a symptom of human behavior.

[Brett Huson] 12:22:39
And that’s one of the things. We have to look at changing

[Julius Lindsay] 12:22:42
I would just add to that that Those are all amazing points, and I just I would just add to that that that’s where that slow for me, that’s lower versus fast tension, comes in because I think a lot, of these issues when you talk about poverty when you talk about racism when

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:00
you talk a lot about a lot of these issues. There, there’s a slow and a fast component to it.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:04
There is the slow, component of systems, change and relationship change.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:09
But there’s also the fast component of addressing issues, as they may rise or things that are can be done.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:13
Now and I think within the climate movement. We have this urgency of like oh, we have 10 years left.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:20
So we have to do everything. When there is a slow and a fast component, so that’s not to say that neither one has to take president over others.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:28
But I think it’s really a a a both end and and I think we we traditionally, have spent a lot of time around the fast component of this work, and not spent the time on the slow component and I think part of the reason, why I Personally I think intersectionality.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:46
Is so important is because it’s going to connect us to the other symptoms of the systems that are breaking.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:52
That is causing climate, change and causing other challenges within our within our world.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:23:57
And so we have to make those connections. To those systems, to the changes that we need to the relationships and need to be built to the social ills that that manifested many different ways, including you know people, more affected, by climate change including people, more affected by poverty including people, not having clean

[Julius Lindsay] 12:24:15
Drinking water. Because if we continue to focus just on those fast changes or on the the urgency, then we will never address those those underlying issues that are causing some of these things, and and the the drawing connections between those various movements between those various issues there’s, been a lot of work done

[Julius Lindsay] 12:24:35
In that area, and it is quite simple in in some ways.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:24:40
And so drying those connections will will also make those solutions more robust, because we’re going to think about all the ways in which the systems that that govern, our world, are creating, these sort of challenges, within our communities, and I think that’s, a really important, part of implementation because it’s.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:24:58
Easy to implement a solution that doesn’t help everybody that that pushes people.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:25:05
More to the to the Fringes. And if we don’t understand how our systems are pushing people, to fringes, then we can never prevent those solutions that are that that Reside.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:25:15
Within, that system, to keep to push people to those margins.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:25:20
So, if we think then around these solutions, and kind of the city role in this, obviously there’s many levers that cities can use or action mechanisms, right land use different policies, Bylaws workforce development leadership, at a political or an Elected level, but there are limits, in those mandates or

[Ewa Jackson] 12:25:41
tools, I’m Wondering if the Panel could reflect a little bit on how other sectors can support implementation and action at the local level and that could be private actors, academic institutions, civil society, not for Profit to help Complement those Tools, or Levers that cities, might have David can I Offer

[Ewa Jackson] 12:26:06
that to you.

[David Miller] 12:26:06
Yeah, I I’ve got a few thoughts on that. And I I wanna start with, with, Brett and Julius’s interventions.

[David Miller] 12:26:15
Which I don’t wanna oversimplify.

[David Miller] 12:26:19
But I think speak to the necessity of everyone having a real say over the decisions that are affecting their lives.

[David Miller] 12:26:31
And in the context of Climate what this means to me is that the best practices in some of the world’s, but he goes cities, like Los Angeles, for example, to Ensure that when the city develops a climate plan that everybody is engaged, in developing it and that way, the plan has the potential and

[David Miller] 12:26:55
Then Los Angeles is case. So I think met that potential to actually make the needs of the different

[David Miller] 12:27:03
Neighborhoods, groups of people, other constituencies. And that’s really important.

[David Miller] 12:27:08
And to me, that’s the slow part which is about what I would call engagement.

[David Miller] 12:27:14
It’s not about conceptations, but recognizing that people have a right to a real say over the decisions that affect their lives, that’s, a broader principle than climate but if you start with that from climate you can actually reach quite different conclusions than you might if you had a top down strategy and you have a more

[David Miller] 12:27:30
robust, plan. And that’s important, secondly, because climate change is a collective problem that needs to be solved by collective actions, and many of the things We need to do aren’t things.

[David Miller] 12:27:44
That our person is going to do, or 3, 2, yeah, Brett and I may agree that we shouldn’t use electricity, from coal fired power plants, but we don’t have the individual ability, as individuals, to shut them, down that’s, something that needs to be done collectively, through our governments.

[David Miller] 12:28:03
And I I think what cities, of all sizes actually particularly the Mayor.

[David Miller] 12:28:11
But when Supported by Council have the ability to do is use their bully Pulpit to pull people together and institutions together, to address the Collective, Problem and Help Drive collective solutions so for example in Sydney, and Melbourne Australia the cities, do not have Regulatory, authority.

[David Miller] 12:28:33
Over electricity. They do not own their utilities, but they’ve driven significant change by working with other large institutions.

[David Miller] 12:28:44
In those cities, like universities, hospitals, and other big energy consumers, to say to the private companies, We’re not going to buy your electricity.

[David Miller] 12:28:52
Unless it’s clean and that use of the Bully Pulp.

[David Miller] 12:28:58
That is really powerful. I’ll give you a second example.

[David Miller] 12:29:01
London and New York Work together, starting but just 7 years ago, on the issue of Investment and They’ve been quite a big investment movement which was not very successful trying to stop the Investment, by large institutions Pension Funds, Etc in Fossil Fuels, Modeled on what People, my

[David Miller] 12:29:23
Age, protested about about South Africa, which was effective and New York, in London, as cities, through their Mayors agreed to divest their pension plans from investments in Fossil fuels, those the 2 largest financial, hubs, in the World at least arguably that

[David Miller] 12:29:46
Unlocked action on Divestment all over the Place, even the University of Toronto, very Conservative institution.

[David Miller] 12:29:53
Finally great to the best. It’s Pension fund. So I think that bully pulpit’s really important.

[David Miller] 12:29:58
And so is uniquely place to bring people together, not just at the individual people level, but the private sector, institutions and others, to express the urgency but to do that in an inclusive way, and to me that’s that’s, where the hope should be with that kind of bully

[David Miller] 12:30:19
Pulpit, leadership, provoking, really important actions.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:30:26
That convening power, if it strikes me, is also another really important tool in addressing what we’ve been calling the slow Portion of the equation Right to ensure that the the right Voices, and historically, marginalized Voices, are Front and Center at that convening or the Connection, power that Cities.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:30:51
Can play.

