Click through the day tabs below to see our three day program.

Sunday, October 27

Join us Sunday evening for the LCF Dine-Around!

The Sunday dine around event provides an opportunity for delegates to dine at local restaurants and get to know the people attending the Forum.  Restaurants will be announced in June 2019.

Please note that delegates are responsible for the cost of their own dinner.

Meeting place: The Victoria Conference Centre, first floor registration area. Time to be provided closer to event.

Please contact if you have any questions about the Dine-arounds.

Day One

Monday, October 28


7:30 – 8:30 Registration and light breakfast


8:30 – 10:00     OPENING PLENARY



Coming Together: Collaborative Co-governance as a key Towards Resilience

Climate change response requires collaborative, community-based approaches where governments and non-government actors work together to assess risks, co-produce plans, and take action. This session will explore how the governance around climate change and resilience must shift away from transactional partnerships to more integrated and transformational ones that move beyond responsibility for independent results to relationships that involve co-creation, shared risks and responsibilities, interdependency, and organizational transformation.

People, Pipes, or Both: Applying integrated thinking for resilient solutions

Canadian municipalities are in a period of infrastructure assessment, renewal, and investment; as decisions and investments in infrastructure are made, it is vital that these not only consider a climate adjusted future, but also what the function and possible co-benefits of that infrastructure in a community could be. This session will unpack resiliency both as an engineered (hard infrastructure) response and as a community planning (people-based) response, strengthening the voice of and need for integrated thinking and solutions.

Stories of Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

From sea to sea, communities in Canada are facing unprecedented conditions that are increasing the risk of floods and wildfires. How can we prepare for, respond to and recover from such devastating events, to discover and enhance the resilience in each other and collectively? Join us as we hear stories about the firsthand experiences of communities who have recently lived through such extreme events, what has been learned and where we need to turn next.

Low carbon resilience (LCR): Synergies between Adaptation and Mitigation in Practice

Both adaptation and mitigation act to lower the risks and impacts of climate change. While the two responses have evolved separately, current research and practice suggests that there are benefits to coordinating both strategies in climate action planning and implementation. Low carbon resilience provides a new lens to contribute to municipal strategy and operations in an integrated manner, internalizing climate evidence and data while also streamlining approaches that save municipal resources, synergize policies and co-benefits, and coordinate planning and implementation for effective climate governance in practice. This session will provide an overview of LCR, highlighting emerging research and best practices.

 12:00 – 1:30   NETWORKING LUNCH


Social Resilience, Healthy Communities, and Climate Change

How can we intentionally build community resilience as part of the process of responding and adapting to climate change, as well as other shocks and stressors facing communities? What are the capacities and mindsets that support resilience, and how can we pro-actively foster these? Sharing learnings from community case studies, this session will highlight initiatives and approaches focused on increasing resilience through fostering greater social connectedness in local neighbourhoods.

Who's got the Power?

Different departments, professions, actors, and orders of government develop and administer adaptation and mitigation policies and plans. Effective climate action is increasingly determined by its alignment and coherence with existing and emerging policies, programs, and practices. In order to promote effective LCR it is important to align these influencers – their goals and practices. This session will explore the key influencers and the nested inter-dependencies that either enable or hinder the development and implementation of integrated climate action at the municipal scale. Discussion of key influencers and potential levers that can mobilize LCR co-benefits at various scales of governance and practice will be explored.

Does What Makes a Neighbourhood Great Also Make it Resilient?

Local governments are working to identify climate impacts, to assess key vulnerabilities, and to develop strategies that increase urban resilience. However, as we build resilience, it is important to recognize that tangible climate risks are often underpinned by an intangible system of attitudes, values, and cultural traditions that are rooted in place. This session, using a fishbowl format, will have a collaborative dialogue where the line between panelists and participants is blurred. As a group we will explore the role that placemaking (or strengthening the connection between people and the places they share) has in building resilience to both climate change and other stressors.

The Economics of Resilience: Understanding the business case for adaptation

With extreme weather being more frequent and perceived as the new normal, decision makers are looking to understand the financial impact of these events as well as the economics of adapting and minimizing risk. Despite recent progress on financial disclosure and building the business case the economics of resilience have been hard to navigate. This session will bring together experts from a variety of sectors to help demonstrate the costs and/or economic opportunities of adapting to climate change and building resilience.

