ELNstudio is a high-impact, action-oriented day of discussion and idea generation. This year’s event will feature unique opportunities to connect with rising and senior leaders through inspirational keynotes, storytelling, a civic engagement marketplace, collaborative working sessions and networking activities. The event will introduce a new approach for rising leaders to solve challenging problems in our region.
As the GTHA becomes a hyper-dense city-region, our reliance on useable public space increases. The GTHA’s total population is expected to grow by another 2.6 million people by 2035 to reach 8.9 million. (Statistics Canada, 2011) The region will account for more than two-thirds of provincial population growth over the period. It is projected that, by 2035, 51.4% of Ontarians will live in the GTA. (Ontario Ministry of Finance, 2014; City of Hamilton, 2007)
The region’s meteoric growth brings with it new challenges and a need to think differently about the spaces we inhabit. The spaces we live, work and play in are getting smaller, making access to usable, engaging and dynamic public spaces increasingly important.
There’s a unique opportunity for rising leaders to reimagine where we live so that we can work towards creating the public spaces we need for the GTHA of today and tomorrow.
Comprising everything from parks and trails to laneways and sidewalks to collaborative digital space to privately owned community spaces, public spaces are as multifaceted as the region’s inhabitants. We’ll be looking at the public space question through five lenses:
As the GTHA densifies and living and office space shrinks, public spaces play an increasingly important role in people’s lives. There’s an opportunity to think about new ways to optimize use and accessibility of public space in our region. How might we create better connections to, with, and between public spaces?
Spaces in our region can often have many uses, but sometimes there’s more we could be doing with them. There’s an opportunity to think about how we make them more exciting through art and culture. How might we animate public spaces?
Many of the GTHA’s 6.5 million residents (Statistics Canada, 2012) care about the communities they live in and how they interact within them. There’s an opportunity to think about how we support residents to engage with their communities as it relates to public space. How might we help bring individuals together as a community through public spaces?
Investments in public space are not keeping pace with what city residents need and desire — whether it’s parks, libraries, public spaces and other traditional community spaces. (Municipal Art Society of New York, 2015) There’s an opportunity to think outside the box and create new public spaces from existing spaces in the region. How might we redefine non-traditional spaces, and turn them into public space?
Technology is becoming an increasingly important part of modern life, but we don’t often think about the connections between this and the physical spaces we inhabit. How might we explore where and how digital and public spaces meet?
Let’s tackle these opportunities together. Take a look at our pre-reads here.
CivicAction’s ELN is in partnership with the University of Toronto to host ELNstudio 2015. Please see a full list of our partners and supporters here.
CivicAction’s ELNstudio is the largest gathering of CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network (ELN). Over 150 rising leaders working in different sectors from across the GTHA come together each year to collaborate with other rising leaders and incubate innovative city-building projects to tackle challenges and opportunities.