In the ever-dynamic evolution of world cities, coherent directions have nonetheless emerged that are increasingly driving our urban future – generally embraced directions to reposition smart cities for better human and natural outcomes. And yet, we continue to be confronted by the nagging challenges and the disrupters that will change the equation for success – positively or negatively or both. The urban paradigm continues to wabble and shift. Of course, it is ‘as the world turns’ and it offers frightening and thrilling prospects for the new planners who will take the future into their hands. 

During this keynote address, Larry Beasley looks at Canadian Cities from the world perspective of both best practices and the emerging urban innovations and accidents. He remembers where we have come from and sketches where we are at with Canadian urban practice. Finally, he highlights the old and new forces that incoming planners will be confronted with as they join the fray. 

Larry’s message is simple: the urban condition we have learned about is not to be taken for granted – but the urban condition that we create can be whatever we wish to make it. The underlying implication is not so simple: the new generation must drive us forward not drag us back, against all odds.