Wellbeing Cities Forum 2019 | Program

March 27, 2019 — Events

June 19, 2019

8.00 – 9.00



Welcome Remarks John Rossant, Chairman, NewCities

9.30 – 10.30

Panel: Wellbeing: The Urban Imperative

The success of a city lies in the quality of life it can provide its residents. With this in mind, cities across the world are increasingly shifting their policy focus towards promoting ‘wellbeing’. What does this shift in focus mean for cities, and why is it important? Wellbeing is a multi-faceted concept – how are cities considering wellbeing in a holistic sense? How do different contexts affect the way we understand and act on urban wellbeing?Speakers: Ann Aerts, Head, Novartis Foundation Daniel Libeskind, Architect and Founder, Studio Libeskind Renato Galliano, Director of the Department for Urban Economy and Labour, Milan, Italy 

Stéphane Guidoin, Director, Urban Innovation Lab, City of MontréalModerated by: Debra Arbec, Anchor, CBC Montreal News

10:30 – 10:45

Keynote: The Unnoted Foundation of Every City’s WellbeingRobin Chase, Co-founder and Former CEO, Zipcar

10.45 – 11.25

Networking Break


Panel: Building Sustainable Cities

By focusing on creating clean, low carbon, and resilient urban environments, cities can experience substantial public health, social, and economic benefits. What ‘green’ solutions are cities deploying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more livable spaces? How can cities step up to the plate and address growing environmental challenges?Speakers: Christine Babkine, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ivanhoé Cambridge Irene Garcia Brenes, Director of the Mayor’s Office, City of Curridabat Michael Jansen, Chairman & CEO, Cityzenith 

Gerard Peets, Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Results, Infrastructure CanadaModerated by:

Paul Antoine Troxler, Director, Education & Research Canada Green Building Council – Quebec

12.15 – 1.15


1.15 – 2.05

Panel: Ensuring OpportunityEnsuring that all residents have access to opportunity is integral to fostering a city of wellbeing. Cities can address inequality and promote inclusion and accessibility by confronting challenges such as affordable housing, improving mobility networks, and promoting local business. How are cities working towards distributing their economic success to reach and promote the wellbeing of all their residents? Speakers: Jennifer Goold, Executive Director, Neighborhood Design Center Lisa Helps, Mayor, Victoria, British Columbia Saskia Sassen, Professor, Columbia University Moderated by: Diane Bérard, Columnist, Les Affaires

2.05 – 2.55

Panel: Incentivizing Better Lifestyles in our Cities Some of the biggest challenges to urban wellbeing – chronic disease, obesity, alienation – can be addressed by changing habits and reimagining the built environment. Through schemes that get urbanites moving, provide space for active lifestyles, and healthy planning at the city, neighborhood, street and building levels, cities can ensure wellbeing. What are some of the best practices in incentivizing better lifestyles? How can built infrastructure have direct effects on the health of residents? Speakers: Elizabeth Deakin, Professor Emerita of City and Regional Planning and Urban Design, UC Berkeley 

Nina Miskovsky, Deputy Mayor, City of GothenburgPeter Smith, Senior Vice President, The International WELL Building Institute Moderated by: Antonio Gómez-Palacio, Principal, Dialog Design

2.55 – 4.20

Breakout Session
Participants will break out into workshops and meet-ups for hands-on activities with the goal of learning more about specific topics related to urban wellbeing from experts. Breakout panel: Planning for Urban Resilience From the growing threat of climate disasters, weakened infrastructure, and major demographic shifts, cities have to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century. This session will delve into the tools accessible to city leaders in order to improve the resilience of their communities, built environment and policies for the future. Speakers Hasnaa Boutzil, Director General, Green City of Benguerir (represented by SADV/OCP Group) 

Sylvain Gariépy, President, Ordre des Urbanistes du QuébecLoriAnn Girvan, Chief Operating Officer, ArtScape Adam McVey, Leader, City of Edinburgh Council and the SNP Group and represents Leith Ward Moderated by: Michael Woodbridge, Manager, Research Programs, NewCities 

Workshop 1: Gender Inclusive Cities

Following the rise of the #MeToo movement, gender inequalities, discrimination and gender-based violence in the workplace have been brought to light. These same inequalities are manifested and often built into the fabric of our cities, negatively affecting the wellbeing of a significant portion of the urban population. This interactive workshop will explore how to begin overcoming gender gaps in cities by exploring different approaches such as inclusive citizen participation and intersectional urban planning as pathways to promoting gender inclusive cities that foster wellbeing.Location: Networking Area 2 Hosts: Women in Cities International & Concertation Montréal

