Becoming Active Citizens

MikeConnect with us

This week, we hosted a group at The Hub to participate in the second webinar in the Social Innovation & Resilience in Cities series, jointly hosted by Cities for People and Social Innovation Generation.

Friends from the Vancouver Food Bank, Grace Vancouver Church and our own Building Caring Communities team listened to Juan Carlos Londono and Cédric Jamet from 100in1Day Montreal to talk about active citizenship.


Here are some of the notes people took:

  • Most of us commit “non acts” because we are afraid to face possible shame or embarrassment. What is stopping you?
  • We need to re-conquer the ordinary. As you do this you bring new culture. It is amazing that we have buses that run on time, that garbage gets picked up and we have infrastructure that is mostly good: BUT would it be amazing to live in a place where neighbours all knew each other, trusted one another, and there were opportunities to connect and build bonds. It can be as little as saying hi and meeting your neighbours.
  • Our cities are exploding as more people return to them but our social fabric is fragile with so much emphasis on consumption.
  • This can be so ordinary and we can become the keepers of the fire as we practice differently every day. We need to transform ourselves first. Can we find 4-5 people to co-create with us? Build a diverse group and if you are stuck look at what others have done. Begin to inhabit the city’s conscious.
  • Pay attention to everyday experiences and the gifts around you. Inhabit the city consciously. Become active stewards of the physical and human space, showing the power of small acts. See everything as a prototype you created in test tubes. These small acts will reduce the gap of the urban experience and laws and regulations.
  • Active citizens will build the resilence of the city.
  • We have the power to do something. We have noticed in the north they are more cautious, more concerned with rules, and also have beautiful cities. In the south there is less concern with rules and structures.
  • We need to become playful in our city. Have the imagination of a child who turns a park bench into a pirate ship. Care, play and dare!

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