[David Miller] 12:30:52
Yes, agree disempowered Voices, whether today or historically, needs to be given a priority to be at the table, and sorry.

[David Miller] 12:30:59
I don’t want to Dominate this conversation, but I missed 1 point, climate change is caused by the rich caused by the rich within countries and between countries.

[David Miller] 12:31:07
It’s a problem caused by the very richest people in the history of human civilization.

[David Miller] 12:31:13
So it’s wrong that the burden of solving it should be on those who are out of power, and that’s why it’s so critical that they that people, be at the table, to develop the strategies, to solve the problem, caused by the rich, which is having the biggest impact on the least well, off certainly

[David Miller] 12:31:35
globally, and also within cities, and

[Ewa Jackson] 12:31:39
Any other reflections on the role of non City Actors in supporting kind of community Action, or small c, city action on climate, change.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:31:51
I was gonna add that and I liked David’s point about cities being conveners.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:31:59
But I also think the other way is is is possible.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:32:04
As well, of 30 actors, connecting to each other, and the city being conduit of growing, that or bringing it to scale or supporting that the example that I use is when I was working in Mississippi the Cement Plant in the city was looking at how to Build it the lack of better term, a

[Julius Lindsay] 12:32:25
Hydrogen, ecosystem within the city, that they had very cheap electricity, rates of their a large Consumer in Ontario, and so they could use that to produce hydrogen that would help Decarbonize, the City’s Bus, Sleep the City’s Taxi

[Julius Lindsay] 12:32:42
Fleet, I would give access to normal people to have hydrogen and that was sort of something that they had done on their own but the city was a key part of sort of bringing that to scale, and making it financially Viable.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:32:55
And so I think it’s really important, not only for the city, but for others.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:32:59
Within cities, and companies, that small c part to connect around creating solutions in their in their neighborhoods, in their cities, in their regions, etc., etc.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:33:11
I’ve had conversations with folks in the Social Sector around Community Resiliency and like creating that at a very local level, like how does a building build, a community resilience plan for itself, like a building power, like we have in toronto because many of those people are tenants the many of them are

[Julius Lindsay] 12:33:28
Low income. Some of them are disabled or living with other

[Julius Lindsay] 12:33:33
Other equity, challenges and but also. Those people know each other the best, because they’re in the building together, and so how can how can those types of plans be created at that hyper local, level for people, to support each other, because the knowledge is there a city will never have the knowledge will never have really good knowledge of

[Julius Lindsay] 12:33:52
What’s, going on in every community, within, their city, and so part of that is passing that power to those people in those communities passing that power to the people who live in certain areas you know passing the mic, as I heard one of my colleagues say it on another panel to be able

[Julius Lindsay] 12:34:07
To empower people to be able to do those things in those places, and so

[Julius Lindsay] 12:34:14
I think it’s connect creating those connections among companies, among different actors.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:34:20
And as I said earlier in the Conversation, You’re gonna get really interesting, innovative robust solutions. by bringing these various actors together

[Ewa Jackson] 12:34:30
It almost sounds serious. If I can put words in your mouth, to almost get out of the way of that innovation.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:34:36
Sometimes right to convene it, but then let that magic happen without you, as the holder of that pen

[Julius Lindsay] 12:34:44
And I think that’s a key part of this as we’ve been seeing the slow part of this is that you know you don’t know.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:34:50
Now who might get together and build a solution that will you know accelerate carbon action in your city, like I would have never.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:34:59
If I was thinking about hydrogen I would have never thought of our cement plant within our city, but they were a catalyst, because it served different purposes for their business plan, and so I think it’s, really important for those relationships, to happen and they were Partnering with Another company, that a few

[Julius Lindsay] 12:35:15
other companies from that were working on hydrogen and so like part of it is just creating the space for those people get together and have those conversations and come up with solution and that’s a real that’s a part of the getting out of the way but part of that Slow work of building Relationships and for

[Julius Lindsay] 12:35:29
people getting to know each other, and this is part of the reason why hearing for marginalized voices, hearing from marginalized communities is so important.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:35:38
Because those people may have solutions and ways of looking at the problem that you know the dominant majority, and those in the know do not have and may never come up with and so, if we don’t create those kind of creative collisions we’ll never get those solutions, and so I think that’s a

[Julius Lindsay] 12:35:52
really important part of this work

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:35:54
Yeah, I, just if I can want to jump in, because that’s entirely our experience in Gulf Wellington, because we won the smart C, challenge we’re able to take that funding from the Federal government, and channel it into the community and Support Tables.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:36:10
Of Cross, Sectoral, leaders and citizens who wanted to take action.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:36:17
So we spend it. The slow part is we spend probably 18 months creating a shared vision, and very clear objectives and that’s the hard long slogging work to get all of the sectors.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:36:29
Working together, but the city, I think the city has to get out of the way.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:36:32
But there’s a continuing role to be a convener catalyst, and to create that platform, because that convening connecting work takes a lot of time and city, has the city’s Definitely have the Resources To Be able To Support all of those organizations, University, business, Sector, to come together and

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:36:54
And now the benefit of taking that slower approach is that there are over 60 projects underway within our key we partnered with the County of Wellington, because I think a lot of these solutions have to be urban rural connected to the Surrounding Ecosystem we could never

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:37:13
Be doing this work could never the city by itself could never have had the capacity to create 60 projects that are really changing the economic and social system towards that shared vision that the community developed over time it’s not.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:37:29
Perfect. But it’s incredibly amazing and I think we need new models of how you, Might, as of leadership, and Delivery, how cities and communities work together, particularly in the area of climate Change.

[Brett Huson] 12:37:43
You know, one of the things that I I kind of keep thinking about when you know we talk about looking at an urban centre any municipality of any size, really talking about Connecting to different voices, I think about the things that cannot speak for themselves as well, and one of the things

[Brett Huson] 12:38:04
that any Municipalities or urban centers has done.

[Brett Huson] 12:38:09
Is they’ve created a little human bubble that they have cut off from the rest of the world.

