The Centre for Urban Environments (CUE) is working to make urban environments healthier and more sustainable for all life. Key to achieving this vision is the mobilization of knowledge across fields, disciplines and sectors. Our members work closely with businesses, non-government organizations and policymakers to translate their high-level scholarship into transformative recommendations. This scholarship is frequently the product of collaboration across traditional disciplinary boundaries, orientated around a shared concern for our cities, environments and planet.
To facilitate this communication among disparate groups, CUE provides annual funds for faculty, post-docs and students to hold workshops, symposia and seminars in any discipline related to urban environments at University of Toronto. These symposia and seminars serve as a supplement to CUE’s ongoing Seminar Series.
This year we are excited to announce that we will be launching a new online seminar series for 2021 focusing on short talks and informal discussions with high profile/preeminent leaders who study urban environments. The decision to launch an online seminar series was voted on at the CUE Annual Meeting in December 2020. The topic will be: “The future of urban environments”, and the hope is to have preeminent scholars, politicians, engineers, tech experts, business leaders, philanthropists, etc., provide their vision of what urban environments can, should or will look like in the future. The format is flexible, but we want to emphasize thoughtful and engaging discussion, so short talks, panels, fireside chats are what we are aiming for, as opposed to full length seminars.
We are looking for one speaker or panel (max 3 people) per month. Please note, anyone (students, post-docs, staff, faculty, community partners) from any campus can nominate a speaker. Suggestions will be taken on a rolling basis, but for now, please kindly send your nominations and ideas to email@example.com. An honorarium will be offered to speakers and panel members.
Past Workshops and Symposia
Symposium title: The Past, Present and Future of our Urban Environment
Date: Dec. 5, 2017
Description: To celebrate the launch of the Centre for Urban Environments, this one-day symposium brought together academics, students, politicians, policy members, conservation organizations, private industry and members of the public around a shared concern for the future of our urban environment. The day consisted of a keynote address, three plenary speakers, seven short talks and two panel discussions. Organized by Marc Johnson, Christoph Richter and Marie-Josée Fortin, this symposium was an opportunity to introduce CUE to the community, build relationships across sectors, and ensure that members of the community feel represented in the vision and mission of the centre. Some highlights of the day include the keynote address by Mayor Bonnie Crombie and plenary talks given by the Deputy Chief of the Mississaugas of Credit First Nation Margaret Sault, President Meric Gertler and Dr. Steward Pickett.
Symposium Title: Evolution in an Urbanizing World
Date: Aug. 22, 2019
Description: As part of the Joint Congress of Evolutionary Biology in Montpellier, this invited symposium featured eight cutting-edge talks and ten posters. Organized by Anne Charmantier, Adrien Frantz, Julien Gasparini and Marc Johnson, the symposium examined how urbanization affects the evolution of species in the wild.
Symposium Title: Growing our Green Infrastructure
Date: May 24, 2019
Description: Trees, gardens, and other vegetation can be an unexpected remedy for cities currently dealing with ecological, environmental and health problems. This one-day symposium brought together academics, government, conservation organizations, city officials and industry to discuss and learn the best practices in green infrastructure. The goal of the symposium was to envision the unique ways in which greenery may play an important role in building more sustainable cities. The Centre for Urban Environments was a co-sponsor of this event and provided administrative support.
Symposium Title: French American Climate Talks on Biodiversity (FACTB)
Date: June 20, 2019
Description: An affiliated event of the G20 Summit in France, this panel discussion was a collaboration between the French embassy, the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Centre for Urban Environments. Organized by Stephen Wright and Asher Cutter, this event asked a simple question regarding biodiversity in urban spaces: currently threated by development and climate change, is there hope for urban biodiversity in the 21st century? Seven leading voices offered their perspectives, bringing together a unique blend of current scholarship, front-line observations and personal experience. Speakers included Dr. Stephen Wright (Canada Research Chair in Populations Genomics), Marc Trouyet (Consul General of France in Toronto), Dr. Dan Riskin (host of the Discovery Channel Program ‘Daily Planet’), Dr. Chelsea Rochman (Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto), Deborah Martin-Downs (CAO of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority), Cyrille Barnerias (Head of European and International Affairs, French Biodiversity Agency), and Dr. Thierry Boulinier (CNRS Research Director).
Symposium Title: Meltdown – a climate change summit
Date: Sept. 24, 2019
As part of the week-long Global Climate Strike, the Meltdown summit presented information, perspectives and action plans from leading environmental voices to help combat climate change. The event included panel discussions focused on the impact of climate change on health, the economy, ecology and society, as well as a keynote address from Dr. Diane Saxe, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Further information on the summit can be found here.
Symposium Title: IALE North America Annual Meeting
Date: May 11-14, 2020
Organizer: Helen Wagner
Description: The IALE - North America Annual Meeting brings together up to 500 professionals and students in the fields of geology, ecology, biology, geography, urban and regional planning, and landscape preservation and design.
Symposium Title:Landscape genetics as a tool for managing human-impacted landscapes.
Date: May 11-14, 2020
Organizers: Hossam E. Abdel Moniem, Lindsay Miles, Sophie Breitbart,
Description: To present current landscape genetics research on different urban-dwelling taxa and discuss how this research can inform policy and practices to better manage our urban and urbanizing landscapes. The symposium was a part of the North American International Association of Landscape Ecology (NA-IALE) Conference. The report is available here.
Workshop Title: What's in your air, Rwanda?
Date: December 16, 2020
Organizer: Egide Kalisa
Description: The proposed workshop provide children with knowledge to reduce their own personal exposure to air pollution. During the workshop, children at the school will assemble low-cost air quality sensors to take home, and use a purpose-built application to record data about their home and to record “impact” data on health symptoms and perception impacts.
CUE also hosts a series of public seminars that provides a bridge between the university and the public. Further information on this seminar series.