Workshop 2: Using Design as a Tool to Impact Your City’s Wellbeing

Design is a key driver of innovation and growth in a city and an impactful tool for reshaping and improving citizens’ wellbeing and quality of life. But how do cities use design effectively to establish change and what are the potential barriers that prevent cities from using design productively? This participatory workshop, led by the World Design Organization, explores ways to leverage design across all city levels as a means to address some of the biggest urban challenges – infrastructure, rapid urbanization, waste management and access to clean water. Participants will be encouraged to share and discuss examples and lessons learned from their own practices that demonstrate how design was embraced to bring actionable change.Location: Networking Area 1 Hosted by: World Design OrganizationWorkshop 3:Prototyping City Spaces: Case Studies of Projects Exploring New Boundaries Two projects exploring city buildings through the lens of transitional urbanism and placemaking, Entremise and MR-63 have tested the advantages and limits of prototyping urban space. Part case study, part discussion, general directors Mallory Wilson and Frédéric Morin-Bordeleau want to go beyond naming the need for prototyping in social innovation and defining what it means in terms of deregulation and current practice. Location: The President’s Lounge Hosted by: MR-63 & Entremise

4.20 – 5.00

Networking Break

5.00 – 5.30

Leadership Perspective: Fostering Community, Fostering Wellbeing Human connection and interaction; inclusive, accessible, and safe public spaces; and vibrant culture are key determinants of wellbeing in cities – and also why people choose to live and work in urbanized areas. How are urban designers, planners, architects, policymakers, and local government promoting community in cities? What innovations are exemplary in areas such as fostering social support networks for the vulnerable, family-friendly resources, and encouraging civic participation and engagement? With the City of Santa Monica, USA for the Wellbeing Index Speakers: Gleam Davis, Mayor, Santa Monica Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal, Canada Moderated by:

Beth Blauer, Executive Director, John Hopkins University Center for Government Excellence

5.30 – 6.20

Wellbeing City Award 2019 Ceremony
Celebrate the laureates of the Wellbeing City Award as they are awarded by NewCities, Novartis Foundation and Novartis US Foundation, Mayor Valerie Plante, and esteemed Jurors. During the ceremony, the 2019 Wellbeing City, Milan (Italy) will give a presentation on their Civic Crowdfunding project, sharing how it was designed and implemented.

6.20 – 8.30

Reception in Honor of the Laureates of the Wellbeing City Award 2019
Hosted by: Ivanhoé Cambridge

June 20, 2019

8:30 – 9:00

Guided Meditation with Poonacha Machaiah, Co-Founder and CEO, JIYO, Chief Strategy Officer, The Chopra Center

9:00 – 9:30

Opening Keynote Charles Montgomery, Founder, Happy City

9:30 – 10:15

Panel: Cities for All: Creating Inclusive, Accessible Cities Mainstream discussions on urban life often leave out those most susceptible to disease, alienation, and lack of access to necessary services. How do cities proactively address the health and wellbeing needs of marginalized communities? How do we ensure metropolitan governments and urban planning departments reflect the diversity of our cities? How can cities ensure accessibility across their services? What is the biggest challenge in ensuring wellbeing for all? Speakers: Chama Benabderrazik, PMO Urban Projects, Phosboucraa Foundation Jo Ivey Boufford, President, International Society for Urban Health Kleo King, Deputy Commissioner, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, NYC Moderated by: Kathryn Travers, Development Officer, Equal Participation of Women, Concertation Montréal

8.00 – 9.00

Special Announcement: Introducing the World Cycling Index

Jean-Francois Rheault, Director – North America, Eco-Counter

10:25 – 11:00

Networking Break

11:00 – 11:30

Mini-Debate: The Case For and Against Connected Health New technologies promise ease and efficiencies within urban health and social care systems by allowing individuals to track their health statistics, deploying AI to analyze health data and provide pertinent information on a city-scale. Can these technologies truly deliver and improve the wellbeing of citizens? Debate! Nichol Bradford, Executive Director, The Transformative Technology Lab 

Wim Elfrink, President, WPE Ventures Digitized SolutionsModerated by: Arthur Allen, Health Editor, Politico

11.30 – 12.30

Town Hall: Building Happy Cities

With quickly growing populations, dated infrastructure and tight budgets, prioritizing happiness is often a challenge for cities. This session brings together experts from diverse backgrounds to explore how to inspire, motivate and empower policymakers and urban practitioners to build wellbeing into their projects for a healthier, happier urban future.Speakers: Charles Montgomery, Founder, Happy City Michelle Holliday, Author, The Age of Thrivability: Vital Perspectives and Practices for a Better WorldNarelle Sharpe, Mayor, Moonee Valley (Metropolitan area of Melbourne), Australia Moderated by:

Greg Lindsay, Senior Fellow, NewCities

12.30 – 12.45

Closing Remarks and Wellbeing City Award 2020 Announcement

12:45 – 1:45



Site Visits & Interactive Workshops Participants will design the rest of their day from a selection of interactive activities hosted by local and international urban innovators. Participants will have the opportunity to explore Montréal and connect with key stakeholders on the ground. There will also be workshops led by international experts sharing their knowledge and solutions from around the world.


