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M5E 0A5

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education: Imagining My Sustainable City
Appreciating Place and
Envisioning a Future Toronto

In­spired by the special places and unique char­ac­ter of Toronto's di­verse communities, No.9, in collab­oration with the TDSB, is introduc­ing one Grade 7 or 8 class in each of Toronto's 44 Wards to a four day sustainable urban planning and ar­chi­tectural design program.

Students and their teach­ers work with two pro­fes­sion­al ar­chi­tectural ed­ucators to cre­ate sustainable urban design and ar­chi­tectural projects. With the as­sistance of these pro­fes­sion­als, students study the compo­nents of a city by go­ing on a neighbour­hood walk to observe and doc­u­ment the exis­t­ing trans­portation systems, waste man­age­ment systems, building types, green spaces, wa­ter man­age­ment and energy use in their own communities. In the first phase of the program the students are introduced to ways that make a city more sustainable and devel­op an urban plan for their neighbour­hood. The urban plan that is cre­ated informs the type of ar­chi­tectural design solutions the students explore in the sec­ond phase of the program. These explorations include cre­ating sustainable hous­ing or recre­ation ar­eas, cre­ating better streets for pede­s­trians and bike rid­ers and pro­viding better access to public trans­portation and locally grown foods.

Students draw up their ideas and partic­ipate in building a collab­orative scale model incorporating their design solutions into their cho­sen site. Photog­raphy, writing, collab­orative brainstorm­ing and oral presentations fur­ther as­sist to artic­ulate the students' vi­sions.

The goal of this project is to collab­orate with the Toronto Dis­trict School Board and its teach­ers to infuse the re­al world in­ter­disciplinary as­pects of the ar­chi­tectural pro­fes­sion with the required Grade 7 curriculum and pro­viding additional eco-lit­eracy learning in the class­room.

This program culminates in a display of student works in a public exhi­bi­tion each spring at Evergreen Brickworks. Col­lectively, the students' vi­sions for their sustainable fu­ture of Toronto lead into discus­sions of civic en­gage­ment, governance and living a sustainable lifestyle.

Dixon Grove Junior Middle School student Parveen appeared on CBC's Metro Morning with Matt Galloway on May 29th.
Click the orange play button below to listen to the segment.

Imagining My Sustainable City map of participating schools.