Eric Krause Memorial Lecture: The paradox of cities and the environment

March 19, 2019 by Kiran Champatsingh

Matti Siemiatycki, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning; Interim Director, School of Cities, University of Toronto; and Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure Planning and Finance, was the  keynote speaker at this year’s Eric Krause Memorial Lecture on March 18, 2019. Professor Siemiatycki passionately addressed the deep interconnection between cities and the environment. In particular, how cities impact on the local and global environment through the vast consumption of energy and production of pollution; how cities are deeply impacted by changing environmental conditions; and how cities can address the environmental impacts produced within their boundaries.

Professor Siemiatycki brought into focus the importance of addressing the growing inequity in our cities alongside environmental issues in order to build on a collective sense of responsibility. However, there are solutions: while cities are the sites of some of the most damaging environmental impacts, they also hold the promise of producing solutions to environmental challenges at a global scale. 

Following the lecture, School of the Environment Director, Professor Steve Easterbrook presented the Eric David Baker Krause Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship was established in memory of Eric Krause, a U of T graduate with an M.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies. This year’s recipients are Aiden Goertzen and Breanne Bateman (not in attendance).

Aidan Goertzen is passionate about examining environmental challenges and identifying solutions which benefit the health of humans and the planet that they inhabit. Building off of an undergraduate degree in Science, Sustainability, and Society at McGill University she moved to Toronto to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Science with a collaborative specialization in Environment and Health. Growing up in Northern Ontario, she became interested in better understanding the challenges and opportunities for Indigenous communities in Canada. Outside of the classroom she practices a plastic free lifestyle, and is currently exploring the world of food with a focus on the environment and health.

Breanne Bateman holds a B.A. (Hons.) in History and English from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is graduating this spring from the Munk School’s Master of Public Policy program. She recently completed an internship at the City of Mississauga, in the Environmental Services Section, where she conducted research and led policy development on topics such as storm water management and brownfield redevelopment. Breanne’s policy interests include environmental policy and sustainability, particularly water and food policy.