 3:00 – 3:30    COFFEE BREAK



Health and Equity in a Changing Climate: Understanding vulnerability to the health impacts of climate change

Climate change will affect all of us, but some communities and populations are at greater risk of experiencing health impacts from a changing climate. We know that our social and physical environments matter in determining our exposure to risk, but also our ability to respond and build resilience. Factors such as housing, income, social support networks, and community capacity all affect our ability to respond and adapt to climate change. This workshop will explore what health equity means in the face of climate change and present ‘climate and health vulnerability assessments’ as an approach to inform adaptation actions to reduce negative health impacts and increase local resilience.

Aligning Low Carbon Resilience and Ecosystem-based Planning: Synergies between climate action, biodiversity planning, and green infrastructure

All Canadian municipalities are caught between failing infrastructure and unprecedented impacts on infrastructure. Much of the responsibility for infrastructure governance has been devolved to the local scale. A compelling area for alignment is the integration of adaptation and mitigation in considerations of infrastructure remediation, forecasting, and financing. This session explores the opportunities available to local governments to retain and/or rehabilitate ecosystem services, conserve and/or enhance biodiversity, utilize green infrastructure to buffer against projected climate risks while also deriving local strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve co-benefits for overall property and cultural values, human health, social equity, and biodiversity. Viewing the current infrastructure challenge as an opportunity to create alignment and coherence in policy and planning, this session will work with participants to identify municipal co-benefits of green infrastructure planning.

#climatechange: Climate communications in the digital era

Coupling the complexity of climate change with the complexity of communications makes for an overwhelming challenge that can leave many daunted, bewildered, and frustrated. This session will discuss the role of communications in building healthy, low carbon and resilient communities. Presenters will share on how climate communicators have engaged communities and helped mobilize action through innovative, targeted strategies.


6:00-9:00     MAYOR’S DINNER

Location: Crystal Garden, Victoria Conference Centre

Day Two

Tuesday, October 29


7:30 – 8:30 Registration and light breakfast


8:30 – 9:30     MORNING PLENARY



Ask an Expert - Solutions Café

During this world cafe workshop, participants will have an opportunity to discuss specific topics relating to the themes of this years Forum: Making the Links between climate change and health; Role of infrastructure; Low carbon resilience. Individual topics will range from general to very specific, and participants will be led through a series of short conversations by Table Hosts who are familiar with each of the topics. Together, hosts and participants will explore the nature and likelihood of specific impacts, as well as ways to take collaborative action.

Table hosts:

  • Managing wildfire risk
  • Indigenous stories of resilience
  • Low impact development
  • Health impacts of climate change
  • Collaborative planning processes
  • Climate change and equity
  • Climate impacts and the natural environment
  • Climate impacts and the built environment

Greening and Cooling Playgrounds in Canada

Designing for thermal comfort is vital in the context of climate change. Because of climate change, the numbers of extremely hot days (≥ 30°C) in much of Canada is expected to become more common, with significant impacts on human health. Researchers have called for a change in policies and regulations to improve thermal comfort in playground design. Making play equipment and spaces thermally comfortable in summer not only could minimize heat-related illnesses but also help ensure that children can safely exercise and play outdoors in moderately hot conditions. Greening playgrounds with trees, shrubs and vegetated open-space is a key mechanism for providing shade and cooling in summer. This panel discussion will bring together experts from different professional backgrounds and disciplines to discuss promising tools and actions for greening and cooling playgrounds in Canada.


Healthy Cities Research: The role city research partnerships play in building livable, learning cities

Over the next decade, factors including climate change, aging populations, technological innovation and more than $180 billion of Federal Government investment in community infrastructure projects will contribute to significant change in Canadian cities. Innovative policy, program and infra-structure responses to this change present an enormous opportunity to learn about how to maximize the health potential of cities. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s new interdisciplinary Healthy Cities Research Initiative aims to capitalize on this learning opportunity to better understand how we can design, build and support healthier, more equitable cities. This session will explore how municipalities and local decision-makers can harness city change to improve health and resilience at home and in other communities. The session will:

  • Showcase the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Healthy Cities Research Initiative and highlight opportunities for municipalities and local organizations to benefit;
  • Demonstrate how intervention and implementation science can empower decision-makers and improve health and health equity; and
  • Identify strategies to facilitate municipal-academic partnerships that address local needs and create a network of ‘learning cities.’

Building Health & Resilience through Sustainable Place-based Food Systems

Food is at the crux of the intersections between climate change and individual and community health – it plays a significant role in the social and cultural resilience of a community, as well as being integral to local ecologies and economies. And yet, the nexus of food, climate change and health, together, has been scarcely addressed to date. There is growing attention to issues of food security and food system resilience at a community and regional level; the impacts of climate change for food systems and, separately, for health, are increasingly gaining attention; and the connections between food and individual and community health are well understood. The table has been set for us to take the next step of addressing the intersections between all three and the implications for the well-being and resilience of our communities moving forward.

