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This program is led by Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Youthful Cities and the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, and funded by the Government of Canada.

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Young people make up an incredible 20-25% of our population - and 83% of them live in cities. As we look towards a brighter future, we need this force for change within young people to help us determine where we are at, and where we need to be moving forward. To do so, we need to begin with a solid foundation to really understand the issues that matter most to them - and have that foundational data readily available to city-builders and partners so our young people can begin those conversations from a place of shared understanding. 


From October 13 to December 7, 2020, over 1,200 young people (our Pivot team) gathered the data needed to produce three research products that will be used to populate the Youthful Cities Pivot Hub. This Pivot Hub will be made available - for free - for anyone to use.  

All work was carried out by virtually our team members in each of our 27 cities to meet COVID-19 safety precautions. It consists of three main components:

  1. an index

  2. a survey

  3. community interviews


Want to know more...?

an index!

We know there’s already great information out there about our cities. But they’re not always easy to find or available in the same place - and let’s face it - COVID-19 is a new reality and we need to fill in some gaps. So, we’re building an index from publicly available third-party information that will help measure and compare how well cities across Canada are supporting 18-29 year olds to live, work, play and thrive. Encompassing 27 cities across Canada, the index will identify areas of strength and weakness in each of the target cities and provide information that can be used to shape COVID-19 recovery.

We’re lucky to have a great framework for this. The Pivot 2020 - Youthful Cities Index is based on the Urban Index work Youthful Cities (one of our core partners) has been doing all over the world. Over the past eight years, Youthful Cities has asked more than 30,000 youth in cities around the world what is most important to them. The results of their research created the 21 Urban Attributes that we will use to create our Pivot 2020 - Youthful Cities Index. 

The Index will be created using publicly available data and information sources like institutional websites, articles online or phone calls to community centres, City Hall and other civic spaces. These sources will be categorized into categories known as indicators, related to the 21 attributes in each city (e.g., number of public libraries in a city; cost of a bus ticket in a city, etc).

a survey!

Pivot 2020 wants to better understand how young people (15-29 years-old) interact with their cities before and after COVID-19 so we’re asking: when it comes to living, working, playing and thriving in their city, how are young people connecting (or not) with their cities?

On the front end, a survey taker (maybe you?) reviews the questions, fills out their responses and submits the form. On the back end, we’re celebrating each and every completed form. You’ve now contributed one more valuable piece of data that, together with the other responses we’ll receive, can identify patterns to give us a really thorough understanding of where young people stand on the issues that matter most to them. 

Our survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated. 

an interview!

The purpose of the Pivot 2020 interview is to really take the time to chat about and understand the impact of COVID-19 on individual and collective experiences in different cities. These conversations will identify gaps, challenges and opportunities related to the city’s COVID-19 crisis response and recovery from individual viewpoints and experiences. 

Interviews make it easier to see patterns and trends, which we’ll analyze based on the transcripts and notes we’ll be taking during these conversations to capture where individuals feel their cities are at, at this time.

Who did we speak with? Our Pivot team members conducted interviews across the following:

  • Within the Pivot 2020 network (peer-to-peer interview)

  • With interviewees who work in the public sector (city planner, mayor, city councilor, city engineer, resident association chair, etc.)

  • With interviewees who work in the private sector (CEO, small business owner, business improvement association staff person)

  • With interviewees who work for a non-profit (board member, executive directors, non-profit network leaders, coordinators, program managers, arts council directors, etc.)