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STEP UP Conversations



Moderator: Jeanna South, Director of Sustainability, City of Saskatoon 
Join us to explore how connecting natural systems and smaller urban landscapes across cities and neighbourhoods can provide for a deeper, ecologically resilient public realm that facilitates placemaking, honours culture, and serves the innate human need for access to nature.


Moderator: Mark Guslits, Munk Centre for Dialogue, CanU Board 
We will examine issues relating to housing and the inability of much of our population to access decent shelter in our very wealthy country, particularly as the pandemic extends its reach and focusses, often, on the disenfranchised and the racialized.  Through focused presentations from housing experts and informed discussions between informed panelists, we will attempt to clarify what is currently happening, and what should be happening in the near and less near future.


Moderator: Brent Toderian, UrbanWorks, former Director of Planning, City of Vancouver 
Join our guests from across the country to provide critical views on how we move around our urban communities to access our daily needs and how we can do better. Learn about the range of solutions and experimentations  these communities are exploring and testing to make communities more resilient pre, post and during the COVID-19 experience. Listen in as they explore creative ways to improve our choices to move around.


Moderator: Aftab Erfan 
Get ready for something different!  We’ll hear stories from non-design-experts living and working in Canadian cities, describing their own experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.  How did their neighbourhood “pick them up” or “let them down” to provide easy access to the things they needed in their daily lives - food, transportation, child care, recreation, physical activity, socializing, housing, access to nature, employment, etc..  Design professionals will dialogue with these non-experts to uncover how the physical form of these places played a role in the experience of those living and working in these communities.  Our guests will consider design elements that has served people well in these communities, what design measures could have been taken so they could perform better during times of crisis, and what design interventions could now be introduced to improve them for those who live and work there.
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