[Brett Huson] 12:38:14
They only looked at the infrastructure, and the sectors, as they are within the urban center, not really thinking about the far-reaching impacts, that they have on the consumption, with the Consumption of the stuff, that comes into the city and so you look at everything, from you know where the Water is

[Brett Huson] 12:38:33
coming from, but also the things that are imported, you know everything that a city does has far reaching impacts on the land and they have to start really taking into consideration what is actually being consumed.

[Brett Huson] 12:38:47
Within the City new building projects. Where is that concrete coming from whereas, the steel coming from where is the timber coming from what kind of impacts are you having on the land for what you are doing so you know looking at what in indigenous perspectives are and not just indigenous there’s a

[Brett Huson] 12:39:05
Plural versus perspectives out there that can help kind of round out the visions, that we can have to better the future for people.

[Brett Huson] 12:39:13
And I think, urban centers need to start to plan for the land and not for humans.

[Brett Huson] 12:39:18
So, as you look as an example, risk assessments typically are done.

[Brett Huson] 12:39:25
How is this gonna impact the bottom line how is this going to impact us.

[Brett Huson] 12:39:27
But not how is it gonna impact the ecosystem to the smallest degree even to like a fungus.

[Brett Huson] 12:39:34
You know how’s it going to impact this fungus, not knowing that this fungus is what connects everything nearby which provides, the clean air, and the water that you drink so there are far reaching things, that can impact other communities, so as an example, here, in winnipeg, they have floodways with

[Brett Huson] 12:39:52
Increased extreme weather. They’re going to have floods and those floods.

[Brett Huson] 12:39:55
They have to go somewhere so they open the floodways, they flight. Other communities in particular they’ve been fighting first nations, communities, and and these are the things that impact, everyone so I think one of the the changes that need to happen within the system is not just the voices, of the people, but the voices of the

[Brett Huson] 12:40:13
Land itself who can speak for the land you know a lot of the assessments that are done are typically based on how they will impact people only but I think they need to kind of go to how can we how are we impacting everything like even the Far reaching Impacts.

[Brett Huson] 12:40:29
You know a lot of stuff that develop new cities and infrastructures come from far-off places.

[Brett Huson] 12:40:35
So I think they’re just kind of needs to be a a greater assessment, because that’s gonna change.

[Brett Huson] 12:40:41
What we, the impacts, that we are having are leaving on the land itself, not just from carbon footprint perspective, but everything the carbon, footprint idea is okay, but it’s not enough it’s just a very small minute, stepping point and there, has to be a larger greater Scale of

[Brett Huson] 12:41:00
Assessment, taken into taking into account

[Ewa Jackson] 12:41:03
Yeah. Broadening that understanding of risk really to kind of ecosystem-wide risks.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:41:12
Which is what I think. You’re referring to as well, as kind of social health and well-being risks.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:41:19
Asset risks and financial risk. I think, will allow us to identify solutions, that pursue multiple benefits, right?

[Ewa Jackson] 12:41:28
It’ll diversify the types of things. We are designing to prevent that risk and we’re seeing a lot of that conversation emerge around you know nature-based solutions that can provide ecosystem benefits if Done, well and properly, and considering Biodiversity, in Human

[Ewa Jackson] 12:41:44
Health and Ecosystem, Health from Solutions, that Focus on Asset management.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:41:51
There was a question that came into the chat, that kind of echoed.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:41:54
This idea of solutions, and I thought I’d ask our panelists, this question, where the Attendee is asking during the conversation, can the Panelists summarize the various actions Policies that Cities can Implement for Adaptation, Mitigation in particular what are the ones that are being shown to be most

[Ewa Jackson] 12:42:16
Effective. So I wonder if anybody would like to take a stab of just one or 2 things that they’ve heard of seen Firsthand. David.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:42:24
You had a couple in your opening remarks from Sydney and elsewhere that could be replicated across our country, and more and brought more broadly

[David Miller] 12:42:33
Yeah, I can I can give a few I guess just first, before I do it that’s Brett’s point about the connection to a land of nature is very powerful one and I think a lot.

[David Miller] 12:42:44
More needs to be done on that Toronto has done good work about thinking about water on a watershed basis which is really, important but it’s not.

[David Miller] 12:42:53
It’s sorry somewhere. It’s just water. It’s not thinking about the other thing.

[David Miller] 12:42:56
So the Brett talked about so I I think it was very thoughtful.

[David Miller] 12:43:00
Point, and I agree with that. what are the leading cities?

[David Miller] 12:43:03
Doing Well, First of all you need a carbon inventory, where the emissions coming from beyond, just, the city, everybody, the whole Geographic Area, typically that’s transportation.

[David Miller] 12:43:14
How we heat and cool buildings, and how we build them, how we manage waste and I would generate electricity.

[David Miller] 12:43:21
And there are really interesting examples of actions, from climate. Plans that have been built in an inclusive way, in all of those areas.

[David Miller] 12:43:32
And I’ll just give a couple because they’re They’re timely and topical.

[David Miller] 12:43:36
The first is what Oslo is doing within the area that it controls.

[David Miller] 12:43:41
So it has a climate plan for Oslo Geographic Area Assuming all Sorts of actions.

[David Miller] 12:43:46
By the private sector, but that’s important, because nobody else can do that.

[David Miller] 12:43:51
So there’s saying, here’s what has to be done in this geographic, area, for its part, the city is developing a climate budget, not just a city budget.

[David Miller] 12:44:00
So if you want to build a new curling rink, and I want all those great Norwegian curlers in those fabulous trousers have a new place to curl, you have to have an allocation.

[David Miller] 12:44:11
Of Carbon as well, not just money, and to me, that’s one of the most important things that city governments are doing.

[David Miller] 12:44:19
Globally, because you can think about that being done by provincial and national governments in Canada, by the private, sector, by all of our institutions, what Amount of Carbon, if the world’s, going to stay to 1.5, Degrees, What’s, more or Less, our Allocation, and That’s, all

[David Miller] 12:44:34
We’ve got so your activities can’t admit more than that really positive.

[David Miller] 12:44:38
A second thing is, there’s been a been very difficult, particularly in the North American context.

