faculty of environmental studies

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Research projects: Completed

Unlikely Allies: Citizen Planning and Environmentalism on the Oak Ridges Moraine
Investigator(s):
Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2002-2005 (Extended: 2007)
Description:

The research examined the dynamics of citizen planning through an in-depth study and comparison of two communities – Richmond Hill and Caledon – that are immediately adjacent to the Oak Ridges Moraine. The study documented the issues, the roles of key actors, the strategic outcomes, and the local historical circumstances and political regimes under which citizen activism takes different forms. A book is forthcoming in 2011/2012.

SARS and the Global City: The Case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in Toronto
Investigator(s):
Agency:
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
Term:
Term: 2004-2007 (Extended: 2009)
Description:

The research explored the direct connection between global city formation and the way in which SARS affected the city of Toronto. Issues arising in this inquiry included how the global city network facilitated worldwide microbial traffic, and the implications for institutional governance and regulation concerning urban vulnerability and public health security. A book on Networked Disease Emerging Infections in the Global City was published in 2010.

Creative Tensions of Community Arts in Popular Education: A Transnational Study of the Americas
Investigator(s):
Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2004-2007 (Extended: 2009)
Description:

This transnational research project involved collaborators in Toronto, Los Angeles as well as Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama in an examination of the intersection between popular education and community arts practice among pluriethnic and diasporic populations in northern and southern contexts. It provided information on the work of popular educators, community artists, organizers and cultural studies theorists as they addressed social, political and economic interests across an increasingly integrated hemisphere, with increasingly globalized social movements. A book titled ¡VIVA! Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas will be published by SUNY Press in October 2011.

Thinking about Animal Minds: A Phenomenographic Exploration of Animal Consciousness in Whales and Bats
Investigator(s):
Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2004-2008 (Extended: 2009)
Description:

The research developed and tested a narrative methodology for exploring human knowledge making about animal consciousness, and considered the implications for re-situating animals in environmental ethics, conservation and education. In particular, this involved an examination of Western ideas about human-animal relationships, gathering anecdotal knowledge about consciousness in whales and bats and exploring the ethical and political implications of this knowledge (Wikimedia Commons file photo).

Urban Images, Public Space and the Growth of Private Interests in Toronto
Investigator(s):
Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2005-2008
Description:

This research project addressed the importance of image production for Toronto, Canada’s largest metropolitan area and the country’s primary ‘global city’. Image production in this study referred to images produced in cities and by cities as a competitive strategy to attract and retain local and global capital. In contrast to most of the literature, which is mainly concerned with the outcome of city-building processes, focus of the study was on the building process. While construction sites have always maintained a certain fascination within the imagination of the spectator, the building process had changed under the impact of globalization

Changing Urban Waterfronts
Co-Investigator(s):

Gene Desfor (Principal Investigator), Tenley Conway (Co-applicant), W. Scott Prudham (Co-applicant), Gail Fraser (Collaborator), Adrian Ivakhiv (Collaborator), John Jorgensen (Collaborator), Michael Moir (Collaborator)

Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2005-2010
Description:

The overarching question the research addressed was: How have various discourses and practices combined to produce and regulate Toronto's waterfront as a socio-economic and ecological space? Two books have been released as a result of the study: Transforming Urban Waterfronts: Fixity and Flow edited by Gene Desfor, Jennefer Laidley, Quentin Stevens and Dirk Schubert published by Routledge in 2010; and Reshaping Toronto’s Waterfront edited by Gene Desfor and Jennefer Laidley published by University of Toronto Press in 2011.

Towards Sustainability in Headwaters Country
Investigator(s):
Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2005-2010
Description:

This action-based research project focused on Dufferin County, part of the Headwaters Country region north of Toronto, in which FES is part of a network of partners (Sustainability Dufferin Society) engaged in a range of sustainability initiatives (Headwaters Communities in Action file photo).

