As the world’s population soars to nearly 10 billion in 2050, our cities must confront their current and future challenges. Learn how cities around the world, and right here at home, are using innovation and technology to meet their growing needs.

Thursday, April 26


Towards a Smart Society | 9:40am – 10:00am

Around the world, cities seek to harness data to make themselves cleaner, safer, more efficient places. To this end, they use digital tools that process data. They collect and analyse this information in their search for solutions to a growing number of problems, social and otherwise. But sometimes things go wrong when monitoring and interpretation of data. For example, issues like loneliness aren’t easy to capture.
How do we go beyond the ‘smart city’ and build a smart society? The first step isn’t to collect more data or develop newer technology, but to building a smarter society begins with identifying and understanding the demands and needs that are relevant for that society.
Linda Vlassenrood, Het Nieuwe Instituut

Smart Cities Panel | 10:00am – 11:30am

How can cities use innovation and technology to create a more effective and liveable city for all? How can Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area work together to become more connected? Can we learn from the ways other rapidly growing urban centres have evolved?
In this panel, we will hear from the key players in urban development in Canada and around the world, from blockchain, citizen participation, data mapping, to the national Smart Cities Challenge.
Geoff Cape, Evergreen
Paula Kwan, Civic Innovation, City of Toronto
Jenna Pilgrim, Blockchain Research Institute
Mayor Frank Scarpitti, City of Markham
Linda Vlassenrood, Het Nieuwe Instituut
Moderated by Rick Huijbregts, George Brown College

The Future of Transportation | 11:30am – 12:00pm

The concept of ultra-high-speed rail was dreamed into existences just over one hundred years ago. Today, we have reached a level of innovation where this dream can be made a reality. TransPod, a fully electric tube technology, is a vehicle that travels up to 1000 kilometres per hour between destinations. Our current transportation systems are filled with inefficiencies and continues to use non-renewable energies – TransPod seeks to change all that.
Janzen will discuss urban design, future innovation in transportation, supersonic design, the political side of urban planning, global investment in  building cities of the future.
Ryan Janzen, TransPod

Brasilia: From Cursed City to Creative Hub | 2:00pm – 2:40pm

Created in 1960 as a modernist architectural landmark, Brasilia became the country’s symbol of bad politicians and corruption. After two generations, its population has already taken root and now seeks a new identity. Entrepreneurship, design, and food are among the industries most committed to this change, providing a new perspective to the city and its people.  
Claudia El-moor, Eye Design

Virtual City Environment | McMaster University

Virtual City Environment (VCE) is a proprietary 3D city-modeling platform that uses machine learning and automation to generate accurate realistic city models. The resulting 3D visualization and data interface platform satisfies a market opportunity for planning visualization and communication services required of professional planning, architectural, engineering businesses, as well as provincial and municipal governments to meet contemporary civic engagement standards.

Participatory Campus Planning | Ryerson University

One problem with traditional urban planning methods is that not all citizens can offer their input. Using the Ryerson University campus as a model, the university has developed technology prototypes that provide a creative, collaborative, and democratic way for citizens to provide input. Users modify the virtual campus to suit their needs: does the campus require more green space? Plant a tree. Need more security? Install a camera or place a security guard.
By using smart technology, we can offer citizens the tools to have a voice and giving decision-makers the information they require to make changes that actually respond to citizens’ needs.

TTC Redesign | IDEA Club

Using the transit system can be a stressful experience for many commuters in Toronto. IDEA’s project redesigned the TTC to make it barrier free for all riders. The project includes updated payment systems, upgraded wayfinding system, and a compatible app that includes translation, accessibility options, and customized notifications.

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