GDPR Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy


(Re)Valuing Our Commons

It's not about money, it’s about value

Our cities are packed with a vast diversity of underinvested assets that are decaying. This creates shared risks and unstable systems. 

In defense of civic assets
Land, buildings, air, water, trees, datas, sewers, roads, collective intelligences, public transport infrastructures, energy distribution systems, public health, close-knit communities and shared visions for the future – all these form the backbone of our cities. They make, hold and grow societies together. We call them civic assets.

Civic assets are powerhouses of public and collective value creation. And yet, our current financing models have largely failed to collectively preserve, enhance and truly account for the value embedded into civic assets. Even the promising trends of the last two decades such as sustainable finance and impact investing are still operating within the narrow framework of perceived historical risks and short-term returns. 

Value, beyond face-value
A fundamental shift is needed in the way we understand and organize value – how it is created and shared – and what this means for the deep architecture of a just transition. The good news is: we have now reached the point where we have the technology, analysed data, and collective will of communities to break through the traditional models. Rethinking value creation, risks, time horizons and roles of actors around civic assets will lead to a multiplier effect. 

A new generation of civic financial models and instruments (across regulation, investment, accounting, taxation, insurance and procurement) has the potential to account for multi-dimensional and longitudinal forms of value and leverage the institutional and private capital needed to solve global social and environmental challenges. 
Join Civic Capital
We want to build a community of people and organisations, governments, institutions and enlightened businesses willing to explore, test, prototype, experiment and make the tools for a future civic economy.

Building Civic Capital
A publication produced by Dark Matter Labs, in collaboration with Community Foundations of Canada, Evergreen (Future Cities Canada Initiative), MIS/Maison de l'innovation sociale, MaRS Discovery District and McConnell Foundation.

Download PDF
Building Civic Capital

Which civic challenge would you like to experiment with?

Join the Civic Capital movement to help solve this challenge


What are Civic Assets?
The tangible and intangible resources that hold our cities together.

Explore Assets

Be part of building Civic Capital!

We want to build a global movement of people, organisations, governments and enlightened businesses willing to explore, test, prototype and experiment with the tools of the future economy.

Civic Capital is currently building a portfolio of experiments to lay the financial foundations for the great transition of our cities.

We want to gather:
— Financial hackers
— Technical experts
— Procurement and insurance geeks
— Investors and funders
— Passionate advocates
— Visionaries of all kinds

We want to hear about:
— Civic challenges throughout Canada
— Forward-thinking cities and municipalities everywhere

Thank you! Your submission has been received. A Civic Capital founding partner representative will contact you in the coming months to discuss a potential collaboration.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or contact us at

Civic Capital is an initiative by

Dark Matter Labs
Community Foundations of Canada
Maison de l'innovation sociale
MaRS Canada
The McConnell Foundation