Big Ideas, Better Cities is a year-long series of public events featuring renowned McMaster and international experts exploring ways to build smart, healthy, creative cities.
By Dave Heidebrecht
Published September 08, 2015
How can McMaster research help build great cities? That's the focus of Big Ideas, Better Cities, a year-long series of public events featuring renowned McMaster and international experts from a wide range of disciplines exploring ways to build smart, healthy, creative cities.
Over the coming year, McMaster will host a number of events in Hamilton including high profile public talks and community workshops and lectures that will feature cutting-edge research and consider the ways in which research being undertaken at McMaster can shed light on the challenges facing urban communities such as Hamilton and help cities respond to those challenges.
Big Ideas, Better Cities will officially launch on September 11 with a public talk featuring Stephen Huddart, President and CEO of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, who will speak about the powerful role university/city cooperation plays in generating prosperity and shaping civic culture and wellbeing.
"Creating vibrant, innovative cities that work for people; young and old, is critically important in the 21st century," says Susan Searls Giroux, Associate Vice-President, Faculty who is leading this initiative. "McMaster has built considerable research strength in this area. We invite the McMaster and Hamilton communities to join us for Big Ideas, Better Cities events and be a part of this important dialogue."
Big Ideas, Better Cities involves more than 60 McMaster researchers campus-wide. Each event is being organized by a team of interdisciplinary researchers and is the result of consultations within the University community and with City of Hamilton officials.
"McMaster researchers have achieved extraordinary successes throughout the years," says McMaster University president Patrick Deane. "Big Ideas Better Cities is an opportunity to highlight the range and significance of McMaster's research enterprise and to showcase the ways in which our researchers are working with each other and with the communities we serve to engage in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research that is uniquely responsive to the significant challenges facing cities today."
Cooperation among universities, cities and local leaders can be a powerful force for good. As civic actors in their own right, universities play a vital role in shaping civic culture and wellbeing. But what does this kind of collaboration look like in practice, and what is needed that isn't being done already?
Stephen Huddart kicks off the Big Ideas, Better Cities series by talking about the economic and social challenges facing cities and our post-secondary institutions, and ways that renewed city/university collaboration can generate prosperity and social progress.
Explore the latest research on optimal aging and learn more about how we can ensure that our cities and communities have the tools and information they need to help people live longer and better.
This event includes an academic symposium highlighting leading-edge research on aging by more than 60 McMaster faculty members and graduate students and renowned international experts. It will also feature high profile public talks by Margaret Trudeau.
This two-day event focuses on how "big data" is helping to build healthy, smart communities. McMaster experts will deliver a series of 10 minute mini-lectures, or MacTalks, that focus on how "big data" is influencing public policy and fuelling social and health innovation.
This week of events will explore ways to build healthy, vibrant communities that work for everyone, young and old. Events include a Saturday lecture sponsored by McMaster Children and Youth University, public talks, research-based workshops and a community-focused "health crawl" made up of tours, demonstrations and lectures in various McMaster-based locations across Hamilton and Burlington.
During the week, McMaster will also host a special event in partnership with The Walrus Foundation featuring a panel of leading experts from McMaster and beyond to discuss ways to build healthy cities in the 21st century.
How can cities respond to the threat of climate change, protect our precious natural resources like water and plan smart, sustainable transportation for future generations? Learn more from McMaster experts as they explore research on the effects of climate change and its impact on community building and health.
Also, join McMaster experts at field research sites across Hamilton to see first-hand how researchers are working in the Hamilton community to better understand the effects of climate change locally and beyond.
To stay up to date on this and other community events, follow the McMaster University Network for Community-Campus Partnerships on Twitter or Facebook. You can also subscribe to a regular mailing list on community-campus news, or contact the Network via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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