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Urban campus meets city building

Ryerson centres and labs are addressing urban issues through collaborative research.

By 2040, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)’s population is expected to grow by 3 million people, adding 1.5 million cars to our roadways. Transit adoption is being stymied by the last-mile trek – the commute made from home to transit or transit to work. Transit hub inaccessibility, unfriendly cycling options and hub parking constraints are forcing commuters into their cars, causing increased congestion and pollution.

Ryerson School of Urban Planning Professor Raktim Mitra, co-director of the newly formed external,TransForm Laboratory for Transportation and Land Use Planning Research, has been working in partnership with Metrolinx to produce recommendations for cycling growth in the Toronto region, with a focus on cyclist safety and women and youth. The TransForm Lab uses a student-heavy team, previously including Master of Planning in Urban Development graduates Kailey Laidlaw and Tamara Nahal (pictured above), to explore how urban systems, travel behavior and population movement interact.

Ryerson is creating forums for changemakers to generate solutions, defining the future of transportation in Toronto and re-imagining the city through social activations. Ryerson’s City Building Institute has taken a leadership role in rethinking suburban living with the influential report PDF fileSuburbs On Track – Building Transit-Friendly Neighbourhoods Outside the Toronto Core (PDF, 4MB). The Schneider Electric Smart Grid Lab at the Centre for Urban Energy brings together researchers, industry partners and government ministries to collaborate on energy sustainability.

Named the first Ashoka Changemaker Campus in Canada, Ryerson has developed over 45 industry and government partnerships to promote social change. At Ryerson, our culture of collaboration intertwines city building and social innovation, helping generate a new vision for Toronto – one that can serve as a model for cities around the world.