In-Between Infrastructure: Urban Connectivity in an Age of Vulnerability
Investigator(s):

Roger Keil, Engin Isin, Patricia Wood, Douglas Young, John Saunders

Agency:
Infrastructure Canada Peer Reviewed Research Studies Program
Term:
Term: 2006-2009
Description:

With city planning focused primarily on the downtown and suburban regions, what lies "in between" has yet to be explored. Using the region surrounding York University, this research project investigated the relationships between investments in highways, airports, institutions and industrial structures, and the frequently under-serviced residential and natural areas that lie among them. A book has been edited and published as a result of the project and can be accessed at: http://www.praxis-epress.org/availablebooks/inbetween.html

Assessment of Ecological Footprint Methodology
Investigator(s):
Agency:
Statistics Canada
Term:
Term: 2007-2008
Description:

The January 2008 workshop examined the conceptual basis, methodology, data requirements and availability for estimating Canada’s ecological footprint. It aimed to critically review the conceptual foundation, assumption and methodology of Canadian ecological footprint.

Total Resource Cost Test (TRC) on CDM Program Innovation and Delivery by LDCs in Ontario
Investigator(s):

Mark Winfield and Tatiana Koveshnikova

Agency:
Mearie Group LDC Tomorrow Fund
Term:
Term: 2007-2008
Description:

The project systematically examined the impact of the TRC on the ability of Local Electricity Distribution Companies (LDCs) to deliver Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) programming. It aimed to provide a systemic and objective assessment of the impact of the test of LDC on the ability of LDCs to act as CDM program innovators and delivery agents. The report is available online and can be accessed at: here.

Using Outcome Mapping to Consolidate Learning and Ensure Sustainability in an EcoHealth Project
Investigator(s):

Martin Bunch, David Morley and Beth Franklin

Agency:
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Term:
Term: 2007-2009
Description:

The project adapted an outcome mapping approach to evaluate achievements and consolidate learning from integrated environment and health research in an urban slum community. It implemented the outcome mapping evaluation approach in the inner city slum of Anju Kudasai of Chennai, India, and disseminated lessons and findings from the evaluation study to institutional governmental and non-governmental actors of Chennai and the international scientific community.

WEB-GIS for Community Environmental Monitoring: Information Sharing and Interoperability
Investigator(s):
Agency:
Ontario Ministry of Environment (ENE)
Term:
Term: 2007-2010
Description:

The project provided a collaborative mechanism among researchers at York University, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the civil society organization Citizens’ Environment Watch to monitor environmental conditions of local watersheds – a program that directly supports the Greater Toronto Remedial Action Plan. It aimed to facilitate adoption of the Juturna web-based community monitoring system by organizations having different spatial areas of interest. A follow-up project will commence in 2011.

Comparing Metropolitan Governance in Transatlantic Perspective: Toronto, Montreal, Paris and Frankfurt
Investigator(s):

Roger Keil, Stepfan Kipfer, Julie-Anne Boudreau and Pierre Hamel

Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2007-2010
Description:

A comparative investigation of the globally-induced transformation of metropolitan governance systems in Toronto, Montreal, Paris and Frankfurt. The project focused on the urban region with its growing web of metropolitan governance. The emergence of collective action at the metropolitan level in Canada and Europe were examined through infrastructure, public health, green space, and human security.

Understanding Adolescent Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services
Investigator(s):
Agency:
CIHR
Term:
Term: 2008-2009
Description:

The project aimed to train the Toronto Teen Survey (TTS) project’s Youth Advisory Committee in focus group facilitation and support them in conducting follow-up discussions on adolescent sexually transmitted diseases and their access to reproductive health services. Community-specific qualitative data were gathered to allow more in-depth understanding of the issues and trends and to provide youth with an opportunity to make key program and policy recommendations.

