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Business and the art of city building

Sueling Ching, Ottawa Board of Trade

In 2019 the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal designed and delivered the first Ottawa City Building Summit to gather local business and community leaders to discuss the future of the nation’s capital. Fast forward four years with a pandemic, an occupation and freak storms under our belts, and city building has become the most important conversation that can be had among the elected officials, entrepreneurs, executives and employees of our region.

City building is simply the process of creating a place where people can thrive, now and for the next generation. Successful city building requires vision, innovation and collaboration. It has the ability to drive real change when contemplated through the lens of growth, inclusivity and sustainability. And as a capital city, Ottawa has a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership in purpose driven, and future thinking decision making that can impact communities in Canada’s capital region and across the country.

Business drives city building

Private sector leadership is critical to community prosperity and the future of cities. Businesses build the homes we live in, the modes of transit we use to get around and the amenities we enjoy. They provide jobs that give us meaningful work, the ability to support our families and keep the local and global economy alive.

Business success and economic growth also protects and elevates our quality of life. Our access to education, health care and community services is grounded in the innovation, products and services, wages and profits generated by free enterprise. Private-public partnership allows us to optimize opportunities and address big challenges. Together, business and community leaders build world class infrastructure, conduct leading edge research, inspire culture, protect nature and strengthen our communities.

City building drives business

People are the primary asset of any business. Business leaders have identified access to labour and talent as a top barrier to growth for several years and the issue has continued to evolve post pandemic. A tight labour market, the acceleration of remote work and the emerging trends in the future of work is motivating employers to re-evaluate workplace wellness, employee engagement and human capital strategies.

City building is critical to our ability to attract and retain talent. Access to affordable housing, frictionless transit, health, education and community services are driving decisions among job seekers. In addition, people are increasingly aware of the role their employers play in building strong communities, and leading the way on climate action, diversity and inclusion and important social issues. 

The time is now

There is an excitement and an urgency in creating the next vision and the action plan for the future of our city. Ottawa has been disproportionately impacted by the events of the last three years. And what has worked for us in the past will not work for us in the future. We have many strengths to build up and new opportunities to embrace. Our success is rooted in our ability to conceive, create, and course correct when necessary. 

The defining factor is in our determination to work together. To that end, you are invited to join us for the next City Building Summit on April 25, 2023. Join hundreds of local city builders who envision a better future and who are willing to dedicate their time and energy making it happen.

The agenda includes perspectives from city leaders on our economic growth opportunities, expert discussions on key issues such as affordable housing and transit, updates on high impact projects and thought leadership on the future of cities.

If your business, your family and your future is impacted by the success of Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region then save your spot today. Be in the room where it happens.

Yours in prosperity,

Sueling Ching
President & CEO | Ottawa Board of Trade

About the Ottawa Board of Trade

The Ottawa Board of Trade is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan member driven business association. We are the voice of business and a key advocate for economic growth in our Nation’s Capital. Our mission is to cultivate a thriving world class business community in Ottawa by influencing economic development through leadership and partnerships. One that drives affordable, inclusive, sustainable city-building. We represent businesses at all three levels of government and support business growth through relevant benefits and programs. Join us today!