“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody”. – Jane Jacobs


Urban design and the built environment significantly influence the lifestyle and quality of life of city dwellers. However, those who live, breathe and walk their cities every day don’t always get the opportunity to be heard and impact the decision-making process.

urbanXchange is a panel discussion and a community gathering.  It focuses on Hamilton’s current socioeconomic challenges, giving people the chance to express their views and suggest solutions. In a City under financial, social and cultural transition, questions and concerns have the tendency to grow rapidly and eventually replace positivity and optimistic thinking. Citizens have the need and the right to receive information directly from decision makers, pose questions and discuss matters from their own point of view.

Dpai and Powergroup Communications, the co-creators of the urbanXchange, believe in open and honest communication. The significance in hosting a panel series on urban issues in our space is paramount, as we deeply value the importance of community engagement and community building. We invite people to be true to themselves; to express their opinion, raise their concerns and be heard. The urbanXchange discussions do not take sides nor present a subjective reality. The aim of the panel discussion series is to give people the opportunity to explore urban issues, based on panoramic views that are inclusive of all opinions. At dpai, we work to sustain our communities and we cannot achieve sustainability without examining the fragility caused by the new dynamics impacting our urban ecosystem.

Established industry professionals from Hamilton, the GTA and beyond, are invited to share their knowledge, express their views and discuss specific urban issues and concerns. Each of the panelists can invite 5 guests to attend the event. Laura Babcock, a nationally established communications professional and community expert, moderates the discussion panels and dpai principal & CEO David Premi hosts. Portions of the urbanXchange series are available to watch at The O Show on Cable 14.

The first urbanXchange series took place in April and was focused on Gentrification. Our panelists were Renee Wetselaar – Social Research & Planning Council, Ryan McGreal – editor at Raise the Hammer, Sarah Jama – Hamilton Centre for the Civic Inclusion, Brandon Donnelly – Slate Asset Management and Krysta Boyer – Judy Marsales Real Estate. The second urbanXchange focused on Transportation and took place last week. Our panelists were: Gil Penelosa – Founder 8-80 Cities, Keanin Loomis – CEO at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Brad Clark – Former Municipal and Provincial Politician, Debbie Dalle Vedove – Director at HSR and Nicholas Kevlahan  – Founder Hamilton Light Rail. We would like to thank our sponsors, Red Church Cafe & Gallery and the Hamilton Convention Centre for their support.

We are very passionate about our City and our community and honored to be part of the effort that will drive Hamilton forward. Stay tuned for the next two UrbanXchange discussion panels, focused on Intensification and Urban Design.