Lower Don Lands Illustration

28.09.22 - Daniels Faculty to host three-day conference on Great Lakes protection and resilience

The Daniels Faculty’s Centre for Landscape Research, led by Assistant Professor Fadi Masoud, will host the first post-pandemic gathering of the Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium this week during a three-day invite-only conference dedicated to the health and resilience of the vast Great Lakes Basin.

From Thursday to Saturday (September 29 to October 1), more than 30 designers, policy experts, planners, engineers and ecologists from around the Great Lakes region will meet in Toronto for a workshop on the critical role that blue-green infrastructure will play in the future adaptation of the basin to climate change. The majority of discussions and panels will take place in the Daniels Building on Friday and Saturday. This workshop will be preceded by a tour on Thursday of important aquatic sites in the Greater Toronto Area, including the Lower Don Lands on downtown Toronto’s waterfront and the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area and Bayview Village Site in Mississauga.

“This workshop,” say conference co-organizers Masoud and James Wasley of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, “aims to chart a clear path for the practice of integrative blue-green infrastructure design in service of a more climate-ready and resilient Great Lakes Basin.”

Launched in 2020, the Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium was co-founded by the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), the University of Toronto and the University of Illinois System to address the most pressing socio-economic and environmental challenges facing the region by promoting regular and impactful collaborations among academics, industry and governments. In 2021, four other major universities joined the Consortium. It is currently being administered by the CGLR.

This week’s conference, entitled Reimagining Water and sponsored by the CGLR, will look at blue-green infrastructure design through the lenses of just about every relevant field, including architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, civil and environmental engineering and the related sciences and public policy arenas.

Among the specific topics to be covered during the workshop, which Dean Juan Du will kick off with welcoming remarks on Friday morning, include conservation governance, emerging obstacles to design and governance innovation, keeping up with the changing science, and projective future models and partners.

“Synthesizing these diverse fields of knowledge,” say Masoud and Wasley, “is the daily work of design professionals in this field. Our goal is to better connect academic research to the cutting edge of the profession.”

For more information on the workshop and its mandate, contact Assistant Professor Masoud.