Youthful Cities Impact Report 2021/2022

In the past year, we at Youthful Cities have accomplished a great deal in our pursuit of making cities across Canada better places for everyone. Most of our work is focused on creating open data to help us achieve that goal, and this impact report will highlight some of the recent projects that we have created and collaborated on. We hope to continue with our work in the years to come and that you decide to join us in our mission to make cities more youthful.

Land acknowledgement

Youthful Cities is located on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Anishnaabe, Haudenosaunee, Mississaugas of the New Credit. We are an organization that works remotely all over Turtle Island, which is colonially known as Canada.

We are committed to making more equitable data that recognizes the history of Indigenous people in Canada. We are learning and unlearning through deep listening and reflection to move forward with data collection that is representative and just.

Note from our team about the impact and context of the past year

At Youthful Cities we work to make cities more open, dynamic, playful and inclusive through research, open data, storytelling and skill building. Our work this year aimed to address these goals to make cities more youthful places to live for everyone.

Providing youth with access to open data

To provide youth with accessible open data we relaunched THE GRID our open data repository. The relaunch included four new data sets: Refugee Resettlement Index, Refugee Resources, Real Affordability Index, and the CBYF (Communities Building Youth Futures) Index in addition to the preexisting PIVOT 2020 data. To aid in accessibility, map visualization was added through implementing geo data to nearly all data sets! Visualization elements were further improved by the data playground. In the playground users can quickly compare cities, seeing which ones score the highest for any measurement in our indexes. Users can also generate rapid insights that provide an overview and comparison of a specific topic, indicator, and measure across several cities or communities.

Empowering youth to harness data for youth driven initiatives

To empower youth to harness data for youth driven initiatives we launched Open Up. The Open Up program worked with 17 organizations across Canada and empowered them to use tools to activate open data that will enhance their organization’s impact. Upon completion of the program, 100% of participants said they will use open data in future work.

Engaging youth at a community level

To engage youth at a community level we worked with the Tamarack Institute on their Communities Building Youth Futures Initiative. We had dialogue with youth from 10 different communities to develop collective impact and system-wide solutions for youth as they build and act upon plans for their future.. This information informed 1800 data points which paint a picture about youth and youth issues in these communities. These data points are available on THE GRID to be used by youth, governments and policy makers.

Engaging youth traditionally underserved by data

To engage youth traditionally underserved by data we worked with young refugees to hear their stories and identify needs. Through this process we developed Kulba, a refugee resettlement app. This app provides information on over 1400 resources in 10 secondary cities to benefit newcomers to Canada.

Dark image with 2 phone mockups of the Kulba app,

Showcasing nationwide issues of youth affordability

To showcase nationwide issues of youth affordability we launched the Real Affordability Index. This index used 2414 data points to give an insight into how youth in Canada are doing financially post Covid. The story reached global media attention with journalists using this data to tell the stories of youth affected by the the affordability crisis in their city. This index provided a starting point for a national conversation around solutions for the youth affordability crisis in Canada.

Showcasing youth needs in the work force

To showcase youth needs in the work force we launched the Urban Work Index. This index uses indicators that matter the most to youth to examine which Canadian cities are the best for youth to work in. The index was featured in several national news sources as a guide for youth to understand the best cities to work in.