News Release

Published on October 26, 2018

Canada’s Capital Region - 
The National Capital Commission (NCC) today announced season five of its popular Urbanism Lab lecture series. Running between September 2018 and June 2019, season five promises to continue to create spaces where Canadians and leaders in urbanism, design, sustainability, heritage and conservation collectively inspire the future of Canada’s Capital Region.

Over the past four years, nearly 17,500 people have participated in one of the 50 Urbanism Lab events, either in person or via webcast. We expect that this season will attract thousands more. Here is a brief overview of our lineup.

September 25, 2018 Walk This Way: Designing a Pedestrian Paradise

This panel will explore how to create spaces that contribute to the urban fabric as dynamic and multi-functional venues. Speakers:

October 30, 2018 Gardens and Healthy Cities

Presented in collaboration with Canadensis and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, this panel discussion will focus on the unique contributions to human health that gardens and picturesque landscapes provide. Speakers:

  • To be announced in the coming weeks.

November 20, 2018 Beyond Green Buildings

Presented in partnership with the Canada Green Building Council and the Embassy of the United States in Canada, this event will be hosted by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in Ottawa. This panel discussion will seek to demonstrate how sound urban planning principles can contribute to building more resilient cities to help face the increasing pressures related to climate change. Speakers:

  • Doug Farr, President and founding principal of Farr Associates, and author of Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future
  • Isabelle Thomas, full professor, Université de Montréal
  • Elliott Cappell, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Toronto
  • Colin Ellard (University of Waterloo Urban Realities Laboratory, and author of Places of the Heart
  • Sarah Williams Goldhagen, writer, critic and author of Welcome to Your WorldHow the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives, and contributing editor, Architectural Record and Art in America
  • Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne, University of Vermont, United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, Research and Development
  • Representatives from the Ville de Québec, Vision de l’arbre

December 13, 2018 The City and the Brain

Presented in partnership with Urban Forum, this panel will discuss new and innovative ways to analyze the built environment, by seeking to understand the neuroscience behind our experiences in public spaces. Why do some places fill us with joy, while others, we seek to avoid at all costs? Speakers:

January 2019 Metropolitan Governance and Big Data

This panel discussion will review recent studies in regional governance and its impacts on everything from services to spatial design. How does big data play a role in shaping policy-making in large metropolitan areas?

February 2019 Breathing New Life Into Old Buildings

Presented during February to help mark Heritage Week, this panel will discuss how we can boldly push our thinking on the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings and whole neighbourhoods. Examples include the Monastère des Augustines in Québec City, the Galt Post Office in Cambridge, Ontario, and redevelopments in Detroit, Michigan. A symposium event will be held during the day, with an Urbanism Lab discussion in the evening.

March 2019 From Digital Pathways to Urban Spaces

Digital channels have changed the way we interact with our cities and their partner organizations. This Urbanism Lab event will explore how organizations are using digital engagement strategies to better connect with audiences and to enhance a city’s brand values.

April 2019 Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them

This panel discussion will engage audiences on the importance of the urban tree, by presenting the findings of a tree canopy assessment completed in the National Capital Region, as well as new perspectives from other regions. Speakers:

May 2019 Living, Breathing Walls

Green architecture and design have decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but biophonic design takes it to the next level, recognizing the innate connection of humans to nature. By integrating nature into building design, we can see hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children’s test scores are higher, and offices where workers are more productive.

June 2019 National Indigenous Day

The erosion of shorelines is presenting as a global challenge. This is of particular concern for Canada, which has the largest coastline in the world — and especially for Indigenous nations. Important heritage and legacy traces are being literally washed away. What exactly are the challenges we are facing, and what strategies have proven successful? Join us in this important discussion as we celebrate National Indigenous Day.

Please note that in-person attendance requires advance registration. Due to space limitations, all our events are webcast. Visit our website regularly for updates on our lineup.

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