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10 – A Guide for Cities Reducing Poverty

Posted on March 18, 2016
By Natasha Pei

Now is no time to think of what you do not have.
Think of what you can do with what there is.

                 -Ernest Hemingway


Coming out of the Poverty Reduction Summit in Ottawa in May, 2015, one of the ideas that Paul Born from Tamarack and Brock Carleton from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities had was to develop a paper that explored the increasing interest and involvement of municipalities in poverty reduction work across Canada.  

The result is 10 – A Guide for Cities Reducing Poverty that will be presented at the upcoming Cities Reducing Poverty: When Mayors Lead summit in Edmonton 5-7 April.  

The guide features 10 ideas to tackle poverty, 10 stories from cities that inspire, 10 resources that you can use to connect, and 10 ideas to get you started, all in a concise book that describes the exciting breadth of the work being carried out by Vibrant Communities Canada members across the country.  

In fact, there has been quite an acceleration of activity in the past year with new poverty reduction strategies being launched in large and small cities to reduce poverty, not just to alleviate the symptoms.  Big, bold, and audacious goals are taking hold: To end poverty in a generation.  But city mayors acknowledge that cities can’t do it alone; they need to engage broadly with business, community and neighbourhood groups, and people who live in poverty to design comprehensive and inclusive strategies with clear and measurable objectives.  We need to build a movement!

Here is a sneak peak of a neighbourhood strategy our Hamilton Cities Reducing Poverty members have been successfully implementing to reduce poverty in their community:



Neighbourhood-based community development is a vital strategy

To address rising inequality, many Canadian municipalities have implemented neighbourhood-level (place-based) interventions to address poverty and other place-based challenges. 

They understand that the lives of children and families improve when they reside in a safe and supportive neighbourhood that offers affordable housing, adequate services and access to public transportation and public spaces, as well as opportunities for social and economic participation in the community.. 

Hamilton’s Neighbourhood Action Strategy focuses on helping make neighbourhoods great places to live, work, play, and learn. Hamilton is working with community partners, residents, and neighbourhood groups to develop action plans to build healthier communities by: 

  • Enhancing community development work, 
  • Developing resident-led neighbourhood plans,
  • Increasing investments in neighbourhoods, and
  • Building new partnerships to support healthy neighbourhoods.

When building a strategy to reduce poverty consider the low income neighbourhoods in your community and ways to strengthen them.

Natasha Pei

By Natasha Pei

Natasha Pei brings online content to life and engages our members in the Vibrant Communities learning centre for poverty reduction. Natasha's involvement with Tamarack began with the Communities First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) project, where she worked as a Research Assistant in the Poverty Reduction Hub, studying effective ways community-campus engagement can be undertaken to have real benefits for the community.

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