The choices architects make when they're designing buildings can have long-lasting consequences, not just for the people who live and work in those buildings, but also for the global natural environment. That's why, starting in the Winter 2021 semester, the Daniels Faculty will begin giving students the ability to enrol in a new curricular pathway, leading to a new academic designation: a Certificate in Sustainability of the Built Environment.
The new certificate program, the first of its kind at the University of Toronto, will be open to all current students in the Daniels Faculty's undergraduate architecture and visual studies programs. In order to earn the certificate, a student will be required to take at least four different Daniels courses that have been deemed, by the university, to be aligned with the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The full list of eligible courses can be found in the Daniels academic calendar.
In taking this sustainability-focused sequence of courses, students will gain understanding of sustainability's social, ecological, and economic dimensions. They will also learn about the ways sustainability practices in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and art intersect with larger global issues like climate change, ecological preservation, and social justice.
The new certificate program is an outgrowth of U of T's President's Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability. The university's sustainability pathways initiative was announced as one of eight sustainability measures in "Beyond Divestment: Taking Decisive Action on Climate Change," the university president's administrative response to the report of the President’s Advisory Committee on Divestment from Fossil-Fuels, in March 2016. The goal of the pathways initiative is to allow every undergraduate student at the university the opportunity to experience sustainability learning in their program.
The President's Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability is currently hosting the Adams Sustainability Celebration — a four-month series of events designed to pay tribute to U of T's sustainability-minded students, faculty, and staff. The celebration includes the Adams Sustainability Innovation Prize, a competition for student-led innovation projects. The winners will split a $25,500 pot of prize money, which they'll use to further develop their ideas. The competition is open to all U of T students and recent alumni, and entries are due on October 23. See the Adams Sustainability Innovation prize website for more details.
More information on the Certificate in Sustainability of the Built Environment program will be available in March 2021. Enrolment will start the following spring. Watch the Daniels Faculty website for updates.