In this session we will be introduced to a newly developed framework that links climate change impacts, food security, the food system and health outcomes, and hear from leading examples of practice and research into pieces of this picture. Through facilitated small group discussions between presenters and participants, we will engage in dialogue to explore what’s next: how can we bring these pieces together to elevate and inspire more integration across these three fields of research and practice?

11:00 – 11:30    COFFEE AND NETWORKING

11:30 – 1:00      CONCURRENT SESSIONS

#climatechange: Workshop exploring climate communications

Try your hand at identifying target audiences, framing key messages, and choosing messengers. This interactive workshop will explore the tips and tricks for how to engage different groups in resilience planning and implementation. Participants will learn from experienced communicators how to segment audiences, frame messages, seize timing, and much more. Using real life climate change solutions this workshop will give participants a chance to ask questions, try their hand at developing a communications strategy, and leave with some tools they can apply in their day-to-day work.

Extreme Heat, Health, and Collaborative Responses for Resilient Communities

Canadians are experiencing more frequent and extreme heat events. As the risk of health impacts from extreme heat is expected to continue rising, it is critical we work together across sectors to prepare and increase the resilience of our communities. Fortunately, efforts are underway to address the health risks of extreme heat in a number of communities and sectors across the province. This workshop will explore the impacts of rising temperatures on health and well-being and introduce short and long-term actions (e.g. Heat Alert and Response Systems) to adapt to rising temperatures and increase community resilience to heat.

Renewable Energy Transition: From commitment to implementation

Only a small number of cities in Canada have committed to 100% renewable energy. Being the first to do so means that these cities will face new challenges (and opportunities) such as approaching the transition towards renewable energy with a lens of equity and social resilience. This session will draw on examples, best practices, and lessons learned from municipalities and community renewable energy transition projects. The session will focus on how renewable energy transition can have an impact on health, broader infrastructure decisions, and at the same time be an integral step towards low carbon resilience.

1:00 – 2:00    NETWORKING LUNCH


One & All: Climate impacts on mental health & wellbeing

Canadian communities have been facing extreme, and in some cases repeated, wildfire and flood events in recent years. In addition to these types of extreme events, many communities and individuals are experiencing more ongoing, chronic stresses related to the impacts of climate change such as drought, impacts on traditional foods, and rising food costs. Experiencing and anticipating increasingly intense or repeated shocks and stressors has significant implications for mental health and well-being, which will have cascading effects on our individual and collective resilience. In addition to the increasing need for individual supports, we will also need to strengthen community connectedness and our collective capacity to process trauma, in order to enhance resilience. Join this session to hear perspectives from academia and the frontlines of community experience, about the impacts of climate change for mental health and well-being, and to discuss the opportunities for communities to enhance resilience, together.

Adaptive and Resilient Buildings for All Climates

Description to be announced.

Low Carbon Resilience Linkages: Synergies for infrastructure and health planning

Low carbon resilience (LCR) provides a new lens to design and develop communities, accounting for climate evidence and data, while also streamlining approaches that save municipal resources, synergize policies for more effective integration, and coordinate planning and implementation for effective governance in practice. This session will explore strategic linkages between climate action planning and infrastructure planning, including opportunities to consider co-benefits with broader community health planning.

Advancing our Knowledge for Action: Canada’s climate change assessment and you

This interactive session will allow participants to learn more about Canada’s National Climate Change Assessment process, and provide their input on the draft key messages from the report that are relevant to the themes of the conference. Participants will be asked to comment on the key messages’ content, wording and relevance, and discuss potential spin-off uses and products, as well as future directions. This will help ensure that the assessment is relevant to the important target audiences represented by Livable Cities’ attendees.


4:00 – 5:00    CLOSING PLENARY

5:30-7:00   ICLEI and FCM Cocktail Reception

Location: To be announced.

Day Three

Wednesday, October 30


7:00 – 8:00 Light breakfast


Study tours give you a chance to see first-hand a variety of local resilience and sustainability projects in action. The tours are designed as half day excursions that allow delegates to explore Victoria and the surrounding area via walking, cycling, and transit (and more!), visiting community-based and municipally managed projects. These “travelling workshops” provide a hands-on opportunity to learn about best practices, ask questions, and get to know what community resilience looks like in Victoria.

