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The cities of tomorrow start at Ryerson today

Ryerson University President, Mohamed Lachemi

I came to Ryerson University more than 20 years ago as a young, ambitious engineer and researcher passionate about shaping the future. What I found was a university deeply embedded in its urban community, inspired by a mission to use ideas, knowledge and creativity to create a brighter future.

I knew immediately that I was in the right place but I couldn’t have possibly imagined how extraordinarily far we would come together.

Over the last two decades, Toronto has entered the spotlight as a truly global city and Ryerson has emerged as the place to be for creative thinkers and doers devoted to studying, researching and building cities of the future.

City building has always been a part of Ryerson’s DNA but now there’s an even greater urgency. By 2050, the world’s population is projected to reach 9.8 billion and nearly 70 per cent of all people will be living in cities. These staggering numbers pose a remarkable challenge and present an even greater opportunity.

When I think about the important work we’re doing at Ryerson, the recently opened Centre for Urban Innovation comes to mind. Here, faculty and students collaborate on many of the core challenges facing cities, from water and food security to alternative energy and intelligent infrastructure. It is a superb example of our university’s commitment to city building.

Aerial view of Toronto downtown

Across our campus, Ryerson faculty are deeply invested in improving the lives of people in Toronto, but the work they do to rethink the shape and function of our city is scalable to urban centres around the world. And, as much as the city of the future will be defined by efforts to ensure sustainability, at Ryerson we’re also committed to thinking about immigration, democracy and Indigenous representation.

We are committed to a culture of cooperation and seamless partnerships with industry, stakeholders, and government.

That is the Ryerson difference — our can-do approach to finding solutions. Our willingness to defy convention and try something new. Our outstanding faculty and researchers who are seeking solutions to global challenges. It is all of these things and more.

At Ryerson, we are constantly evolving thanks to the diverse, enterprising and collaborative people who are attracted to a university that has its sights set on shaping the future of cities both in Canada and around the globe. This is why I remain optimistic about the future — because I am confident in our university’s ability to shape it.

I encourage you to explore the stories on this website and to discover how Ryerson is studying, researching and building cities of the future.

Mohamed Lachemi
President & Vice-Chancellor