[David Miller] 12:44:44
For various reasons, particularly, lobbying for Us. To Decarbonize buildings, new ones.

[David Miller] 12:44:49
There’s some potential things really happening, some good work, on energy, retrofits, but real decarbonizing, not quite, yet.

[David Miller] 12:44:56
Monsieur, all has announced a partnership with Hydro- Quebec to effectively take natural Gas out of Its Buildings, and that’s one of the things that I had in mind when I said you know It’s a Collective thing, That’s very hard for an Individual

[David Miller] 12:45:09
Tenant, in a 20, story residential rental apartment building in the middle of a city, to do in fact, impossible.

[David Miller] 12:45:17
But can be done through the Collective and that month Year Old Program if that sprayed quickly across Cities could be really instrumental in Lowering, the Living Costs for People Done Right and taking a significant Amount of Greenhouse Gases out of out of the Air

[Brett Huson] 12:45:39
Yeah, just one of the things that I think of, I attended this really great conference, recently called Livable Cities.

[Brett Huson] 12:45:47
And we had heard, a number of really great projects that were happening in on a municipality level.

[Brett Huson] 12:45:54
And I think one of those things is just thinking about the At-risk communities in particular.

[Brett Huson] 12:45:59
Was changing the usability of green spaces, including people’s front, Yards and boulevards.

[Brett Huson] 12:46:06
So there are a couple of places, I think, in Vancouver and Victoria and I I know that the It exists in a couple other municipalities, as well where they’ve changed are there other in Pilot stages or they’ve, actually changed the policy, of how people can use, their Front

[Brett Huson] 12:46:19
Yards, and so people can rent someone’s front yard.

[Brett Huson] 12:46:22
Or they can use the yard themselves to create produce and I know there are some places where produce is being created on someone’s front, yard, and that person sells the produce and that the person with the yard.

[Brett Huson] 12:46:36
All they they wanted was the some of the produce for their home, so and so the person will give them the food, and intern they get to use that property to generate enough for themselves, and they sell at Farmers, markets, and they do Make, enough to have a living for themselves, or Supplement, the living of their Family so

[Brett Huson] 12:46:53
There’s kind of this opportunity to change what green spaces are.

[Brett Huson] 12:46:57
And so I’m sitting on right now on a Committee for the City of Winnipeg to help look at green spaces, how green spaces are being used here in the city, and that’s, kind of one of the Things that You know we’re Looking at is how can we change what green spaces are for People you

[Brett Huson] 12:47:11
Know, getting rid of this front Lawn aesthetic this for some reason we keep dumping tons of water and chemical, into this weed, and it’s a weed to show off who can have the biggest front yard.

[Brett Huson] 12:47:26
Is something that comes from you know way back, not from here.

[Brett Huson] 12:47:29
But it’s you know you can have very comfortable and and good living spaces with produce in the front end.

[Brett Huson] 12:47:36
It looks just beautiful. I’ve seen the number of gardens here in Winnipeg who people have them in the front yard and in it looks amazing.

[Brett Huson] 12:47:43
It doesn’t take away from their property. And my opinion adds, value because they plant certain things, flowers to keep away the pests, and those flowers make everything like beautiful, and then when produce, is growing it does look really, nice so there’s opportunities.

[Brett Huson] 12:47:56
I think to do things like that. I’m just thinking on the initial small scale for the people who come from those communities

[Julius Lindsay] 12:48:04
I would add that I think there’s to stay on the theme that we’ve been talking around the slow part of this in that connection piece there’s a number of different actions and programs, that I’ve seen that are around that connection to What’s going on in the community and to people

[Julius Lindsay] 12:48:21
who are sort of outside of cities. I think of the the PCM model in Montreal, though I can’t pronounce it in French, but the Munchrell Climate, Partnership, and bringing together, Philanthropy, Business the City Others to to take Climate Action in

[Julius Lindsay] 12:48:39
this city? And and how that model has catalyzed sort of actors across the municipality, to a program that’s a problem that i personally, love and I think it’s is what smaller.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:48:51
Is called the lighthouse program, and it’s in the City of Branton and what they do is that they basically provide resources to face based buildings within the city, whether it’s Gudwaras, or or Churches, or Mosques, because those Buildings, are a Embedded in

[Julius Lindsay] 12:49:09
Those communities be know, the community, better than the city ever will and see our places that people in community are familiar with, and would go to would go to go to on a regular basis and so their emergency, management department is provided resource to pay those places to basically be like ports in a storm whether it is a literal storm or

[Julius Lindsay] 12:49:28
There’s other some sort of other, a disaster going on in the city, and there’s an education piece to that.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:49:34
There’s a there’s a community engagement piece to that.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:49:38
And again, to that sort of passing the Mic they’ve empowered those buildings to be able to do it, and connect with the communities, because those communities know those people better than anyone else, and so I love that as an example because many of the especially on the adaptation side a lot of our solutions are

[Julius Lindsay] 12:49:53
Going to be hyper, local and so we need to think about how we connect with those communities, and how we build trust those communities as well, because that’s, the other thing about those faith based buildings.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:50:03
They will have trust in the community that the city literally will never have and so how do you build, trust those means, how do you connect to those communities is an important part of the way that we think about this work.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:50:14
I use an example on the other. Side is that there was a program in Detroit where they the city, was basically giving away trees, so You basically, called the city they would come to your House, they build I had to treat on your front line, free of charge nothing other than that call you had to do and nobody was up taking the

[Julius Lindsay] 12:50:30
Program, and so somebody was like, Oh, let’s go out and talk to people and find out why they’re not updating the program, and when they went and talked to people in the community they were like yeah, back in the seventys, they came and cut Down these Trees so that police could Surveill our Neighborhoods, and so we

[Julius Lindsay] 12:50:43
Don’t trust the city, and we don’t trust anything to do as trees in our neighborhoods, and so he don’t spend that time building that trust and building those connections to the community doesn’t matter.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:50:52
What program you come up with or what the action is. It may not be successful with the people that you’re trying to reach

