Welcome to the July 2023 edition of the EUC Research Update - bringing you highlights from research activities at York's Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change. We invite you to view our past updates on our Research News page.
Mahtot Gebresselassie on disability accessibility of the built environment for an inclusive higher education
Sandhya Suryanarayanan on the path to equal access – uncovering challenges and opportunities on York University's Keele Campus.
Timothy Young on assessing York University's Keele Campus northeast accessibility.
Peter Yuan Qu on disability accessibility at York University's Keele Campus.
Accolades and Awards
Raju Das has co-authored a new book on The Challenges of the New Social Democracy: Social Capital and Civic Association or Class Struggle? The book provides a Marxist critique of new social democracy as the dominant contemporary strategy for local economic and social development. In both the global North and South, new social democracy seeks to develop social capital, strengthen civil society, build not-for-profit enterprises, encourage self-help, and foster community ties. It seeks participatory forms of local politics to achieve a local class consensus. The authors argue that social enterprise can be developed in socialist ways and can contribute to a local politics based in class struggle.
Calvin Lakhan (of EUC's Waste Wiki Lab) has been recognized as one of the 50 under 50 Young and Aspiring Indo-Canadians by Maneesh Media and the High Commission of India to Canada. Lakhan's Waste Wiki Lab bridges the gap between academia, industry and government on issues concerning waste. Its goal is to provide stakeholders with resources for evidence-based decision making, and promote the principles of a circular and sustainable economy.
Ellie Perkins has a new edited book titled Climate Justice and Participatory Research: Building Climate-Resilient Commons. The book brings together articulations of the what, why, and how of climate justice through the voices of energetic and motivated scholar-activists who are building alliances across Latin America, Africa, and Canada. Grounded in experience and processes that are currently underway, it explores the value of common assets, collective action, environmental protection, and equitable partnerships between local community experts and academic allies as well as demonstrating the negative effects of climate-related actions that run roughshod over local communities’ interests and wellbeing.
Publications and Reports
Das, R., Eisenschitz, A., and Gough, J. (2023). The Challenges of the New Social Democracy. Brill. July.
Flicker, S., Galusha, A., Sandberg, A., Altenberg, J., and Young Indigenous Women's Utopia (2023). Decolonizing, Indigenizing, and Making Space for Indigenous Girls Visiting York University. Girlhood Studies. Volume 16, Issue 2.
Korosi, J. (2023). A comparative paleolimnological analysis of Chydorus exposure to ultraviolet radiation associated with shoreline retrogressive thaw slumping in lakes of the Mackenzie Delta uplands (Northwest Territories, Canada). Journal of Paleolimnology.
Kapoor, I. (2023). Decolonising Development Studies. Review of International Studies, 49(3), 346-355.
MacKell, S., Elsayed, H. & Colla, S. (2023). Assessing the impacts of urban beehives on wild bees using individual, community, and population-level metrics. Urban Ecosystems. May.
McGregor, D., Latulippe, N., Whitlow, R., Gansworth, L., McGregor, L., and Allen, S. (2023).Towards meaningful research and engagement: Indigenous knowledge systems and Great Lakes governance. Journal of Great Lakes Research, Volume 49, Supplement 1, Pages S22-S31.
Nalepa, R. and Colla, S. (2023). Toward a wild pollinator strategy for Canada: expert-recommended solutions and policy levers. FACETS. June.
Okpalaonwuka, C., Olusegun, C.F., Olusola, A. et al. (2023). Validation of MODIS AOD retrievals in West Africa: a comparison with AERONET observations. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health.
Perkins, P.E. (2023). Climate Justice and Participatory Research: Building Climate-Resilient Commons. University of Calgary Press.
Savic, K. and Hoicka, C. (2023). Indigenous legal forms and governance structures in renewable energy: Assessing the role and perspectives of First Nations economic development corporations. Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 101, 103121.
Stiegman, M. and Pictou, S.(2023) We Story the Land: Exploring Mi'kmaq food sovereignty, Indigenous law and treaty relations, The Journal of Peasant Studies.
Young, K.L., and Brown, L.C. Temperature and Precipitation Trends of the Shoulder Seasons at Polar Bear Pass (Nanuit Itillinga) – A Ramsar Wetland of Importance, Nunavut. Wetlands 43, 68 (2023).
EUC Media Coverage
Sheila Colla and Rachel Nalepa wrote an article on Working towards a wild pollinator strategy for Canada for the Canadian Geographic. They note that the rusty-patched bumblebee has seen a rapid decline in its population, hence, conservation of wild pollinators is crucial to ensure integrity of Canada's wild ecosystems, urban gardens and agricultural production. One of the many important reasons for protection of wild bumblebees, they point out, is to ensure that vegetable and fruit crops are pollinated. In addition, rusty-patched bumblebees pollinate native wildflowers, shrubs and trees which provide shelter for a variety of bird and mammal species. The researchers provide a list of simple tasks that can help ensure protection of the wild bumblebee species.
Mahtot Gebresselassie published an article titled "Transportation apps can help people with disabilities navigate public transit but accessibility lags behind" in The Conversation. In this article, she discusses the accessibility of smartphone apps used for travel. In her research, Gebresselassie found that many of the apps are still yet to include some crucial accessibility features such as text-to-voice conversion which could allow people with disabilities to fulfill their travel needs. She points out that such technology is available, but is not implemented due to the lack mandatory regulations and requirements. In her research, she found that many transportations apps lack any accessibility features, despite being in high demand.
Mark Winfield penned an article titled Ontario turns rational energy planning on its head in the Toronto Star. Winfield laments the province's choice to pursue the highest cost, highest risk and highest negative impact option for energy — nuclear expansion — along with growth in greenhouse gas intensive gas-fired generation, such that efficiency, renewables, and distributed energy resources — have been left to the margins, with no specific targets or objectives. He argues for rational planning process around electricity and decarbonization that would prioritize the options with the lowest economic, environmental, technological and safety risks first. Higher risk options, like new nuclear, should only be considered where it can be demonstrated that the lower-risk options have been fully optimized and developed in the planning process.
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