Site Visits & Interactive Workshops Participants will design the rest of their day from a selection of interactive activities hosted by local and international urban innovators. Participants will have the opportunity to explore Montréal and connect with key stakeholders on the ground. There will also be workshops led by international experts sharing their knowledge and solutions from around the world. 1:45 – 3:10 Workshop 1: Re-Designing Government for Wellbeing

More and more governments worldwide are recognizing the importance of happiness and wellbeing as top policy priorities. Life satisfaction can now be measured and evidence is providing clearer direction to policymakers in where to focus new and effective public policies for raising societal wellbeing. This interactive workshop will involve participants in considering a range of policy options for promoting wellbeing, and challenge participants to design the optimal Wellbeing Policy Strategy.Atelier 1: Re-conceptualiser nos gouvernements pour le bien-être de tousDe plus en plus de gouvernements reconnaissent l’importance du bonheur et du bien-être comme des éléments prioritaires de leurs politiques. Ces éléments peuvent être mesurés et les travaux menés sur cette question permettent d’éclairer les décideurs dans l’élaboration de politiques qui améliorent le bien-être de la société. Cet atelier interactif amènera les participants à considérer une variété d’options de politiques qui visent le bien-être et les mettra au défi de conceptualiser la meilleure stratégie pour réaliser une véritable politique du bien-être.

Location: The President’s LoungeHosts: McGill University – Institute for Health and Social Policy & City of Montreal

Note: This workshop will be facilitated in both English and French 1:45 – 3:10 Workshop 2: Citizen-Led Climate Action: Building Hubs for Sustainable Cities Recognizing the growing influence municipal action has on reducing GHG emissions, Climate Reality Canada launched the Community Climate Hub (CCH) initiative to connect and support citizen groups to identify and help implement local solutions to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. You want to know how to raise the bar on climate action in your city? How to engage your community to develop a local action plan to create a more sustainable city? How can you hold your municipality accountable to measure the impact of their policies? Attend this workshop to learn how you can take action by joining or creating a Community Climate Hub and participate in a national movement mobilizing citizens to collectively voice their support of the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Location: Networking Area 1 Host: The Climate Reality Project Canada 1:45 – 3:10 Workshop 3: Designing Platforms for Enabling Wellbeing in Communities and smart cities How do we design platforms and systems that enable individuals and societies to thrive and flourish in cities? Designing such platforms will require a dynamic and multi-disciplinary approach that facilitates and integrates the learning from healthcare, psychology, biomedical science, social science, economics, urban planning, policy advisors, environmentalists and technology entrepreneurs. The goal of the workshop will be to facilitate a discussion on how to leverage technology to enable “wellbeing behaviors” in smart cities by addressing some of the challenges related to reducing stress, improving nutrition and enhancing sleep. Location: Main Stage — Perspective 235

Hosted by: JIYO

Site Visit 1: Village au Pied-du-Courant The Village au Pied-du-Courant is a reinvented public space in Montréal. Built anew every year by a collective effort, the project is made possible thanks to the participation of dozens of teams of designers and the support of countless collaborators. Dynamic in nature, the Village is an urban living lab for the experimentation and development of new practices in design, entrepreneurship and the arts. The Village au Pied-du-Courant has been managed by La Pépinière | Espace collectifs since its creation in 2014. A non-profit, the project subscribes to the goal of revitalizing an under-utilized urban space, while also permitting the local community to reappropriate it. Departure at 1:45 from the Centre des Sciences entrance Site Visit 2: Santropol Roulant The Santropol Roulant is a community food hub that brings people together through various programs, activities and services. This site visit to the headquarters, including the Terrasses Roy and Rooftop, will provide an occasion for participants to learn about how urban farming can foster sustainability and strong communities. Departure at 1:45 from the Centre des Sciences entrance Site Visit 3: Quartier des spectacles This walking tour will allow participants to explore the creativity and history that inhabit this 1 square kilometer in downtown Montréal. Head out on a discovery of the major events that have shaped the urban fabric and spirit of the Quartier des Spectacles, from the Red Light era to its recent transformation into a vast outdoor theatre. You will visit iconic cultural venues, its ambitious Luminous Pathway, and new buildings. Tourists and Montrealers alike appreciate this engaging walk through a sometimes little known area of Montreal. Departure at 3:30pm from the Centre des Sciences entrance