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The future of cities starts at Ryerson

As the global population becomes increasingly concentrated in urban centres, the health of our cities will have a profound impact on the success of our species. The stakes have never been higher. From climate change to overpopulation, the challenges are as tremendous as they are scary. But we can build a better future. In fact, we’re already doing so.

Urban research with global reach

With our collective future tied to the fate of cities, Ryerson research is devoted to the key issues that will define them. Our faculty are making decisive contributions in an array of fields that range from sustainable housing and renewable energy to immigration policy and democratic engagement. Just as urban health has never been more urgent, the work of our researchers has never been more important.


What the world could face in 2050

Without dramatic efforts to improve the health of our cities and ensure access to sustainable resources, an ominous future sits on the horizon. Our research is devoted to changing this picture.

An urban resident wearing surgical mask in misty conditions
9.7 billion

UN's estimated total global population

70 percent

Amount of the global population that will live in cities

1.7 billion

Number of people exposed to extreme summer heat

800 million

Number of people expected to experience water security issues

650 million

Number of people to be affected by rising sea levels

250 million

Number of people who could be displaced by climate change


Ryerson is building healthy cities

Urban sustainability is the next frontier of city building

Humans place an incredible strain on the natural environment. If we are to mount a serious defence against climate change, our cities will need to find ways to be ecologically sustainable by reducing emissions and waste.

Immigration and inclusion will define our future cities

By 2050, experts estimate that upwards of 250 million people could be displaced by climate change. This profound shift in migration patterns will pose both an enormous challenge and an opportunity for the cities of the future.

As cities continue to grow, so too must democratic engagement

Of any vote cast in Canada, perhaps the most important is one for a city councillor or a mayor. With the global population concentrating in cities, the role our municipal governments play in fostering quality of life has never been more crucial.