About Us

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.

Five Focus Areas and Activities

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

A presentation we made to introduce new students to UCAP in September 2022.

Our poster prepared for the March 3, 2023 Adams Sustainability Celebration at the University of Toronto.

The people at work

Majd Al-Shihabi, PhD Student, Geography
Anushuwa Banerjee, MScSM Student

Gregoire Benzakin, PhD Candidate, Geography

Natalie Biringer, MScSM

Cassie Chanen, MES

Angelica Chow, MScSM

Lilly Flawn, MES

Osayus Ize-Iyamu, MScSM Student
Wenny (Yiyao) Jin, MGA Student
Desiree Kosciulek, MES Student
Kristen Ma, MES

Hayley Macdonald, MScSM

Garrett Morgan, PhD Candidate, Planning
Vivian Patel, MSc Student Planning
Dr. Blake Poland
Marco Rico Thirion, MES
Dr. John Robinson

Dr. Kim Slater, Postdoc

Emily Smit, PhD Student, Geography