Kim Slater, University of Toronto

I am a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. John Robinson on the Urban Climate Action Project (UCAP) in Toronto, Canada. While currently in the concept development stage, UCAP envisions a dynamic partnership between the University of Toronto and the City of Toronto to achieve deep and rapid implementation of the city’s climate action plan: TransformTO. Like the ambitions of the broader Urban Climate Action Network (UCAN) of which it is a part, such a partnership will likely involve a number of place-based, and context-specific activities undertaken jointly and in the spirt of co-production, perhaps through the creation of an Urban Living Lab (ULL). We’re currently exploring possible activities that UCAP may undertake to add value to a process of achieving the City’s urban climate goals (e.g. students supplying capacity to the city on key climate challenges, evaluation of programs, joint funding proposals etc.). Ultimately, the vision for UCAP and a partnership with the City is one of symbiosis whereby the unique capabilities of the university (e.g., students, faculty, research funding, campus infrastructure, etc.) would be leveraged to help the City achieve its climate goals, while university students – future generations of architects, planners, engineers, policy analysts, communications specialists, investments analysts and so forth- would become better versed in sustainability thinking and climate action. 

I am in the final stage of completing my PhD in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto. My research focuses on social learning and evaluating the contributions that grassroots community initiatives and urban transitions experiments make to sustainability transitions.