Levven President James Keirstead was in Ottawa this week to participate in the Smart Cities Labour Demand Taskforce. The taskforce was established to monitor the economic and labour market trends in developing smart cities. They examine the factors that affect the growth of smart cities, including jobs, skills, infrastructure, construction, and housing. “I was invited as someone from industry who is looking at what skills we will need to hire to help our cities become more accessible and sustainable,” explains Keirstead.
“I am passionate about making our homes and cities more affordable, accessible, and adaptive to people. In the taskforce, I raised issues of construction efficiency, housing affordability, and integrating new housing into existing communities.”
Plans for new housing projects in existing neighborhoods tend to encounter resistance. Urban home owners often protest higher-density housing and subsidized housing projects because they fear it will negatively impact their property values.
“We have to overcome the ‘not in my backyard’ attitudes that pervade cities,” says Keirstead. “It negatively impacts housing density and affordability.”
“As a country, we have to look at policy friction which is slowing the adoption of innovation in cities,” Keirstead continued. “As a company, Levven is simplifying home building and reducing construction costs for builders and trades. We’re working to make intelligent homes available to everyone, and we’re getting strong support from municipal and provincial officials who share our goal.”
Levven’s controls products reduce construction time and increase labour capacity so homes cost less and are completed more quickly.
“It will be interesting to see the actionable data provided by the taskforce’s proposed metrics. I’ll be on the taskforce for the next few years, so I’m excited to be a voice for our community,” concluded Keirstead.