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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. 

Building housing solidarity during COVID-19

Universally safe and affordable housing is integral to the wellbeing of cities. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic increased housing insecurity in Toronto. In response to this situation, Luisa Sotomayor has investigated the obstacles, such as community opposition, that Toronto homeless shelters encountered in creating more emergency housing during the pandemic for low-income and vulnerable communities.

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An aerial view of high rise condos

High-rise living, public space and COVID-19 in the Greater Toronto Area

As urban density spirals upwards, so do a city’s buildings. Ute Lehrer is researching the implications of high-rises and verticality on urban living to examine the wellbeing of its residents – especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Intelligent urban planning that creates safe and affordable housing is critical to the future of resilient cities.

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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.

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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.

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