[Ewa Jackson] 12:50:57
Yeah, that’s a really great example. And just quickly on the lighthouse project.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:51:02
Which we were involved with as an organization one of the most fascinating ways.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:51:07
Is how the city got out of the way, the only requirement they had on the faith of centers.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:51:12
Was that as a lighthouse, as that port in a storm, they be non-denominational, that they open their doors to anybody, who, is looking for help in an event, whether that’s a climate event, or otherwise and I think they they create they cut out the legal tensions, of having these officially

[Ewa Jackson] 12:51:33
Labeled as resilience, hubs and kind, of let, them evolve, and happen Naturally, I think it’s a really really fantastic example Barbara.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:51:41
I want to give you a chance to share some of your solutions that you’ve seen

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:51:45
Yeah, i’m gonna i’m gonna focus on the food system.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:51:48
And the work that’s happening in in our area. But I saw in the Chat circular economy initiatives are Popping up across Canada, because you know 55% of the way, we get to Net 0 is certainly through Energy Solutions, but the 45% is how we Produce Consume

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:52:09
and manage land and our food systems. And so there’s some really interesting, work that’s happening, and and it it highlights the way that the Private Sector, Kick get involved we have we have support from from different banks, and insurance Companies that are helping Us, do things like, you know how do

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:52:29
you create a new circular economy, for construction, and demolition waste that comes from from renovations, and buildings, and and how do you help businesses who are moving towards you know circular solutions, and products because back to the question about convenience people, want to do the right thing but

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:52:51
it also has to be convenient. We need the services, and the products in the approaches that we can access that are convenient in our

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:53:01
You know our climate friendly and and just, even creating relationship with the local farmers, and supporting regenerative farming connecting it to your local farmers, market, connecting it to food security, interesting work, going on in social prescribing for food for people, that are Food insecure, lots of stuff, happening I

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:53:23
Put our I put our links in the chat. But I think Cindy, can play a stronger role in supporting the local food system

[Ewa Jackson] 12:53:33
One of the things that strikes me in your 4 interventions.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:53:38
There with examples is just the diversity of size and scale of solutions.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:53:42
From you know, large Corporate partnerships to remove natural gas from building stock, as David pointed out to really small-scale people centered connections of where they live, and what they eat, and what that what that is used for so the need for interventions, at all scales, and you, know We’ve.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:54:01
Heard you know former Victoria Mayor Lisa helps talk about, you know 10 million. 10 million.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:54:08
Projects, to be done, to get us to war and nits 0 to get Us.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:54:13
Towards increased climate, resilience, and you know we’ve got it just a few minutes. Left.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:54:17
I wonder if I could trouble you all to leave our audience with something actionable.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:54:24
Something that they could take on whether it’s in 24 h, or 24 days, or 24 months to help.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:54:33
Help make, it their cities, and their communities, meet that climate, change, challenge.

[Brett Huson] 12:54:47
Yeah, you, know, I I I think there’s just so much, education out there already about reduced reuse recycle it’s been like that since I was a child in the eightys, so I think people don’t need so much.

[Brett Huson] 12:54:59
To know what they can do individually. But what I think people can do action, wise, because they should know already what to do, because it’s been there, since I was a child is to actually, look to your local mle your municipal.

[Brett Huson] 12:55:18
Representative, your your Mp, and to really kind of voice, your concerns.

[Brett Huson] 12:55:24
And I think get them to look at supporting certain types of policies, if you can.

[Brett Huson] 12:55:28
So writing letters, not even it just as an individual. I mean, you can get together with a community group, and collectively submit something with signatures, or you know those are the type kinds of things that I think should happen on that sort of level but I think as a group I think just doing the doing the

[Brett Huson] 12:55:49
Actions and and worrying about getting in trouble later, at what I mean by that is, you know, if you see something in the city that you want to change and you don’t you don’t wanna wait for all.

[Brett Huson] 12:55:58
This, bylaw stuff to kind of go through just kind of start doing it.

[Brett Huson] 12:56:01
Then they’ll have to take the the action and look at the what they need to change around that.

[Brett Huson] 12:56:06
So I think for us, a lot of climate action is what we, we take on the land, itself.

[Brett Huson] 12:56:13
You know, like there’s a lot of us who are constantly labeled as protesters, and and antagonists.

[Brett Huson] 12:56:20
But we’re just worried about the land and and I think that’s what we really need to do is is push.

[Brett Huson] 12:56:27
The boundary by taking those actions in the very safe and respectful way and and that’s. I think one of the things that can can push people towards actually having dialogue around what can actually make change

[Julius Lindsay] 12:56:43
I would say, go ahead, Barbara

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:56:43

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:56:46
Oh, I was just gonna jump in on that. And say, you know, what show up at city council with your neighbors, support local organizations who are taking action in this area, they they certainly need volunteers, and help to do it but I think it really comes back, to exercising all of your options, in a

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 12:57:09
democracy, including everything that Brett was suggesting

[Julius Lindsay] 12:57:15
I was just gonna add, and I will. I will name the person that I pulled the quote from her name is Sabakat, and She’s One of the Leads, and Ryan, Muslims, and I see in the Chat that There’s many people, here and I Figured from this Event which would

[Julius Lindsay] 12:57:31
Attract many people who work in this area, who are taking working on climate action, and so my point to leave with everybody here, would be to figure out ways to pass the Mic and figure out ways that you can empower others to do this. Work.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:57:43
And not be about what do I do? Or what are the actions that need to be taken, that I need to tell somebody to do.

[Julius Lindsay] 12:57:49
But figure. Out how you empower somebody else to tell you what to do or empower somebody else to to create a solution, that will help the climate crisis, because I think oftentimes in this work, we are focused on this the solutions when the solutions, are just whatever somebody came up with that they thought

[Julius Lindsay] 12:58:07
Might be good and there could be other solutions, that someone else if empowered, could come up with. And so that’s what I would leave with at least the folks on this call who work in the Climate Space

[David Miller] 12:58:19
I’d I’d add to those comments. very closely, I would describe those comments as saying use your Actions, and use your voices.

[David Miller] 12:58:29
Way, more subtle than that. But I’d add one more to it.

[David Miller] 12:58:32
Which is use, your vote really matters. You know the big as biggest never negative impact.