Workshop: Victoria Idea Camp

Time: 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM

Location: Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BC

Description: An opportunity for municipalities to connect, share, and ask questions around smart cities, which achieve meaningful outcomes for residents through the use of data and connected technology. The conversation will explore the connection between smart cities approaches and how digitization and information technology can provide opportunities to achieve broader resilience goals.

Note: Workshop runs until 2:00 PM. Lunch will be provided.

Click here for the workshop agenda.

Exploring Urban Food Systems

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Departing from Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BCagriculture-basket-beets-533360

Description: Learn about the innovative ways Victoria is cultivating community while increasing the amount of food grown in the city. Join us on a tour exploring community gardening and commercial urban agriculture! Visit a community commons garden, a youth learning garden, a community orchard, an allotment garden and boulevard gardens. We will also visit a small-scale commercial urban food producer, growing and selling food crops right here in the City.

Note: The tour includes a 2 km walk (round trip), rain or shine, come prepared. Snacks will be provided.

Community Building, Equity, and Wellbeing: A multi-modal tour in Victoria

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Departing from Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BC after introductory presentationBikelane on Pandora Ave_Darren Stone

Description: Victoria is a city on the move. In order to accommodate new growth and support objectives on climate action, health, economic development and community resiliency, the City of Victoria is transforming the built environment to increase mode share for cycling, walking and public transit. This free tour will showcase examples of transportation infrastructure and how it contributes to safety, access and equity by increasing mobility options for residents and visitors. On the journey, participants will have a chance to visit different sites to learn about City programs, investments, partnerships and projects that improve the well-being of residents, encourage social connections, demonstrate community building and celebrate the important history and culture in the Capital City.

Note: This tour will be a true multi-modal experience. Participants should expect moderate physical activity and be prepared for an all-weather tour. Bicycles and helmets will be provided for the cycling portion of the tour. A bagged lunch will be provided.

People, Place & Community Passion: Building Connectedness through

Placemaking Across Victoria

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Departing from Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BCVictoria,_BC_-_Market_Square_04_(20473563926)

Description: Like other cities across Canada, Victoria is alive with activities and projects that aim to improve community connectedness and shape our public spaces for the common good. This interactive bicycle tour will visit some Victoria’s most creative placemaking sites, experience different neighbourhoods, and hear from local champions about initiatives that are all about connecting people to the places they live. From traffic calming and “pocket places,” to public art and emergency preparedness, come on a journey to be inspired by projects and processes that foster healthier, happier and more resilient communities.

Co-hosted by: Greater Victoria Placemaking NetworkCity of Victoria’s Neighbourhoods Team, and SHIFT Collaborative’s Building Resilient Neighbourhoods initiative.

Note: This tour is by bicycle. Participants should expect moderate physical activity and be prepared for an all-weather tour. Bicycles and helmets will be provided.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Wednesday, Oct. 30th activities (above) are included with your registration for the Livable Cities Forum, but are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can choose a Study Tour or Workshop when you register for the Forum. If you have already registered, we will reach out to you for your study tour/workshop selection.

Email for more information about study tours.

Program Themes

Three themes will be interwoven throughout this event to help highlight how integrated action can enhance the social capital, economic security, equity, and vitality of our communities.


Exploring the Climate Change and Health Nexus

This theme will build an understanding on how approaches to climate change can not only protect, but also improve community health and well-being. Climate change action that uses a health and social equity lens can help to protect the most vulnerable, while at the same time providing a mechanism to build better neighbourhoods, promote social inclusion, and facilitate deeper collaboration and impact.


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 Role of Infrastructure in Building Better Neighbourhoods

Through this theme the Forum will delve into the role that infrastructure – both built and natural – plays in creating more livable, healthy, and equitable communities. Sessions will look at how to consider the co-benefits associated with various infrastructure types, the trade-offs involved with infrastructure decisions, and the relationship between  infrastructure, resilience, and communities.


Advancing Low Carbon Resilience for more Livable Communities

Under the theme of low carbon resilience, the conference will explore how considering both climate resilience and moving towards a low carbon future in an integrated way can highlight the multiple co-benefits for communities and ecosystems. This theme will look at the role of green infrastructure, integrated planning, and collaborative action and how these can be tools to advance action on low carbon resilience.

This year’s program will be delivered in a variety of unique formats including panel discussions, plenaries and several interactive and dynamic sessions.  Sessions are uniquely designed to go beyond presentation-style information delivery, and include several interactive and engaging workshops and world cafes for more networking and hands-on learning opportunities


We hope you will join us at what is sure to be an exciting and inspiring event.