The Future of Canada’s Cities

The case for a national urban strategy.

Canadian cities are getting bigger, but Canada has no national strategy overseeing their growth and development. 

The Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC), founded in 2015, is a coalition of Presidents and CEOs of the eight largest urban regional Chambers of Commerce, including Calgary. Their objective is to encourage collaboration with the Federal Government to ensure our cities are competitive for investors and business, and are vibrant places to live, work and play. 

In February 2018, CGCC released a position paper, Planning for an Urban Future: Our Call for a National Urban Strategy for Canada that makes a case for a new relationship between the federal government and municipalities. 

“Canada is not competing effectively enough when it comes to our urban infrastructure, whether that infrastructure is economic, social or educational.”

- Excerpt from the CGCC Report

CGCC envisions a national urban strategy based on three broad policy changes:

  1. The federal government would take a lead in identifying national urban policy goals, disseminating best practices and determining metrics for success. 
  2. City leaders would develop long-range priority plans for urban infrastructure.
  3. Instead of simply funding projects and programs, federal funding would take the form of per-capita grants.

According to the report, a national urban strategy would yield specific advantages

  • A more realistic, consistent approach to infrastructure investments, and an improved ability to triage priorities and identify gaps. 
  • More, clearer opportunities for the private sector to engage. 
  • Less time and energy invested in project-specific negotiations and approvals.
  • An increase in Canada’s overall economic competitiveness. 

In the paper, the CGCC recommends the federal government lead the development of this new strategy over the next two years. Download the full report to learn more. 

When it comes to infrastructure funding in Calgary, who pays for what? Read the Smarter Growth Initiative report, and find out what solutions Calgarians have proposed for infrastructure funding.

Published
March 6th, 2018


A report from the Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) recommends the federal government create a national urban strategy.


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