[David Miller] 12:58:40
We’re gonna see on both our ability to mitigate climate change in our ability to adapt to it in southwestern Ontario, is bill 23, which has Just been passed to pave over huge sloths of farmland, in the green belt it’s.

[David Miller] 12:58:55
Outrageous, goes against everybody. Brad was talking about about thinking about the land first, as opposed to people, whole process has been outrageous, and if people would use their vote we might not be in this position, so you know it’s totally agree and like the idea we need to empower others to tell us

[David Miller] 12:59:12
What to do, we need to do what we can in our own lives, Food’s a good place to start transportation.

[David Miller] 12:59:19
You know do you really need a car etc.

[David Miller] 12:59:23
But our votes, really matter, if we elect, the right people, we’ve got a real chance of creating the kind of dialogue between people, and their governments, that will produce results which is what we’ve been talking about for the last hour.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:59:35
I think that’s a very powerful note to leave on so with less than a minute.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:59:41
Left. I will thank each of you, Barbara Brett Julius, David, for not only your comments today, but the incredible work that you’re leading in your parts of the world and across our country, and internationally, I’d also like to thank the Canadian, urban institute for the platform.

[Ewa Jackson] 12:59:58
To have this conversation today. I know it is being recorded.

[Ewa Jackson] 13:00:03
The Chat is being saved, there are a ton of ideas in that chat and links, and strategies.

[Ewa Jackson] 13:00:10
So I thank everyone, and wish you all best of luck in your Work and hopefully our paths will cross again, soon.

[Ewa Jackson] 13:00:17
Thanks, so much.

[Barbara Swartzentruber] 13:00:30
It was nice to meet you guys.

[Brett Huson] 13:00:34
Yes, it was nice to meet you, too

[Julius Lindsay] 13:00:35
Nice to meet you too.

[Brett Huson] 13:00:38
Take care.

