8 80 Cities

Pan-Canadian

8 80 Cities is a non-profit organization based out of Toronto. They believe that if everything they do in their cities is great for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old, then it will be great for all people. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for people in cities by bringing citizens together to enhance mobility and public space so that together they can create a more vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities.

 

8 80 Cities was started in January 2007 in the Toronto area as a result of the founder’s frustration by the lack of progress happening in cities both locally and globally. He knew the power of and importance of investing in sustainable mobility, parks, and public spaces, so he spoke with decision makers and community leaders to move from “talking to doing.” 8 80 Cities was initially started as “Walk and Bike for Life,” with the initial goal of promoting walking, bicycling, parks, and public spaces as a mean to building healthier, happier, and more equitable communities. This quickly grew over ten years and is now rebranded as 8 80 Cities, which can be found in over 350 communities across six continents.

 

Some of 8 80 Cities services include:

  • Unconventional Engagement, whose goal is to help create resilient communities where people are actively engaged and fairly represented in their city. This is done through a focus on playful, imaginative, and approachable engagement activities that attract a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Idea Labs, which are full or half day interactive sessions that involve knowledge sharing and guide people through a process to generate new ideas and doable projects for the community.
  • Open street planning, another service that includes community-based activities that temporarily open selected streets by closing them to cars. These streets become open spaces where people of all ages, abilities, and background can come out and improve their health.

Lastly, their Special Projects incubate new strategies and ideas to elevate people-centered urbanism. These projects are done in collaboration with their partners and clients.

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