Youth, Disability, HIV Vulnerability and Prevention
Co-Investigator(s):

Sarah Flicker, Marcia Rioux, Denise Nepveux, Robb Travers (Laurier), June Larkin (UofT) Stephanie Nixon (UofT), Trevor Hart (Ryerson)

Agency:
Canadian Foundation for Aids Research (CANFAR)
Term:
Term: 2008-2010
Description:

The project was conceived given the lack of research on the HIV prevention needs of this vulnerable group despite confluence of risk factors and the existence of approximately 300,000 Canadian youth between the ages of 15 and 24 living with disabilities. The proposed study aims to address this gap in research by working with youth with disabilities to examine vulnerabilities to HIV and to identify methods for effectively delivering HIV prevention strategies to this population.

Bodymapping, Self-Narrative and Treatment Literacy: An Exploratory Study of Participant Experiences
Co-Investigator(s):

Sarah Flicker, Mira Mehes (MES), Eric Mykhalovskiy (York), Tricia Smith, Cortleigh Teolis and Darien Taylor (CATIE)

Agency:
Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE)
Term:
Term: 2008-2010
Description:

Bodymapping combines a process of storytelling, drawing and group discussion led by a trained facilitator through which participants develop an understanding of themselves, their bodies and their social environment. The study explored how connections between different ways of knowing were negotiated through body mapping processes. The project website is accessible at: http://bodymapinfo.com/.

Critical Approaches to Youth HIV Prevention, Support and Community-Based Research
Investigator(s):
Agency:
CIHR
Term:
Term: 2008-2011
Description:

The research aimed to evaluate effective methods of stimulating and supporting ethical policy-relevant community-based research in Canada as well as to develop innovative models of HIV prevention and support programs for youth at the local and global levels.

Improving Accessibility of Research Ethics Boards for Community-Based Research in Canada
Co-Investigator(s):

Sarah Flicker, Robb Travers (Laurier), Stephanie Ann Nixon (UofT), Jacqueline Gahagan (Dalhousie), Catherine Anne Worthington (UCalgary), Louise Binder (CTAC), Adrian Guta, UofT, and Mike Wilson (OHTN)

Agency:
CIHR
Term:
Term: 2008-2011
Description:

The research explored the direct connection between global city formation and the way in which SARS affected the city of Toronto. Issues arising in this inquiry included how the global city network facilitated worldwide microbial traffic, and the implications for institutional governance and regulation concerning urban vulnerability and public health security.

Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Research
Investigator(s):

Kaz Higuchi, Jim Maclellan and Neil Comer

Agency:
Environment Canada (EC)
Term:
Term: 2008-2011
Description:

The project aimed at identifying and assessing various methodological approaches for analyzing and encouraging the development of a reflexive institutional approach for supporting climate change research, ecojustice, and sustainability initiatives at York.

Collaborative Research for Equitable Public Participation in Watershed Governance: Canada, Brazil, Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya
Investigator(s):
Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2009-2010
Description:

The project aimed to develop an international research network on equitable participatory watershed management, including English and Portuguese-speaking African, Brazilian and Canadian academics as well as NGOs working in the field.

Youth Education and Mobilization in Marginalized Urban Communities for Equitable Watershed Governance
Investigator(s):
Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: 2009-2010
Description:

The project built on existing university-community partnerships to develop, improve and disseminate arts and science-based methods and materials for increasing environmental and watershed awareness and activism among youth in marginalized urban communities in Canada.

Renewable Energy Road Map
Co-Investigator(s):

Jose Etcheverry, Lynda O’Malley and Jenifer Taylor (MES students)

Agency:
SSHRC
Term:
Term: Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
Description:

The project identified effective approaches and strategies to increase renewable energy implementation rates through research and consultation with international/national industry experts, government regulators, NGOs, academics and community experts. It aimed at expanding the market for related technologies in Ontario particularly within the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. The report is available online and can be accessed at: http://fes.yorku.ca/files/docs/research/ontarios-road-map-prosperity.pdf