[Julius Lindsay] 13:00:39


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

11:58:10 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Welcome everyone! We invite you to say hello in the chat before we get started. Where are you watching from? Please change your chat settings to “everyone” so that everyone can read your comments.
11:59:16 From Vivian Forssman To Everyone:
Hi – I am Vivian Forssman, Resilience by Design Lab at Royal Roads University. Watching from Squamish lands in West Vancouver
12:00:14 From Manjinder Dhaliwal To Everyone:
Hey – I’m Manjinder, a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo. Watching from Waterloo
12:00:20 From Canadian Urban Institute To Ewa Jackson(Privately):
Awesome! Please turn your camera on
12:00:42 From Real Eguchi To Everyone:
Real Eguchi, Landscape Architect in Tkoronto!!
12:01:01 From Abby S To Everyone:
Hello from Tkaranto
12:01:12 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
HOUSEKEEPING:   We are recording today’s session and will share it online at We hope this session is as interactive as possible, so please feel free to share comments, references, links or questions in the chat  Please change your chat settings to “everyone” so that everyone can read your comments.   Do you have specific questions for the panellists? Post them in the chat, and we’ll try to answer as many as possible.
12:01:35 From Matthew Figuerres To Everyone:
Hello, my name’s Matt. Analyst at the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
12:01:54 From Ryan Des Roches To Everyone:
Ryan Des Roches, Registrar & Director of Member Services, Ontario Professional Planners Institute, joining from Williams Treaty territory in Ontario.
12:02:28 From paula Gallo To Everyone:
Paula from Recreate Place, in Tkaronto
12:02:36 From Miranda Jimmy To Everyone:
tân’si nitôtêm. I’m Miranda Jimmy, new Director of Reconciliation & Social Justice with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute. I am work remotely from the heart of Treaty Six, amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton)
12:02:37 From Mark Hafen To Everyone:
Hi everyone…I’m Mark Hafen, independent consultant in Tkaronto
12:02:40 From Mikaila Montgomery To Everyone:
Good morning from the Territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən People, the Songhees and Esquimalt nations (Victoria BC)
12:03:10 From Jean-Benoit Fournier To Everyone:
JB Fournier, from the UNDP. Joining from snowy Québec
12:03:22 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
ICLEI’s third BARC report can be found here:
12:03:37 From Rebecca Szczepanowski To Everyone:
Hello, my name is Rebecca, Climate Change Officer for the City of Brantford
12:04:58 From Eleanor Mohammed To Everyone:
Hi Everyone, Eleanor Mohammed, President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners. Joining from Abegweit / PEI.
12:05:09 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Barbara Swartzentruber is the Executive Director of the Smart Cities Office at the City of Guelph. As winners’ of Canada’s Smart City Challenge, the City and County of Wellington, are collaborating with public and private sector partners to create a Circular Food Economy.
12:05:21 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Barbara is a public sector innovator with work at the local, provincial and national levels in the areas of public policy, smart cities, citizen engagement, digital economy, rural broadband, open government, data and technology. She has taught public policy, community development and advocacy at several Canadian universities. She was appointed to the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada.
12:05:32 From Mark Roseland To All Panelists:
Mark Roseland, Professor of Sustainable Community Planning and Development, Simon Fraser University and Arizona State University
12:05:37 From Micheal Clark To Everyone:
Using this new app to make a transcript
12:05:43 From Micheal Clark To Everyone: — lmk if u want
12:06:22 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Thanks Michael! We will also be sharing the transcript from today’s session at early next week
12:06:59 From Olusola Olufemi To Everyone:
Greetings to all from Oakville, Ontario.
12:07:04 From Heather McRae To Everyone:
Good morning! Heather McRae, Calgary Downtown Association. Mohkinstsis
12:07:07 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Hetxw’ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson (he/him/his), is from the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of British Columbia, Canada. Influenced by this matrilineal society, Brett developed a passion for his people’s culture, land, and politics and a desire to share their knowledge and stories. He has worked in the film and television industry for over 16 years and is the volunteer chair for the sakihiwe Music Festival (
12:07:23 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Brett is also a member of the Science Committee for Adaptation Futures 2023 ( The multi-award-winning Mother’s of Xsan is Brett’s first series of books, and he is currently writing new books both in Fiction and Non-fiction that explore the worlds of the GItxsan culture and perspective. With the support of his wife Jeri and their children Warren and Ruby, Brett endeavours to continue sharing the stories from the land and creating dialogue and understanding around indigenous pedagogies and ways of knowing. Brett is also working with the Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg to connect science and Indigenous Knowledges. This work has led to the launch of the Indigenous Knowledges section of the Climate Atlas (
12:07:40 From Mark Roseland To Everyone:
Mark Roseland, Professor of Sustainable Community Planning and Development, Simon Fraser University and Arizona State University
12:08:25 From Jade Schofield To Everyone:
Jade Schofield, Senior Advisor Climate Risk & Resilience, WSP.
12:09:22 From Astra Burka To Everyone:
Hi …I am Co-chair of Sustainability for Directors Guild of Canada -Ontario and involved with Circular Economy Group with the Netherlands Consulate in Canada looking at Dutch Canadian circular initiatives
12:10:00 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Julius Lindsay is the Director, Sustainable Communities at the David Suzuki Foundation and co-founder of the Black Environmentalist Alliance.
12:10:06 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
He previously served as Project Manager, Climate Change and Sustainable Development for the City of Richmond Hill where he lead the City’s Climate Change Mandate which included developing a Corporate Climate change Framework and a Community Energy and Emissions Plan. Julius has also led climate change adaptation and mitigation and community energy work for the City of Mississauga, and worked with Infrastructure Ontario (formerly Ontario Realty Corporation) to work on energy management, climate change, corporate social responsibility and sustainability plans.
12:12:17 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
David Miller is the Managing Director of the C40 Centre for City Climate Policy and Economy. Mr. Miller was Mayor of Toronto from 2003 to 2010 and served as Chair of C40 Cities from 2008 until 2010. Under his leadership, Toronto became widely admired internationally for its environmental leadership, economic strength and social integration. He is a leading advocate for the creation of sustainable urban economies.
12:12:29 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Miller has held a variety of public and private positions and served as Future of Cities Global Fellow at Polytechnic Institute of New York University from 2011 to 2014. He has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waterloo in Environmental Studies, an Honorary Doctor of Laws from York University and is currently Executive in Residence at the University of Victoria. He is the author of ‘Solved, how the great cities of the world are fixing the climate crisis‘, (University of Toronto Press).
12:16:41 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Do you have specific questions for the panellists? Post them in the chat, and we’ll try to answer as many as possible.
12:17:22 From Lisa Mactaggart To Everyone:
Tuning in from Grand River Watershed, what is now known as Guelph, ON in Mississauga of the Credit Treaty Lands.
12:21:46 From Richard Gould To Everyone:
During the conversation can the panelists summarize the various actions/policies that cities can implement for adaptation and mitigation? In particular what are the ones that been shown to be most effective?
12:26:12 From Minaz Asani To All Panelists:
My name is Minaz Asani. I’m with CEED Canada. Unfortunately I have to leave to go to a funeral but will listen to the recording. We hear about Climate Justice in other places but not nearly enough in cities in Canada. For an organization trying to do this work in underserved communities, it is really difficult to compete with privileged, white-run organizations. Funders and cities do not look at grants from groups like ours with an equitable lens. What advice would you have for an organization like ours that is racialized and trying to work with underserved and mostly racialized communities knowing we’re going to need everyone on board to get to net zero?
12:28:28 From Mark Roseland To Everyone:
All of you are doing great work, but collectively we clearly need to be doing more and better. It is hard for most people to connect the intersectionality dots between multiple dimensions of sustainability and climate change. Do any of you use, or know or, tools that help communities make these connections and align their efforts?
12:28:32 From Kerri Wall To Everyone:
I just finished the book New York 2140, a piece of speculative fiction about NYC after massive sea-level rise and world hunger/food insecurity. Helpful for those of us that want to use the power of imagination to visualize collective problems and collective solutions.
12:30:21 From Ewa Jackson To All Panelists:
@Mark Roseland (hi!) that’s a great question. Here’s one piece that we worked on:
12:30:26 From Jean-Marc La Flamme To Everyone:
Agree engagement is key and we now have an opportunity to have deep digital engagement online and allow residents to co-create and vote on solutions. There a dozens of platforms in Canada and around the world. Social media is transforming but not the tool for city building. Cities around the world are using purposed built civic engagement platforms like
12:35:07 From Millicent Akinsulure To Everyone:
Hi Everyone : Milly Akin from The Riverside Church, NYC, Beloved Earth Community – Climate Change.
12:35:45 From Jean-Marc La Flamme To Everyone:
Our rural region with dozens of cities built a tool to visualize all the climate action… this is just a start How can we “futurescape” solutions, visually understanding impact with open source data and connect them all across the country?
12:38:18 From Lynn Robichaud To Everyone:
Thanks for sharing that link Jean-Marc – very interesting.
12:38:35 From Richard Gould To Everyone:
Can cities do more to provide incentives to increase energy efficiency of homes and buildings?
12:41:00 From Abby S To All Panelists:
The Lorax speaks for the trees. The book was prescient.
12:41:00 From Jean-Marc La Flamme To Everyone:
Everything a city does is deeply connected to the land… rural and urban are completely connected. There is so much innovation in rural we can do to support urban as well.
12:41:42 From Gloria Gutman To Everyone:
I’m Gloria Gutman from Gerontology Research Centre at SFU. Where is PHAC in this discussion? In 2005 it played a lead role in the establishment of the Age Friendly Cities Movement within WHO. There are a number of us around the world who work in the area of climate gerontology. Older people are among those most likely to die in climate-related disasters. Evidence dates back to Hurricane Katrina…
12:42:10 From Chris Fraser To All Panelists:
Julius Lindsay’s point about hydrogen innovation is very interesting. Ironically, sometimes it is the City that gets in the way of innovation that will help it – evidence the failure of the world’s first green hydrogen cab system to be developed by Kristine Hubbard.
12:43:48 From Richard Gould To Everyone:
Cities need progressive official plans that support greening of the city, provision of parkland, 15 minute/complete communities, active transportation infrastructure, etc. And the benefits of the planning needs to equitably accessible.
12:44:36 From Mark Hafen To Everyone:
The City of Adelaide, South Australia, has committed to becoming a regenerative city, and has implemented so many programs to go from linear (resources in, waste out) to circular. Reducing imports, including energy, is a crucial part of this. Herbert Girardet’s book, Creating Regenerative Cities, has many good ideas for this.
12:46:33 From David Miller To Everyone:
There are some really interesting circular economy type projects – I think portland and philadelphia are working on this too
12:47:25 From Kim Sutherland Mills To Everyone:
Related to Brett’s comment – check out this Kingston business
12:47:50 From Kim Sutherland Mills To Everyone:
They grow food on properties owned by others and sell the food. All within the city, all connected only by bicycle
12:47:59 From David Miller To Everyone:
12:48:17 From Abby S To Everyone:
Love this initiative. Not to be a grinch but better than blow up Santa’s.
12:48:29 From Mark Hafen To All Panelists:
Increasing food sovereignty is crucial.
12:49:36 From David Miller To Everyone:
“better than blow up santa’s” is a low bar…
12:50:13 From Mona Moreau To All Panelists:
I live beside a commercial building on St. Clair W in Toronto where they have planted a vegetable garden in front and supply a food bank with the produce. It looks lovely and is supported by volunteers.
12:51:43 From Barbara Swartzentruber To Everyone:
Check out and
12:52:11 From Alex Tabascio To Everyone:
Amazing Idea of using under-utilized green space! Toronto should use the greenspace along it’s hydro corridors as community gardens instead of it being just grass
12:52:44 From Abby S To Everyone:
@david without a doubt.
12:52:45 From Mark Hafen To All Panelists:
Edible landscapes are being developed in many cities.
12:53:17 From Real Eguchi To Everyone:
There are 2 urban farms in hydro corridors in Toronto we helped with!
12:53:20 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Great point Alex. Flemo Farms is an initiative in this space
12:54:41 From David Miller To Everyone:
Another way of looking at emissions is that 70% globally are from cities (incl electricity) – thats where the problem is so thats where we have to act. Predominantly for transportation, buildings, waste, electricity – although emissions from food very important and the examples cited interesting. Also interesting work in milan
12:54:51 From Mary Shaughnessy To Everyone:
I’m planning to take BCIT’s course on Design for Disassembly!
12:55:00 From Sarah Primeau To Everyone:
I haven’t heard much about specific on-the-ground actions that cities are doing to mitigate and adapt to climate change. I am a landscape architect involved in climate mitigation / adaptation and am involved with several on-the-ground design interventions including separated bike lanes, integrated nature-based rainwater management within street right-of-ways, restoration of ecosystems within cities to sequester carbon, + increase liveability + protect biodiversity, coastal cities to restore coastal ecosystem in conjunction with adaptation to sea-level rise
12:55:26 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
On December 7, CUI is convening people across Canada for an online summit exploring how COVID shaped our cities and revealed urgent priorities. RSVP to “COVID 1000 and Beyond: Building Better Cities for a Robust Recovery” here:
12:55:48 From David Miller To Everyone:
Sarah, for good examples see here
12:56:02 From David Miller To Everyone:
or my book Solved
12:56:13 From Shannon Miedema To Everyone:
and here: 🙂
12:56:19 From Ewa Jackson To Everyone:


