Cities for People

Cities for People

Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody. ~ Jane Jacobs

Cities for People is a new initiative of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, which has grown in part from a recognition that in cities here and around the world, there is a deep yearning for change. The opportunity is to give expression to peoples’ aspirations, to formulate and test models of possible futures, to harness collective energy, and to draw on the creative capacities of cities to shape cultures that work for the long term and for everyone.

To address the many challenges facing cities, we and our partners have launched Cities for People – an experiment in advancing a movement – whose core proposition is that cities can be made more resilient and livable through innovation networks. By linking local efforts across the country with those taking place in other parts of the world, we want to foster a culture of continuous social innovation and deeper collaboration.

As of July 1, 2015, we are wrapping up the first, experimental phase, and moving into a transition period. During this time, we’ll reflect on what has worked well, what needs more exploring, who we should be reaching, and what the next phase of Cities for People might look like. One component of our learning and evaluation process is a Cities for People 1.0 Final Report.  This report will share out what we’ve been up to and learned along the way with lots of photos, videos, and stories. Be sure to subscribe to the Cities for People newsletter to be notified when the report is released!



  • NEW ECONOMIES is about making economies and money work better for people, cities, and the planet, and is curated by One Earth in Vancouver.
  • CITYSCAPES addresses the built and natural environment and focuses on building resilient and livable city spaces. It is curated by Evergreen CityWorks in Toronto.
  • CITIZEN SPACES, curated by the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre, is about empowering civic engagement and improving municipal governance.
  • ART AND SOCIETY is engaging people and communities in artistic projects that engender shifts in civic perception and possibility, and is curated by Musagetes, in Guelph, Ontario.

An example of our effort to cultivate international relationships and connect with similar movements taking place around the world is our partnership in the US with the Municipal Arts Society of New York, which is creating a complementary network with global reach. We invite you to share your thoughts and engage in conversation with us about creating Cities for People.

Visit to learn more.

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation 1002 Sherbrooke W., Suite 1800, Montreal, Québec H3A 3L6