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The Lab

Social and institutional resources to give our cities meaning.

Charity

How can we do good together?

Social Capital

How do social connections impact quality of life in cities?

Subsidiarity

How can we balance freedom and responsibility today?

Case Studies

Who are the organizational pioneers of our time?

City Soul

Why are religious communities so vital to our cities?

Subsidiarity is an unusual term for something deeply common and asks a simple question: Are there ways of thinking about and living out our common life that go beyond right, centre, left or other political labels? How do we better attend to the relationship between freedom and responsibility in the context of social structures ranging from the individual to a whole society? Are there particular arrangements that lead to a productive balance that is both equitable and able to persist over time (high resilience)? Are there arrangements that decrease freedom or responsibility and that lead to structures that have a low chance of persisting over time (low resilience)? How can research, policy and cultural engagement re-orient strategies to reflect higher resilience and more robust freedom and responsibility dynamics? The social philosophy of subsidiarity can inform a meaningful approach to these key questions.


Latest

Opening the Soul of the City: Talking About Cities with Noah Toly and Milton ...

In part I of Brian Dijkema's conversation with Milton Friesen and Noah Toly, they discussed the f...

Cities at a Human Scale: An Interview with Andreas Dalsgaard

Andreas Dalsgaard is a documentary filmmaker and director of The Human Scale, a film directly inf...

Cardus Case Study: Innovations in Mental Health Housing

Indwell is an Ontario organization that has worked for many years to establish effective and sust...

Milton Friesen: How Buildings Boss Us Around

Social Cities director Milton Friesen wrote about how much design matters for The Seekers Journal...

Faith in the City: Part III, City Soul

Milton Friesen is Program Director for Social Cities with Cardus, "a think tank dedicated to the ...

The Other Side of the City

I would never have imagined that the city could get into my bones and under my skin. I grew up in...

Strengthening Vital Signs Through Urban Religious Communities

The Social Cities research report "Strengthening Vital Signs Through Urban Religious Communities"...

David Greusel: The Work of Architects and the Common Good

David Greusel has worked as an architect for more than thirty years with several Midwestern firms...

Becoming Socially Incompetent

Here are a few things that can foster this re-weaving, in no particular order: hospitality (invit...

Glorious Adaptation: Institutions that are Future Ready

We need to do much more to advance our understanding of what makes institutions bendy, adaptive, ...

The Shifting Demand for Social Services

Every day Canadians rely on an extensive infrastructure provided by the charitable and not-for-pr...

Manga - the symbols of culture

Could we, however, consider other aspects of our making and doing as telling a story rather than ...

A Canadian Culture of Generosity

“A Canadian Culture of Generosity: Renewing Canada’s Social Architecture by Investing in the Civi...

Living on the Streets

Times in Hamilton are changing. Theories of secularization have been discredited in many circles ...