12:56:35 From Mona Moreau To All Panelists:
I think we are past writing letters. Our politicians know what has to be done but they are not putting the priority on climate change.
12:56:44 From Ewa Jackson To Everyone:
Map of Adaptation Action across Canada – many of the examples you gave @Sarah (in detail can be found on the map above)
12:56:54 From Abby S To Everyone:
At times these actions seem to fruitless (I know they are not). We have been trying for years to ban gas powered leaf blowers in Toronto. Seems like a no-brainer. But impossible to get through. It’s mind boggling.
12:57:02 From Kim Sutherland Mills To Everyone:
Another Kingston area project – faith community and Indigenous community.
12:57:18 From Lisa Mactaggart To Everyone:
I am concerned with how few people turned out to vote in the last municipal election here in Ontario. How do we connect civic engagement with climate action?
12:57:41 From Kim Sutherland Mills To Everyone:
Little Forests Kingston
12:58:03 From Canadian Urban Institute To Everyone:
Reminder: We are recording today’s session and will share it online, along with the chat log and transcript, at in the coming days
12:58:14 From Tamara Grossutti To Everyone:
Supporting the work that many climate activists and community-led orgs are doing in cities is the best thing that municipalities can do. A bit bias here as we’ve been doing that in climate action at the City of Toronto for years… but it’s also very fulfilling work.
12:58:18 From Matthew Figuerres To Everyone:
Sarah – check out Low Impact Development (LID) initiatives being administered by some Conservation Authorities – Credit Valley Conservation Authority has a great program
12:59:02 From Abby S To Everyone:
I suspect you are speaking to the converted
12:59:13 From Richard Gould To Everyone:
Unfortunately Ontario is undermining the roles of the conservation authorities
12:59:13 From Jade Schofield To Everyone:
This is so true Julius, ego’s need to be put aside, and we need to focus on making sure people feel like they are contributing to developing the solutions.
12:59:44 From Shannon Miedema To Everyone:
Abby S – would love to connect – our Council just put a motion looking to ban blowers in Halifax!
13:00:05 From Caroline Hill Smith To All Panelists:
Here in Hamilton we just elected 10 new climate forward councillors because those of us in the climate activism space worked hard to get those candidates heard and give them support.
13:00:06 From Jade Schofield To Everyone:
Thanks for a great session today!
13:00:06 From Kim Sutherland Mills To Everyone:
Thanks everyone. Inspiring!
13:00:12 From Richard Gould To Everyone:
Thanks everyone for an excellent discussion
13:00:16 From Caroline Hill Smith To All Panelists:
Thanks for this!
13:00:17 From Cristina Ross To Everyone:
13:00:19 From Matthew Figuerres To Everyone:
Thank you
13:00:19 From Jean-Benoit Fournier To Everyone:
13:00:21 From Jeremy Schembri To Everyone:
Thanks Everyone!
13:00:23 From Katie Watt To Everyone:
Thank you!
13:00:25 From Krysten Bates To Everyone:
Thanks for a brilliant discussion!
13:00:27 From Lisa Mactaggart To Everyone: