Geoff Cape

Ashoka Fellow
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Fellow Since 2005


This profile was prepared when Geoff Cape was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
Geoff’s new idea is to mainstream nature in city planning and the development of public spaces. His approach goes beyond a coalition of environmental organizations and includes organizations from all sectors with a clear message: cities need more nature.
Geoff envisions a movement to redesign urban planning and development. He has brought together not only a coalition of environmental organizations to develop a vibrant city model that embraces nature, but also players from business, nonprofit, and government sectors. As such, for the first time in this context, brown fields and parks will be given a new lease on life.
Geoff started implementing living, breathing, organic space to city dwellers with Evergreen sixteen years ago.
For the past four years, Geoff and his colleagues at Evergreen have been developing plans for the Brick Works as a venue to provide a large-scale source for native plants, organic food markets and youth leadership programs. According to Geoff, this is especially important right now, as the pressure on cities has grown tremendously over the past few decades, and the ecological restoration movement in and around Toronto has gained significant momentum. What’s more, while becoming intimate with the land and now-defunct brickmaking facilities, Geoff had the vision to transform it into an environmental education center that integrates nature, culture, and community, and is based on a sustainable business model.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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