Five Fellows in the Action Canada leadership development program will release a policy report on innovative finance for urban spaces and places. Action Canada’s 2014-2015 theme focuses on Canadian cities.

Urban public spaces – such as streetscapes, parks, bike paths and green spaces – enhance a city’s quality of life and competitiveness by attracting the skilled workers and investment that fuel economic growth. However, municipalities today face tight budgets. Attention to urban spaces and places often takes a backseat to traditional infrastructure needs such as roads, bridges, water and sewers. As a result, innovative finance mechanisms – such as crowdfunding, municipal bonds and community bonds – are emerging that are being used to fund the development of urban public spaces.

The policy report, Financing Future Communities: innovative finance for urban spaces and places, examines innovative finance mechanisms and makes recommendations to help governments and cities engage with these emerging tools.