City of Neighbors

City of Neighbors

By Andrea Curtis, illustrated by Katy Dockrill. Published by Groundwood Books


illustration copyright Katy Dockrill
Illustration by Katy Dockrill

Welcome to the neighbourhood!*

A splash of paint, a place to sit, a popup park or playground bring life and a sense of fun to our cities.

Neighbourhoods where people look out for each other, eat together, make art and build community are healthier, happier, greener and cleaner. Journey around the world to discover how people are dreaming up new ways to make their cities great.

The book includes  lots of great ideas from around the world and suggestions about how kids can get involved in placemaking in their own neighbourhoods!

For Grades 3 to 7
Also available as an ebook.

*If you’re Canadian, you might notice I’ve spelled Neighbours without the U in the book but used the U here on my website. You probably already know that Canadians use different spelling for some words than our neighbours do in the U.S.A.! Because the book is published in both countries at the same time, the house style for my publisher is to use the American spelling.        

The 4th book in the ThinkCities series from Groundwood Books

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“Exuberant, creatively intertwined illustrations…. A lively exposition of creative community-building projects.” ‑Kirkus Reviews

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  “City of Neighbors is an outstanding narrative nonfiction book to inspire community action and galvanize positive change. Highly Recommended.” —Canadian Review of Materials

“Brimming with laughter and joy, City of Neighbors is sure to be a crowd-pleaser – librarians definitely included.”—Quill and Quire

“Recommended….This book is filled with suggestions and examples of what students can do to help their city neighborhood gain a sense of community.” ‑School Library Connection

“Future Mayors and city planners grab a copy of City of Neighbours by Andrea Curtis and Katy Dockrill and learn all about what it takes to make communities vibrant and safe.”—Storytime with Stephanie

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Buy now!

City of Neighbors is available wherever good books are sold. Visit your local independent bookstore or order it at these online retailers. It’s also available as an ebook!

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Read more about City of Neighbors coming soon!

Learning resources

City of Neighbors includes tons of fun examples of how young people around the world are engaging in their neighbourhood. Plus, there’s a full-page spread about how you can get involved in making your community more vibrant, accessible, green and safe.

Did you know?

  • Researchers say neighbourhoods where people know one another and spend time in shared spaces are more secure and comfortable. They’re greener and cleaner. Citizens are happier and healthier.
  • When people set out to improve city spaces with creativity, inclusiveness and a sense of fun, the process is often called placemaking.
  • Placemaking is not a new idea. Indigenous people are the original placemakers.

Learn more →

About Katy Dockrill

Katy Dockrill is an honors graduate from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her fresh brush-and-ink illustrations have attracted a wide range of clients, and she has won a number of awards for her editorial work. She is also the illustrator of City of Water (2nd in the ThinkCities series) and A Voice for the Spirit Bears, by Carmen Oliver, among other titles. Katy lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario, where she loves swimming, gardening and taking walks with her daughter.


Watch here for videos and more on City of Neighbors and the other books in the ThinkCities series.

About ThinkCities

The ThinkCities series is inspired by the urgency for new approaches to city life as a result of climate change, population growth and increased density. It highlights the challenges and risks cities face, but also offers hope for building resilience, sustainability and quality of life as young people act as advocates for themselves and their communities.