Why we exist
Like many cities that have declared a climate emergency, Toronto has accelerated its targets to significantly cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while also addressing the impacts of climate change. These commitments are articulated in the City’s climate action strategy: TransformTO, which was unanimously approved by City Council in July 2017, and has been updated several times since then. The plan includes a set of long-term, low-carbon goals and strategies to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and improve health, grow the economy, and improve social equity.
Achieving these targets will require “transformational changes in how we live, work, commute, and build” (TransformTO, 2019) and a Herculean effort across the wide array of sectors, industries and levels of government that shape Toronto’s urban environment.
The Urban Climate Action Project (UCAP) brings the expertise and capacities of the University of Toronto to the table by developing a university/city partnership to tackle challenges of implementing TransformTO.
What we do
This partnership is one of symbiosis whereby the unique capabilities of the university (e.g., students, faculty, research funding, campus infrastructure, etc.) is leveraged to help the City achieve its climate goals, while university students – future generations of architects, planners, engineers, policy analysts, communications specialists, and so forth- are becoming better versed in sustainability thinking and climate action.
Our partnership involves a number of place-based, and context-specific activities undertaken jointly and in the spirit of co-production.
How we do this
We work with other great U of T initiatives such as Climate Positive Energy, SDGs @ U of T, the Mobility Network to reach bigger audiences and have synergistic impact.
Transdisciplinary Knowledge Co-Production brings expertise beyond academia to the table so that we can work together to generate practical solutions.
Interested in learning more about TDKCP and how to do it? We recommend this book which is free to download:
Connected Communities Approach
aka CCA, “is a set of principles and practices for community development which posits that a community backbone organization can be a catalyst for community-based social and economic improvement“. But don’t take our word for it, check out their site:
Want to see what we're up to?
A couple more things to share
The people at work
Gregoire Benzakin, PhD Candidate, Geography
Cassie Chanen, MES
Lilly Flawn, MES
Hayley Macdonald, MScSM