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Sustainability 101

Cities key to Canada's success

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on November 29, 2019

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As the dust from the federal election settles, a familiar picture emerges. Canada’s cities have again chosen a different path from the rest...

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The fault lines over Canada’s carbon emissions

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on July 11, 2019

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Social seismologists – those people who study social tectonics and growing tensions between communities – are worried about Canada....

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A New Year’s resolution for global prosperity: Honesty

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on January 03, 2019

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The world concluded 2018 in a grumpy, uncertain mood. Despite warnings of dire and immediate climate change, negotiators at the United...

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Driving a made-in-Ontario solution to congestion, climate change, and economic prosperity

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on November 15, 2018

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The door-knocking campaigns are over for most politicians as they take their new places in Council Chambers and at Queen’s Park. From...

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Hello Tomorrow [Goodbye Yesterday] Durham Smart City Forum

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on October 03, 2018

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Last weekend, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology campus hosted the Hello Tomorrow Durham Smart Cities Forum. Ontario’s Chief...

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How do we clear the air on carbon emissions?

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on July 18, 2018

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In the time it takes you to read this article, more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) will be dumped into the Earth’s atmosphere....

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Toronto’s powerful pitch for Amazon

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on March 06, 2018

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There is one characteristic in particular that distinguishes Toronto from the other 19 remaining candidate cities vying for Amazon’s...

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Old White Men and the Wealth of Cities

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on February 21, 2018

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I love my wife a lot, so when she told me I had to buy her a Valentine’s Day present I was on it. She’s not a chocolates and perfume...

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Time to get on board

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on December 13, 2017

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Rarely do public policy options come along with such compelling merits as the proposed TTC time-based transfer[1]. If public policies were fruits,...

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Face the Bear: Toronto’s Response to Amazon HQ2

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on September 21, 2017

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If you unexpectedly meet a bear in the woods, you should remain calm, speak firmly, and make yourself look bigger. Stand-up tall, raise your hands...

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Why Amazon should dance with Toronto

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on September 20, 2017

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Like that scrawny kid at the Grade 8 dance thinking there is no way the prettiest girl in school will agree to dance, Toronto wonders how to court...

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The Energy of Demand

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on May 01, 2017

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Bill McKibben, the well-known climate champion, slammed Justin Trudeau last week: “When it comes to the defining issue of our day, climate...

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One man’s view of feminism

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on April 05, 2017

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Samantha Nutt, the CEO of War Child, physician, professor and frequent media spokesperson, gave a talk last week at UOIT titled When Women Lead...

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Toronto: The elephant not in the room

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on March 22, 2017

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There’s much talk lately on the pace and scale of global change. What’s driving it, who benefits, who gets short-changed, and who...

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Go ahead, hug a Rotarian

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on February 21, 2017

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In 1979, Rotary clubs helped deliver polio vaccines to more than six million children in the Philippines. This effort expanded in 1985 through the...

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Closer to Doomsday for Toronto? Politics takes an Enormous Toll

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on January 30, 2017

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Last week the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the ‘Doomsday Clock’ 30 seconds closer to midnight[1] and catastrophe. Since 1947,...

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Canada Not Yet Making the Electric Vehicle Grade

Posted by Michelle Cholak on November 15, 2016

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Canadian provinces are not doing enough to get electric vehicles on the road, according to a new report from Simon Fraser University’s...

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The shifting power of cities

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on October 03, 2016

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Population predictions for the world’s largest cities in the 21st century (Part 2 of 2): New figures show the population of the world’s...

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Cities on the twenty-ninth day

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on October 03, 2016

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Population predictions for the world’s largest cities in the 21st century (Part 1 of 2): rapid urbanisation, if managed sustainably, could...

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The City: Where Hope Trumps Fear

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on August 05, 2016

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There are two important vantage points in every city – one from the rooftops and penthouses down, the other, from the ground up.Few are...

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The Brexit Vote: A Cities’ Perspective

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on July 05, 2016

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From the 14th to 17th Century, a collection of cities made up the Hanseatic League in what is now northern Europe. Stretching more than 2000 km...

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Making of a miracle – Canada’s approach to carbon-free energy

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on March 10, 2016

Last December the world got a better understanding of the enormity of our energy challenge. In the year leading up to the Paris meeting, the...

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The powerful business case for sustainability

Posted by Michelle Cholak on March 02, 2016

With an investment of $46,186 between 2006 and 2008 to improve energy efficiency in his facility, Paul Rak, president of industrial capital...

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The world's 10 biggest cities in 2050

Posted by Michelle Cholak on February 29, 2016

The global population will grow at an unprecedented rate in the next century and research is being conducted by UOIT associate professor Daniel...

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Why companies are embracing the new sustainability imperative

Posted by Michelle Cholak on February 17, 2016

Business leaders are paid to focus on the bottom line, and they should. They acknowledge that environmental and social concerns deserve attention,...

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The stars align again for Oshawa – Electric vehicles on the rise

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on January 25, 2016

People looking to the night skies this month have been treated to a rare alignment of the planets. Looking a little farther out on the horizon we...

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UOIT hosts Electric Vehicles in Ontario Workshop

Posted by Michelle Cholak on January 18, 2016

With the world promising to limit global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, we need to explore...

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UOIT Breakfast Briefing explores Paris climate agreements

Posted by Michelle Cholak on January 14, 2016

Leaders from 195 countries reached a landmark agreement in December at the United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) that aims...

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Five birds, one stone: Improved transportation in Ontario

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on December 15, 2015

The adage ‘two birds with one stone’ is a bit outdated with the decline of hunting, and really, who uses a sling shot today? But the...

