U of T Cities podcast episode three: sustainable cities
Experts describe Toronto's future buildings, transit and economy
With the election just a week away, voter decisions are coming down to the wire: when it comes time to actually cast their ballot, will the choice they make help build a better Toronto?
The latest in U of T News' mini-series of podcasts tackles the question of sustainability to offers voters – and anyone interested in the future of urban issues – an idea of what global cities like Toronto could look like just a few years from now.
The third in this four-part series expands focus to tackle the future of Toronto's economy, environment and transportation on a larger scale.
PART ONE: WHAT DO GREEN ROOFS HAVE TO DO WITH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT?
Assistant Professor Liat Margolis' research is all about optimizing "green roofs" – the vegetation on tops of large city buildings that became mandatory in Toronto a few years ago.
It might seem like these patches of grass and greenery could do little more than offer condo-dwellers a scenic spot to view the CN Tower. But in this interview, Margolis describes their power to affect flood relief, energy consumption and the very ecology of the city.
Margolis shares a few early findings from research she and her colleagues are doing with their own test versions of green roofs on the roof of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.
PART TWO: TRANSIT AS A 'REVELATION' FOR CITIZENS
Richard Sommer is dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Last episode, he shared a vision of richly-designed transit hubs in the outer areas of the GTA that would integrate shopping, learning and possibly even gardening into train platform design. (Find the transit episode here)
In this episode, Sommer explains the greater implications for a city recognizing transit as something more than just a way of getting citizens from one point to another.
He offers a few thoughts on how a more wholistic transit philosophy could contribute to an enlightened lifestyle for its users.
Professor David Wolfe thinks a lot about Toronto's future: the jobs, companies, costs and revenues that will drive the city's success – or lack of it – in a continually changing world.
The political science professor, who teaches at U of T's Mississauga campus as well as at the Munk School of Global Affairs, recently received a $2.9 million grant to study Canada's growing digital economy. (Read more about Wolfe's research here)
One sustainability-focused company developed through U of T's Creative Destruction Lab accelerator in addition to other University of Toronto supports is OTI Lumionics. (Read more about OTI Lumionics)
They've developed a new – and considerably more affordable – way to manufacture organic LED lighting, a material which offers great potential for applications in archtecture, interior design and more.
The company recently launched the world's first consumer-ready OLED lamp, the aerelight, to demonstrate just one of the many ways this sustainable material may soon be lighting our cities. (Read more about aerelight)
This podcast features music made available on the Free Music Archive from Daytripper13, Tha Custodian of Records, Jazzafari and Cosmic Analog Ensemble.