Cities For People

Working together for resilient communities


Cities for People


2013 - 2015


  • Information Architecture
  • Responsive Design
  • UI Design
  • UX Design
  • WordPress

Cities for People is an experimental project initiated by The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation to foster collaboration between multiple stakeholders to enhance social, ecological, and economic well-being in urban centres.

Facilitating dialogue and action

Cities for People was a two-year pilot project started in 2015 by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. The goal of the website was to facilitate dialogue and action on social, ecological, and economic well-being to strengthen thriving civic cultures.

As a central hub for all elements of the Cities for People pilot project, the site was designed to ease collaboration between stakeholders, including residents, social entrepreneurs, artists, designers, environmental activists, impact investors, municipal officials, funders, researchers, and policy makers. The site needed to be a central place where everyone could find, share and interact with information, tools, and each other.

Collaborative tools for communities worldwide

The site needed to allow all participants in the project to share information, news, events, and share their reflections on urban experiments and social innovation. To help encourage collaborative discussion, Plank created a easy-to-use platform that encouraged users to create an account in order to upload stories or resources, download assets, write blog posts, and connect with fellow members within a user’s city.

The pilot website was created for a pan-Canadian audience in English and French. However, the platform has been developed for international growth, and can be easily adapted for roll-out in multiple markets and languages as required.

Robust and Customizable

To help people from around the world discuss how to enhance social, ecological, and economic well-being and help civic cultures survive, Plank created a back-end for the site not only to renew content, but also to build community, and engage other collaborators.

Plank created a module-based web platform using open-source technology to ensure ease of future updates and growth, and so that parts of the back end of the site could be tailored to the needs of specific communities.

About the client

The McConnell Foundation are a private Canadian foundation that contribute to diverse and innovative approaches to address community resilience, reconciliation, and climate change. They do so through funding and investment partnerships, strengthening capabilities, convening, and collaborating with the public, private and non-profit sectors.

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