In 2013, Urban Systems in Edmonton hosted the first annual Vibrant Communities Speaker Series. The speaker series was the idea of an Engineer In Training (EIT) at Urban Systems, who felt there was a gap in public awareness and understanding of the technical issues that underpin the creation of great communities. The multidisciplinary nature of Urban Systems was seen to be a strong foundation for organizing lectures that would begin to address some of those knowledge gaps. The idea for the series expanded to include more than just technical topics, more holistically focused on the topic of “Creating Vibrant Communities”.

….the idea of a private company inviting the public to become better informed about our community, at no cost, is simply amazing. It shows great leadership in changing the ways things are currently done.

The focus of these events echoes Urban Systems’ mission statement: “spirit in service for vibrant communities”, and is viewed as a platform to bring a diverse group of Edmontonians together to learn about, discuss, question, and inspire what vibrancy looks like and has the potential to be in our communities.


Being a Speaker at the Vibrant Communities Speaker Series

What is the Speaker Series

The Speaker Series is organized around the theme of creating vibrant communities. The goal is to create awareness of, and generate discussion about, what makes a vibrant community; to encourage people to learn about their community and get engaged in change. By promoting education and engagement, our aim is to build vibrant communities through involving people in relevant conversations on increasingly important issues.

About the Speaker Series

The series is hosted at a local venue, and is open to the public. An event can include a panel of speakers or a individual, followed by catering and an informal networking opportunity. Speakers volunteer their time and expertise and in return a donation is made on behalf of the speaker and Urban Systems to a charity of the speaker’s choice. Promotion prior to the event is done via Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.), the Urban Systems website, community newsletters (NextGen) and associations (APPI, APEGA, etc.) After the event, reference materials, including the speaker’s presentations, are made available online. Photography and video taken during the event may be used for communication and promotional purposes by Urban Systems.

Presentations from 2018

Innovation and Design in Affordable Housing –

Affordable Housing is fundamental to the well-being of individuals and communities, recognized as one of the key drivers that will help address the issues of poverty and inequality in society.

In the spirit of collaboration, a cross-section of individuals working in Affordable Housing, from government, the non-profit sector, private development, and social enterprise, relayed their experiences in innovation and design in affordable housing and how that can contribute to vibrant communities.

Here is the full length video of the event,

Presentations from 2017

Automated Vehicle Technology and City Building with Erin Toop

For the last two years the City of Edmonton has been intentionally studying automated vehicle technology and has been at the centre of the local, provincial and federal dialogue around responsibly advancing this technology. In fall 2015, the City commissioned a study on the potential transportation and land use impacts of automated vehicles in Edmonton. This presentation will cover the highlights and lessons learned from the study, and the City’s approach to preparing and planning for this disruptive technology moving forward. With the City of Edmonton ultimately striving to achieve sustainable mobility for all citizens, it is important to plan and leverage automated vehicle technology to this end, rather than react to the technology as it becomes available.

Social Innovation

A discussion about the future of social innovation in Edmonton. There are many ways that social innovation can be defined, but simply put it is applying new ways of thinking to better the world. Our speakers were MacEwen University’s Dr. Leo Wong and Amor Provins who were joined by social innovator Aleeya Velji and community partner Jordan Reiniger (Boyle Street) to provide a holistic view of the current landscape in Edmonton.

Presentations from 2016

RISE – Reconciliation

Miranda Jimmy, Kasey Machin, Jane Purvis and Anna Marie Sewell are part of Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton (RISE) and discuss their own thoughts and ideas about what reconciliation means to them.

Enhancing Neighbourliness – Anne Harvey

View our YouTube Playlist to watch other past presentations.

Copyright © 2020 Urban Systems. All Rights Reserved.