Our world is changing. Our population expanding. The United Nations forecasts that by 2050, there will be 9 billion people on Planet Earth.

6.25 billion of those people will live in cities.

That means we need to change the way we plan, build and maintain our urban centres. We need to build better cities. We have the opportunity to transform lives if we agree to tackle the urbanization challenges head-on, and start now.

We need to build better cities for the people in them. Making them more accessible to all.

Congestion. Smog. Urban heat island effect. Brownouts. Flooding. Lack of affordable housing. Not enough schools or hospital beds. These are all problems being faced by Canadian cities. Right now. But if we change the way we think about cities, we can change the way cities perform.

By focusing on smart growth. By thinking long term. By studying how people interact with the built environment, and looking for ways to improve that interaction. By thinking about multi-use options and giving each building more than one purpose. When we succeed, our cities will be equipped to handle increasing populations. Populations that are healthier. Happier. Safer. More prosperous and more productive.

We want Canada to be the best place to live in the entire world. We want to see it compete on the world stage and win. We want our social and economic engines—our urban centres—to be the envy of every other country.

That’s why we’re building better cities.