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Ryerson Urban Water
Crowd chatting around their tables for the Expert Café

EUS 801 is a new fourth year course being co-developed and co-taught by David Atkinson and Claire Oswald of Geography and Environmental Studies. Dave and Claire were looking to develop a practical capstone-like course for the fourth year students, so the RUW office put them in touch with Waterfront Toronto and the rest is history.

Waterfront Toronto has presented to the students some practical challenges that face revitalization along the waterfront. Students will take the winter term to solve problems in the areas of: air quality/greenhouse gas emissions, alternative energy, ecological restoration (hydrology/sediment, vegetation, wildlife), green building, public spaces, crime prevention, housing, stormwater, transit, urban agriculture, and the financial resources required to achieve a revitalized waterfront.

On February 12th, 2016, Ryerson Urban Water organized an Expert Café during which student teams posed questions to fourteen experts on water issues. Teams had 8 minutes to pose questions to each water expert in a café style format before moving to the next expert. Experts included those from the City of Toronto, Toronto Water, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, external industry, and Ryerson Urban Water academic experts.

The Dean of Arts Jean-Paul Boudreau welcomed the experts and students and praised, ‘RUW for putting this all together, what a true example of collaboration across the university.’ And Andrew Millward, Chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies thanked Claire and Dave for their innovative approach to education and wished the students well in their amazing experiential learning opportunity.

The students and water experts were very engaged and the students are very motivated to work on their case solutions. Student teams will present their solutions to Waterfront Toronto at the end of term.