State of City Building Database


Glossary of Citylinx Terms (by category)


Advocacy: a political process that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems. It may involve activities such as media campaigns, public speaking, creating, and sharing research, and letter writing for a particular cause.

Convening: the activity of bringing people together for a common purpose. It may involve hosting events and providing physical or virtual space for people to gather on a similar subject (i.e. online forums, networking events, mentorship).

Knowledge sharing: involves the exchange of information or expertise between people, communities, and organizations. For example, circulating new information to enhance the knowledge base of the broader community on a particular topic.

Research: an activity that involves the systematic investigation into questions in order to establish new knowledge and practical solutions.

Policy development/articulation: a process that involves the identification and analysis of a range of steps or actions to address an issue. It may involve providing commentary on initiatives, articulating recommendations, or proposing public policies.

Teaching: the activity of planning and implementing instructional activities and experiences in order to impart knowledge of a certain subject or skill. It may involve offering courses, workshops, and webinars.

Venue Creation: the activity of offering or creating publicly accessible space for seminars and conferences on city building matters.


Social concentration indicates a mandate directed toward society and people.

Economic concentration indicates a mandate directed toward economics and the economy.

Environmental concentration indicates a mandate directed toward improving the natural and physical environment.

Geography of influence

Neighbourhood focus is on the interests of a particular community at the neighbourhood level.

Local focus is on a small portion of a city region, such as within a municipality.

Regional focus is region-wide or on a large portion of a city region.

Provincial focus is province-wide or includes multiple city regions within a province.

National focus is nation-wide or includes city regions in different parts of a country.

Global focus is directed internationally.

Undefined focus is selected when the geographic focus of an organization’s efforts is unclear.

Organization type

Academic institute or organization: an organization affiliated with or situated within a post-secondary institution.

Charity: a registered charity under the Income Tax Act.

Charitable organization: an organization registered under the Income Tax Act that is established and operated for charitable purposes, and provides tangible benefit to the public.

Public foundation: a registered charity under the Income Tax Act that is established and operated for charitable purposes, and whose predominant source of funding is government grants.

Private foundation: a registered charity registered under the Income Tax Act that is established and operated for charitable purposes, and whose predominant source of funding is independent donation.

Corporation: a for-profit company that engages in policy activities on city building as part of its activities. This category does not include companies that are focused on providing consulting services.

Professional, industry or business organization: a membership-based, not-for-profit organization representative of a broader professional network geared toward civic affairs and public policy.

Other not-for-profit organization: a club, society, or association that is organized and operated solely for social welfare, civic improvement, and does not generate a profit.


Accessibility: focused on the provision and enhancement of barrier-free urban environments and social systems through design and policy initiatives.

Age - youth and gerontology: focused on the social, environmental, and economic needs of specific age groups, from youth populations to seniors.

Air quality: vested interest in awareness and improvements to the natural environment, with a focus on building knowledge and capacity on issues related to air quality.

Arts, culture and heritage: focused on enhancing the collective understanding on the impact of, and supporting, arts, culture, and heritage in urban environments.

Climate change: vested interest in the natural environment, with a focus on the impacts of human behaviour on emissions and global warming.

Community building: focused on outreach and empowerment of citizens, such as actively engaging communities in decision-making and capacity building.

Crime and safety: vested interest in the reduction of crime and the improvement of public safety within urban environments through design, policy reform, and/or public engagement.

Design: focused on analyzing and improving the design elements of buildings and public spaces.

Economic development: concentrated on the development and retention of sustainable economies within urban regions.

Education and urban literacy: focused on enhancing the level of public discourse on urban issues.

Energy: focused on understanding the impacts of energy systems on the natural environment and enhancing access to new and sustainable systems through policy.

First Nations, Inuit and Metis: focused on understanding and accommodating the physical, social, and economic needs of these minority populations in urban environments.

Food - nutrition and food security: focused on food and food systems as they relate to access, health, culture, production, sustainability, and resilience.

Gender and sexual orientation: focused on advancing dialogue and policy on sexual orientation and gender bias through design and/or awareness.

Governance and accountability: focused on the systems, roles, and responsibilities involved in decision-making.

Human health: concentrated interest in the alignment of public health, both physical and mental, and urban planning practice.

Immigration and diversity: focused on understanding and accommodating diverse demographics in urban environments to facilitate inclusive cities.

Income, poverty, and affordability: directed research focus in the areas of income disparity, the urban poor, and housing affordability within urban areas.

Infrastructure and land use: focused on the broad issues that exist within land use planning and infrastructure development for urban areas.

Legal advocacy: provides legal research and support to minority groups and underrepresented populations in the urban context.

Media and communications: focused on engagement with, and education of, the media on city building initiatives.

Nature and biodiversity: concentrated on the protection and preservation of the natural environment.

Philanthropy, volunteerism: facilitates connections between various stakeholders to provide philanthropic opportunities to enhance the collective urban experience.

Public space: focused on the enhancement of policy directions and design approaches to public spaces within city regions.

Recreation and sport: concentrated in policy development and research around recreational activities in urban areas.

Technology and big data: builds general capacity for the use of information and statistics to inform practice, and promotes innovation in new tools of practice.

Transportation and transit mobility: vested interest in the delivery and promotion of all modes of transportation in city regions, with a clear focus to improve citizen mobility.

Waste management: focused on enhancing understanding of existing waste management practices in urban areas and improving knowledge and capacity for sustainable alternatives.

Water: vested interest in exploring approaches to water systems management in the expansion and intensification of urban areas through research, collaboration, and advocacy.

Other Citylinx terms

Activities: description of core initiatives of the organization, highlighting any specific projects and deliverables. In addition, up to seven activity types are assigned from the following categories: advocacy, convening, knowledge sharing, policy development and articulation, research, teaching, and venue creation.

Affiliation: title of a parent network or umbrella organization.

Budget: annual revenue based on the most recent budget year.

Full-time staff: indicates the number of full-time paid staff members of the organization. Research affiliates employed through other channels and consultants are not considered in this category.

Geographic focus: indicates the most appropriate geographic scale to represent the area of influence.

Greater Toronto Hamilton Area: a contiguous urban region in southern Ontario comprised of the City of Toronto; regional municipalities of Peel, Durham, Halton, and York; and the City of Hamilton.

Mandate: an organization’s purpose and main objectives.

Municipality: indicates location of the head office.

Part-time staff: indicates the number of part-time paid staff members. This number does not include sessional staff and volunteers.

Specialties: indicates up to five areas of influence most representative of the organization’s mandate.

Senior executive: name and title of key management personnel.

Year established: indicates the founding year of an organization.

Faculty of Community Services

Citylinx is a project of the Ryerson City Building Institute.

Faculty of Community Services

Maytree Foundation


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