UCAP logo


2023 – 2024

  • September 2023: UCAP website comes online to share student work, project updates, and coming events related to UCAP, VC and barriers’ workshops.
  • October 4, 2023: Visionary Communities Orientation for research team and community partners.
  • October 11-13, 2023: Presentation for the Sustainability: Transdisciplinary Theory, Practice, and Action (STTPA) Conference.
  • November 20, 2023: Lunch Lab presentation of the Visionary Communities Project.
  • early 2024: Final low carbon workshop towards advancing the TransformTO goals.


2022 – 2023

  • UCAP was actively engaged in the UTSC Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) proposal to support community-engaged research and action on just energy transitions in marginalized neighbourhoods in seven Canadian cities. With the CERC now approved, UCAP and the VC team are excited to begin exploring potential synergies.
  • UCAP  worked on the idea of net positive environmental and human outcomes with the $300 million St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts redevelopment project. That project was the focus of Sustainable Buildings Canada’s 2022 Better Buildings Boot Camp for graduate students from eight Ontario universities and colleges.
  • June 2023: The first two of the SSHRC Connections grant workshops, focused on overcoming barriers to low carbon transportation and energy, delivered in partnership with the City of Toronto and three U of T Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISIs) (the Mobility Network, Climate Positive Energy, and the SDGs@UofT). The results of these workshops are available on our Projects and Activities page.
    • Planning for the final workshop in early 2024
  • April 2023: launched a four-year, SSHRC Insight-funded project called Visionary Communities (VC) in/with the Kingston-Galloway Orton (KGO) neighbourhood in East Scarborough. Together, researchers from UofT and TMU, and staff of the East Scarborough Storefront and Catalysts’ Circle, will co-create and use a multi-channel approach combining arts, participatory modeling, youth engagement and more to surface visions and aspirations residents and community groups have for the future of their neighbourhood. In the process, opportunities for low carbon resilience will be identified and solutions piloted, evaluated, and iterated with partners and community members.
  • Co-edited a special issue of the journal Buildings and Cities called Transformational climate actions by cities on how cities are doing with respect to their climate goals; published editorial and article on climate action by the City of Toronto, co-authored with three City staff.
  • Receipt of Mitacs funding to support UCAP activities in partnership with Social Innovation Canada.
  • SSHRC Connections grant awarded for additional workshops to identify solutions to achieve City’s climate action goals.
  • SSHRC Insight grant proposal to develop an urban living lab for operationalizing UCAP activities submitted.
  • Created group of grad students working on UCAP projects for their dissertation/thesis/major research paper. You can find their reports under Student Work.
  • January 16, 2023, John and Kim led a workshop with SI Canada, City, and Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) staff to “backcast” implementation of some of the key findings from this synthesis. The final report can be found here: Communicating Transformational Climate Actions.


2021 – 2022

  • 56 first year Masters students produced findings for 12 projects on topics relating to TransformTO identified by clients from the City and The Atmospheric Fund (TAF).
  • June 2022: Held workshop with nearly 30 members of Toronto’s building industry as well as City representatives on the barriers and potential solutions to retrofitting MURBs and Office Towers.
  • City of Toronto’s first Climate Advisory Group (CAG) – which includes Dr. John Robinson – is in place to advise on implementing the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Climate Action Strategy.
  • Kim Slater hired to co-run UCAP with Dr. John Robinson.