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About the Social Cities Research Program

What makes a great city and how do we get there?

Our Social Cities program explores this complex question through integrating work in a variety of social infrastructure project areas. This graphic provides a visual sketch of how we see these projects in relation to each other.


Thriving cities require that all of the resources within and around them interact as effectively as possible. This includes social and institutional resources that range from the very local, where we spend most of our lives, to the regional, national, and global contexts we are part of.

The complex network of relationships between people, institutions, and culture represents what we at Cardus call social architecture. We explore the existing social architecture and propose ways in which it might change to better serve the common good.

It is important that we understand the networks of institutions that make up our society. Taking stock of the best ideas and practices in research and policy development thinking can lead to thriving cities.

Cities are complex, social, and essential. Within these three assertions there are key issues related to building better cities that we are pursuing through our active 2013 projects.

The Halo Project

Churches and faith communities of various traditions contribute significantly to the common good. Typically, evaluation of these contributions have focused on qualitative resources that congregations make to the cultural, spiritual, and social well-being of the communities that surround them. Few studies, however, have assessed these contributions quantitatively using standard economic development measures. Early findings point toward a stronger presence for faith communities at the social policy table. Welcome to the Halo Project.

Phase 1 - Toronto is available now:

Contact

Milton Friesen
Program Director, Social Cities
mfriesen@cardus.ca
905-528-8866 x124
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Social Cities Newsletter

Learn about new developments in the Social Cities research program through our email newsletter sent approximately bi-monthly.

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Latest Research

Valuing Toronto's Faith Congregations
(June 2016)



Churches and faith communities of various traditions have a great deal to offer to society and to the common good. Typically, these contributions have focused on qualitative contributions that congregations make to the cultural, spiritual, and social well-being of the communities that surround them. Few studies, however, have assessed these contributions in quantitative monetary terms. Even fewer, qualitative or quantitative, have begun to explore how these realities might create a space for faith communities at the social policy table. Welcome to the Halo Project.

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Latest in Social Cities

Jun 16, 2016 - Cardus News
Local congregations provide significant economic benefits to their communities; study finds 10 Toronto-area congregations contribute $45 million
HAMILTON, June 16, 2016—A study of the economic effects of 10 Toronto-area religious congregat...
Mar 3, 2016 - Cardus Event
Planning in Good Faith: A Cambridge Evening Symposium
Planning in Good Faith is an event designed to enhance communication, understanding and collaboratio...
May 25, 2015 - Columns & Opinions
Helping people make connections
Failing to pay attention to our social infrastructure yields a result similar to neglect of bridges ...
May 13, 2015 - Cardus News
Milton Friesen talks about transit for Tamarack's Seeking Community blog
"Wheels, Walking and the Absence of Wings" explains how not only cities are social...