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U of T Cities podcast final episode: future cities

Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Richard Florida, Patricia McCarney and Meric Gertler

(image by Jon Horvatin)

It's been a long road to election day in Toronto.

But – regardless of which candidates come out on top – all the ideas brought to life through debates, platforms, opinion pieces and public discussion will result in a new city and set its citizens on a new path.

U of T News presented a miniseries of election-focused podcasts over the past four weeks, featuring the University of Toronto students, experts and entrepreneurs whose work is pushing towards the future of traffic, transit and sustainable cities.

(Click here to find episode one on traffic, here to find episode two on transit, and here to find episode three on sustainable cities)

Our final episode of the U of T Cities miniseries builds on the visionary spirit behind those earlier episodes and calls on U of T's leading authors and researchers to give us a broader view of the future of cities.

What is the role of the city? How is it changing us – and how are we changing it?

(Click the down-pointing arrow button in the player to download episode and transfer to your listening device. Transcript available here. Now available on iTunes)

PART ONE: EVOLVING STORIES OF TORONTO

photo of Kathryn KuitenbrouwerBest-selling author Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer is a PhD student in English literature at U of T, and often instructs creative writing classes through the university's School of Continuing Studies.

Her latest novel, All the Broken Thingspublished by Random House Canada, paints a picture of a wild and transforming Toronto.  (Read more about All the Broken Things)

Kuitenbrouwer explains how she uses her writing to play with the idea of a changing city – and describes exactly why dogs have learned to ride the subway, sometimes by themselves, in global cities like ours.

(Read more about Kuitenbrouwer's work in a feature from U of T Magazine)

Also mentioned in this segment: learn more about U of T's Sustainability Office, urban forestry program.

PART TWO: A NEW CLASS DIVIDE CHANGING THE SHAPE OF OUR CITIESphoto of Richard Florida

Richard Florida is an urbanist, author and senior editor at The Atlantic. He also serves as director at U of T's Martin Prosperity Institute, based at the Rotman School of Management. (Read more about the Martin Prosperity Institute)

In this interview, Florida describes his recent study showing how class is reshaping global cities. (Read 'The Divided City' from the Martin Prosperity Institute)

He also shares his predictions for the size, scope and character of cities of the future and explains how it all comes back to transit.

PART THREE: SETTING A GLOBAL STANDARD FOR DATA ON GLOBAL CITIES

Photo of Patricia McCarneyProfessor Patricia McCarney is leading a major international project empowering cities to become smarter and stronger. And it all stemmed from work she began with U of T's Global Cities Institute.

McCarney is now CEO of an organization called the World Council on City Data, which is working with cities from across the world to provide – for the first time ever –  a way to compare their metrics and statistics. (Read more about the World Council on City Data)

It's also led to the groundbreaking creation of ISO 37120 – the first set of international standards for cities. As McCarney's group now prepares a new set of international city standards on resiliency, she explains the challenge and the promise of this global work at U of T.

PART FOUR: THE CITY IN THE UNIVERSITY, AND THE UNIVERSITY IN THE CITY 

Photo of Meric GertlerU of T President Meric Gertler is an award-winning researcher when it comes to the geography of innovation. Now, he's at the helm of a university whose three campuses stretch across the GTA and host a population including more than 100,000 students, faculty and staff.

In this edited portion of his speech at the Big Cities, Big Ideas lecture series presented by the Munk School for Global Affairs, Gertler explains his views on the symbiotic nature of the university and the city, and details how each contributes to the other's strength, stability and economies.

Find the full speech here. 

And to pick up on a story featured in the first episode of U of T Cities – and an example of the connection between the university and the city – below is a dispatch from one of the students taking Professor Zack Taylor's class on the election at U of T's Scarborough campus.

His course supports fourth-year students as they perform groundbreaking research projects based in data and events of this Toronto election. (Learn more about Taylor's class in this feature; hear an inteview with Taylor in the first episode of the podcast series)

The message below is from student Maria Martelo, and in it she describes her research project and the reason she took the course.

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This podcast features music made available on the Free Music Archive from artists Daytripper 13, Cheese N Pot-C, Tha Silent Partner, The Custodian of Records, Jazzafari and Cosmic Analog Ensemble.

Transcript available.