The Cities We Need


Published: 9Feb2015

McGill Institute for the Study of Canada 2015 Conference:

Cities have moved to the centre of the policy agenda in Canada. What can we do to make our cities more equitable, sustainable and participatory? The Cities We Need will look at the ways in which cities are reinventing themselves and, in turn, reinventing what it means to be Canadian.  The conference will bring together leading politicians, policy-makers, urbanists, activists, journalists and more on February 19 and 20.


What:           The Cities We Need, a public conference

When:           February 19 & 20, 2015

Where:         Phi Centre (407 St. Pierre Street)

the event will be live-streamed at:

Full program:  


Speakers and topics include:

Canadian Mayors on cities:

Bonnie Crombie (Mississauga): "All Canadian cities need dedicated and predictable funding to go toward public transit and infrastructure, like roads, bridges and highways. (may be interviewed in French)

Mark Heyck (Yellowknife): “The opportunity to discuss whether or not municipalities have the powers they need to lead their citizens into the 21st century is an extremely important conversation to have.”

Dan Mathieson (Stratford): “Municipal government is the most accessible and responsive level of government.   Citizen engagement is vital to strengthening the impart of municipal politics.”

Mike Savage (Halifax): “I think municipal politics are the best vehicle of a real discussion of issues, and non-partisan solutions.”

Nathalie Simon (Châteauguay) : «Les villes s’occupent du bien-être immédiat des citoyens et leurs actions ont un impact direct sur la qualité de vie des gens.  Il est donc primordial de travailler avec et pour la population». (may be interviewed in French)

Participants include:

Luc Gwiazdzinski, Masters in Urban Innovation, Université Joseph Fourier, France

Main topics: The urban night and how we live after dark in the city

may be interviewed in French

Jessie Adcock, Chief Digital Officer, City of Vancouver

Main topics: Building digital strategies to create smarter cities

Denise Balkisoon, Journalist, Globe and Mail,

Main topics: urban identity, multiculturalism, women’s perspective, urban citizenship

Adam Vaughan, MP, Trinity-Spadina, former Toronto city councillor

Main topics: gentrification, housing, the federal role in urban spaces

Harout Chitilian, Vice-Chair, City Council Executive Committee, Montreal 

Main topics: Montreal’s smart city initiative

may be interviewed in French


For more:

Prof. Will Straw, Director, MISC on building better cities:

La ville qu’il nous faut:

From the halls of McGill to Mayor of Yellowknife:

Urban Night researcher interview: She likes the nightlife:

Four Burning Questions for Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga:



Contact Information

Cynthia Lee
cynthia.lee [at]
Office Phone: 
Back to top