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Home » EUC and the UN Sustainable Development Goals » EUC and SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities

EUC and SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

More than half of the world’s population lives in urban environments, making it crucial to ensure that cities provide their residents with the best quality of life possible. SDG 11 advocates for intelligent urban planning to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable for all. The EUC community is renowned for its urban initiatives, working across diverse institutions, forming global partnerships, and taking action to create city-spaces that work for everyone. 

Facilitating collaborative research and addressing the complexity of urban development challenges

The City Institute at York University (CITY) brings together the university’s urban scholars—faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students and visiting scholars—from across the social sciences and the humanities with particular strengths in geography, environmental studies, planning, anthropology, sociology and political science. As an interdisciplinary institute, CITY facilitates critical and collaborative research, providing new knowledge and innovative approaches to comprehending and addressing the complexity of the urban arena. The Institute is currently headed by Luisa Sotomayor who also has a project in Colombia's commodified peri-urban housing towers.


The city after COVID-19: Comparing vulnerability and urban governance in Chicago, Toronto, and Johannesburg

This is a pilot study of a larger comparative project on the complex effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on urban governance intended to initiate a systematic comparison of vulnerability and governance in post-pandemic city regions. At the pilot phase, the research team has studied three cities -- Chicago, Johannesburg, and Toronto -- examining the critical role of municipal institutions and their civil society partners in mobilizing resources to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and improve health and economic equity.


From Rubble to Refuge: Advancing sustainability of the Leslie Street Spit

Since the 1950s, Leslie Street Spit has evolved from a construction waste-site to an ecologically rich urban landscape. EUC researchers, including  Jennifer Foster, Gail Fraser, Justin Podur, and their students, are working collaboratively with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to create a research database that benefits both the people who visit the park and protects the natural ecosystem. EUC’s dedication to urban ecology is helping to protect Leslie Street Spit, a culturally and environmentally significant Toronto greenspace.


Re-imagining public spaces and designing liveable communities in a COVID-19 world

How do we reimagine public spaces – such as parks, streets, beaches, schools, libraries, and other areas of communities – in a way that they will be liveable for people in a COVID-19 world? This was the topic of the webinar that Professor Ute Lehrer took part in June, hosted by St. Francis’ University’s Coady International Institute, N.S., that brought together experts and drew hundreds of attendees from around the globe.


The Role of Informal Networks in the Protection of Public Transport in Nairobi

Affordable and reliable transportation is integral to a city’s sustainability and resiliency. PhD student Jane Lumumba is investigating the significance of matatus, privately owned transportation vehicles, in Nairobi, Kenya. Lumumba is addressing the fact that little is known about how informal networks contribute to the protection of critical infrastructure, namely public transport in African cities. Inclusive cities require affordable transit that provide social and economic links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas, and Jane Lumumba is shedding light on their importance.


Political ecology of flood disasters in coastal cities in the Philippines

Ria Jhoanna Ducusin’s doctoral research examines how ecological conditions and socio-political relations create and shape flooding in coastal cities. While climate change contributes to the magnitude and frequency of flooding, Ria explores how flooding in the Philippines is produced as an outcome of political decisions, economic interests, and power relations. By including power relations between state, non-state, and individual actors, she develops an integrative approach that provides nuanced insights into how social power and environmental conditions critically shape flooding in coastal cities.


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