The Urban Action Pitch-Off Night kicks off at Halifax City Hall in the evening of March 8th. The night was an opportunity for the cohort to present their projects to community members, professionals and our panel of judges. Before the pitch-off night, our cohort has spent the 7 dedicated weeks to identify housing issues in Halifax, brainstorm ideas, learn from housing expertise and integrate what they learned into creative solutions, then pitch here with the 7 projects.
We had one of the biggest snow storm this winter right before our pitch night, the community partners, friends and families showed great support by not only being able to make it to the night, as well filling the room with excitements.
The two city leads, Alfred Burgesson and Joyce Liu were the emcees for the night. They stated with land acknowledgement, brief introduction of what is 30Lab to the audiences, and thanked our partner Evergreen; our champion RBC; local sponsor Halifax Partnership; support from YMCA and Housing Nova Scotia; Common Good Solutions, Dalhousie University Entrepreneurship Center and City Hall for providing us spaces; and individuals from the community and mentors for guiding us though this process.
Robert Bernard, the co-founder of Youthful Cities, Lhazin Nedup, project lead of Evergreen and Robyn Webb, the Director of Labour Market Development with the Halifax Partnership each gave a short presentation.
Following the opening remarks, Alfred and Joyce introduced Halifax’s urban resilience topic, housing. Halifax is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, housing has always been an important issue in the city, but youth do not usually have a say in. They found it is key to have youth voice in the housing decision making process, we need to focus on to ensure our cities are equitable and liveable for all.
Joyce and Alfred then played a recap video of Future City Builders Halifax’s 7-week experience and explained the competition judging process.
We have four knowledgeable judges with a range of expertise in housing, social change and innovation.
They are: Nancy Baroni from Housing Nova Scotia, Kelsey Lane from Ecology Action Centre, Eric Lucic from Halifax Regional Municipality Planning Department and Melinda Sheridan from RBC.
We had seven teams in Halifax all address a housing issue here with an innovative solution.
The first team up was Mini City Builders, theywill re-purpose or help re-purpose either an old freight container, or a trailer that can host/house people looking for shelter and to connect to food accessibility, skills training, health outreach and the community.
Team 2, Living on the Edge:
For youth to live in the edge by providing a community with new mid-rise developments and amenities. As the center becomes more expensive to develop, edge communities are perfect for filling in the gap, where a complete community designed to attract young entrepreneurs, creatives and graduates.
Team 3, HFX Resilient Housing Network will partner with local developers to develop transitional housing and provide them employment opportunities in a supportive co-housing community.
Team 4, House Party.
They will host a series of youth focused educational events to empower first time renters in Halifax North District 8 to learn about housing issues and develop local solutions.
Team 5, ROOF. Their project is to address housing insecurity by building a centralized online platform, where individuals can find all local services like addiction recovery, food resources, shelters, clinics, food and clothing, events and emergency and mental health services in one place.
Team 6, Revolve. This project aims to alleviate the cost to renters of quality pieces of furniture that give them a sense of home or commitment to their home. They will collect used furniture, revolve the used/broken furniture into stylish, see-able furniture.
eam 7, Spotlight. Their project idea is to active vacant spaces in Halifax neighbourhoods by hosting pop-up events to engage community members with their future developments, and provide the tools & opportunities to help citizens take actions.
Each team pitch their ideas including the problem they identify, their solution, launch budget and what do they need to launch. Each pitch is followed by a Q&A session with the judges.
After 7 pitches, Kristina from Youthful Cities explained the voting process, which consists of audiences vote and judges vote.
After 20 minutes of break, all the judges came back with the winning team’s name. Everyone ws thrilled to know the first and second prize winners!
Robert Barnard and Robyn Webb announced the two teams:
HFX Resilient Housing Network won the $2500 prize!
And ROOF won the $7500 prize!
The audience and other lab members were all cheering and celebrating that moment with two winning teams.
At the end, Robert Barnard on behalf of Youthful Cities and Robyn Webb on behalf of Halifax Partnership gave an amazing closing remark.
Many thanks to Robert and Kristina for bringing Future City Builders program to Halifax, so we had the chance to work with 30 more peers, and had a youthful influence on the housing issues we didn’t get the chance to have a say-in before. With the support from Future City Builders program, our lab mentors and many more community partners, our seven teams will bring the energy to the community, and looking forward to seeing them launching their project, and having a continuous impact in Halifax.