June 19, 2019


Welcome Remarks

John Rossant, Chairman, NewCities


Opening Keynote: Defining Urban Wellbeing

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?

10.30 - 11.15

Networking Break

11.15 - 11.25

Laureate Presentation: City to be announced


Panel: Building Sustainable Cities

By focusing on creating clean, low carbon and resilient environments, both built and natural, 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?

12.15 - 1.00


1.00 - 1.50

Panel: Ensuring Opportunity

The success of a city relies on residents’ ability to access opportunities. Cities can address inequality and promote inclusive, accessible cities through confronting such challenges 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?

1.50 - 2.15

Laureate Interview: Two Cities to be announced

2.15 - 3.05

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?

3.05 - 4.30

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.

4.30 - 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 to wellbeing in cities - and also why people choose to live and work in urbanized areas. How are urban designers and planners, architects, policymakers, and local government promoting community in cities? What innovations are exemplary in such areas as fostering social support networks for the vulnerable, family-friendly resources, encouraging civic participation and engagement?

5.30 - 6.15

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.

6.15 - 8.30

Reception in honor of the Laureates of the Wellbeing City Award 2019

June 20, 2019

9:00 - 9:15

Opening Keynote Day 2

9:15 - 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 that 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?

10.15 - 10.35

Fireside Chat: Partnering for the Public: How Governments and Private Companies can Work Together to Achieve Urban Health

There is increased recognition, not least with the SDGs, of the need for quality multi-sectoral partnerships to address complex urban challenges. Sharing responsibility for the wellbeing of city dwellers eases the constraints of the public sector and allows for best practices, research and investment into public health solutions. How can we promote partnership to ensure urban wellbeing in cities across the globe?

10.35 - 10.45

Special Announcement: Introducing the World Cycling Index

10.45 - 11.15

Networking Break

11:15 - 11:45

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!

11.45 - 12.45

Town Hall: Building Happy Cities

With quickly growing populations, dated infrastructure and tight budgets, prioritizing happiness is often a challenge for cities. This session will explore how to inspire, motivate and empower policymakers and urban practitioners to build mental health into their projects for a healthier, happier urban future.

12:45 - 1:00

Closing Keynote and Announcement of Wellbeing Cities Award 2020

1:00 - 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.