CUE Symposium: The Past, Present and Future of Our Urban Environment

Centre for Urban Environments Symposium
Hosted by the newly created Centre for Urban Environments, this symposium will highlight the past, present and future interactions between our city, its residents and our surrounding environment. The event will seek to identify ways in which the university, government, non-governmental organizations and industry can work together to make our urban environments more sustainable for current and future generations.

More than 82 per cent Canadians live in cities and our planet is becoming increasingly urbanized. This symposium brings together leaders in our community and world experts to understand how our environment has changed with urbanization, current challenges and opportunities for urban environments, and visions for living in a sustainable city.

Parking will be free all-day in P9, map and directions.

Registration is now closed. For more information, please contact Marc Johnson at

Speaker Biographies


Date: Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017

Location: Communication, Culture & Technology (CCT), 1140 & 1080

8:45-9:15 a.m. - Refreshments and continental breakfast in CCIT main foyer

9:15-9:30 a.m. (CCT 1140)

Prof. Marc Johnson (Director, Centre for Urban Environments, U of T)

Welcome and Introduction


Plenary Lecture:

9:30-10 a.m. (CCT 1140) 

Chief R. Stacey Laforme (Chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation)

The Past Present and Future of Our Land


10:10-10:30 a.m. (CCT 1140)

John MacKenzie (CEO, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority)

The history of Toronto’s conservation authority


10:30-10:50 a.m. (CCT 1140)

Prof. David Smith (University of Toronto Mississauga)

The history of people in the Greater Toronto Area


10:50-11:05 a.m. (CCT main foyer)

Coffee break


Plenary Lecture:

11:10-11:30 a.m. (CCT 1140)

Dr. Meric Gertler (President, University of Toronto)

Capitalizing on our urban environment


11:40 a.m.- 1 p.m. (CCT main foyer)



1-1:20 p.m. (CCT 1140)

Omar McDadi (Rouge National Urban Park)

The importance of Canada’s first Urban National Park


1:20-1:40 p.m. (CCT 1140)

Prof. Patricia McCarney (Director, Global Cities Institute)

Towards sustainable cities: The challenge of sizing up cities around the world


Open Panel Discussion:

1:40-2:20 p.m. (CCT 1140)

Topic: Urban environmental challenges today: Working towards solutions

Prof. Sandy Smith (University of Toronto)

Prof. Scott MacIvor (University of Toronto Scarborough)

Douglas Markoff (Executive Director, The Riverwood Conservancy)

Prof. Tenley Conway (University of Toronto Mississauga)


2:20-2:35 p.m. (CCT main foyer)

Coffee break


Plenary Lecture:

2:40-3:10 p.m. (CCT 1140)

Prof. Steward Pickett (Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Director Emeritus of Baltimore LTER)

Urban Ecology for the Future: Building Cities for a Sustainable Future



3:20-3:40 p.m. (CCT 1140)

Deborah Martin-Downs (CAO, Credit Valley Conservation Authority)

Using the Past to Conserve the Future of the Credit Watershed


3:40-4 p.m. (CCT 1140)

Prof. Andrew Gonzalez (Director, Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science)

Connectivity as a design principle for urban forests


Open Panel Discussion:

4:10-4:50 p.m. (CCT 1140)

Topic: Opportunities for our future urban environments, and how to capitalize on them

Michael Cleland (Director, Environment Division, City of Mississauga)

Dr. Jairus Skye (Executive Director, Peel Aboriginal Network)

Prof. Ronald Buliung (University of Toronto Mississauga)

Kate Hayes (Credit Valley Conservation Authority)


5- 6 p.m. (CCT main foyer)

Reception with Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments



6-7 p.m. (CCT 1080)

A conversation with Mayor Bonnie Crombie of the City of Mississauga and Vice-President & Principal Ulrich Krull

Mayor Crombie and Ulrich Krull will discuss the past challenges and future opportunities of Mississauga and urban environment.