Interactive Activity: Urban Migration and Community Development Webinar

Our book club is a global collective or readers and contributors around the world, which is why we are pleased to host a webinar for our world wide network.

Parks to Farms: Urban Migration and Community Development in Tower Hamlets and Thorncliffe Park

January 29, 2015 — 10AM EST (Toronto)Thorncliffe Park

Neighbourhoods like Tower Hamlets (London) and Thorncliffe Park (Toronto) have become destinations of choice and “arrival cities” for successive waves of urban migrants. Join us online to learn how community-led initiatives organized by local residents are rolling out the welcome mat, reducing barriers to participation, and empowering newcomers to help build a vibrant sense of community. This webinar is a live event in the Arrival City edition of the City Builder Book Club, and is brought to you by Cities of Migration and the Centre for City Ecology.

Featured Good Ideas

  • In Tower Hamlets, London (UK), the Spitalfields City Farm runs the Coriander Club, a gardening club that provides local elderly Bangladeshi migrant women, at risk of social exclusion, with a space to socialize, exercise, grow Bengali vegetables, and promote sustainable living in the inner city.
  • In Thorncliffe Park, Toronto (CA), a local women’s collective is transforming public space into a place for community participation, networking for work and civic engagement. The Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee (TPWC) has facilitated an active role for women and local residents in one of Toronto’s most diverse and densely-populated neighbourhoods.


Sabina AliSabina Ali, Chair, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee (Toronto, Canada)

Sabina Ali is the chair and one of the founding members of Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee, a group of local residents who came together with a vision of transforming their public space in to a place that builds and enriches the community and their neighbourhood. She has been instrumental in revitalizing the local park and creating a healthy, engaged and inclusive community. She is engaged in empowering and building the capacity within the residents, especially women and connecting the community with the rest of Toronto.

She is the recipient of Elizabeth Coke award for excellence in leadership in 2011. She sits on various committees like Evergreen Brick Work’s Neighbourhood Engagement Committee, Thorncliffe Park Citizenship Ceremony Committee, Neighbours Night out Committee, ACCESS Community Capital Fund. She is also the recipient of 2014 Jane Jacobs Prize for her work in transforming the city through innovative thinking, community development and from the looks of it, passion, driving hard work. Recently she received a Phenomenal Woman award from Centre for Community Learning and Development.

Mhairi Weir smMhairi Weir, Manager, Spitalfields City Farm (London, United Kingdom)

Mhairi A Weir has been the Manager of the Spitalfields City Farm for 6 years. Community development and engagement is something that Mhairi is particularly passionate about, and she has been a volunteer throughout her life with a variety of projects. At Spitalfields, Mhairi works with a very diverse community and uses the environment to bring people together in a safe, welcoming and creative space.

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