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UOIT Event: Post-COP21 Breakfast Briefing and Electric Vehicle Workshop

Posted by Michelle Cholak on December 10, 2015

On Thursday, January 7, 2016, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham Strategic Energy Alliance (DSEA) are hosting a...

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We'll always have Paris

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on December 09, 2015

Two weeks ago, in a Paris café not unlike La Belle Equipe where 19 people died during the terrorist attacks of November 13, I sat with...

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Lost and Found: Thank you Maurice Strong

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on December 07, 2015

Everyone has a special spot, a place they feel most at home; their querencia. For Maurice Strong it was Lost Lake and his ‘cabin’ near...

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Banting and Best for Canada?

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on November 09, 2015

Quick: name the world’s largest diabetes company. It should be Canadian right? After all it was Frederick Banting and Charles Best at the...

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A call to arms: Report by world's largest oil and gas development company says climate change is irrefutable

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on November 04, 2015

What if Smith and Wesson or Remington Arms wrote a report calling for gun control? Or Philip Morris suggested the banning of cigarettes; would we...

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Canada and the Seven Cs

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on October 23, 2015

Canada’s incoming Liberal government campaigned on a program of support to cities and new infrastructure spending. There are several ways to...

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Giving Thanks

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on October 06, 2015

October 10, Thanksgiving Day, 2050. An open letter to the people of Toronto in 2015, Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful time to pause and reflect on...

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Looking before I Leap

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on September 16, 2015

A colleague – actually more than a colleague, a kindred spirit in this sustainability business – sent me ‘The Leap’...

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Remembering a City Worker Who Made a Difference

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on September 09, 2015

People wandering through the labyrinth of booths of yet another UN urban conference in Nanjing (2008) or Rio de Janeiro (2010) may have stumbled...

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Reports support objectives of Toronto Climate Summit

Posted by Michelle Cholak on July 08, 2015

Ahead of this week’s Climate Summit of the Americas, two new reports have been released which support the importance of reducing greenhouse...

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Two Sides to the Transportation Equation

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on July 02, 2015

By now most people are aware of the new HOV lane restrictions on local highways. Many of us fume as we sit in traffic, maybe watch a car with one...

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Think Snow

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on May 06, 2015

Truth be told, when I was a kid I found my dad’s constant grumbling about winter annoying. He would complain incessantly about the cold and...

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The Long Goodbye: A Life of Loss and Plenty

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on April 08, 2015

Last week, after a long fight with Alzheimer’s, my mother passed away. A few weeks earlier, sitting in the seniors’ home looking on...

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Field trip to Kawartha Ethanol

Posted by Michelle Cholak on March 24, 2015

Energy Systems Engineering students in this semester's fourth year Emerging Energy Systems class had the unique opportunity to visit Kawartha...

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Linking Up - Getting There Is Key

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on March 05, 2015

A few recent news items might seem unrelated, but they are linked in just the same way the Toronto area needs to be. Nowhere in Canada is linking...

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A Big Hope – A Bigger and Better Toronto

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on February 18, 2015

Toronto passed a major milestone last week. Statistics Canada stated the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) population is 6,055,724. For the...

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Santa’s Canadian – And He Loves Milk and Danish

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on December 17, 2014

Everyone knows that Santa Claus is Canadian. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander issued Santa Canadian citizenship last year, and...

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New studies show cities are key to driving economic growth and fighting climate change

Posted by Guest Author on November 26, 2014

How cities develop will be critical to achieving economic growth and tackling climate change, according to a series of studies released this week...

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New Climate Normal: World Bank study reveals the unavoidable impacts of climate change

Posted by Guest Author on November 24, 2014

According to a new scientific study by the World Bank Group, as planet temperatures rise, heat-waves and other weather extremes that occur rarely,...

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Now it gets Interesting – Time to call on Canada’s Cities

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on November 13, 2014

There was much fanfare this week as the US and China signed a climate agreement. The two countries are the world’s largest energy users and...

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Canada’s Remembrance – A View from the City

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on November 11, 2014

This year on the 100th Anniversary of the start of First World War, it is worth thinking about Canada’s soldiers. Where did they come from...

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Saving the world’s wildlife: Starting at a city near you

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on October 07, 2014

He hath eaten me out of house and home (Shakespeare, Henry IV Part II). The recent Living Planet report by WWF and the London Zoological Society...

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Should mayors rule the world? They already do.

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on September 30, 2014

Working at the World Bank makes you think ministers of finance rule the world. Sure, heads of state make all the speeches at places like the UN,...

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Ontario’s place in an urbanizing world

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on September 29, 2014

A response to Lieutenant Governor Dowdeswell’s call for a discussion on Ontario’s priorities. Ontario is home to one of North...

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World leaders announce significant commitments to climate change at UN Summit

Posted by Guest Author on September 24, 2014

More than 100 heads of state and government were joined by more than 800 business, finance and civil leaders in New York on Tuesday for the UN...

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Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide participate in climate march

Posted by Guest Author on September 22, 2014

From Manhattan to Melbourne, more than half a million people across the planet took to the streets on Sunday to demand action from world leaders in...

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Cities set to embark on third wave of urbanization

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on September 09, 2014

Around 5000 years ago, the first cities emerged in Mesopotamia and the fertile valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Agricultural surpluses...

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Ontario universities make significant strides towards greening their campuses: COU Report

Posted by Michelle Cholak on August 19, 2014

The Council of Ontario Universities’ (COU) released their fifth annual report last week on their sustainability initiatives taking place...

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A League of their Own: Cities Working Together for a Better World

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on August 18, 2014

In 1845 Alexander Cartwright, a Brooklyn shipping clerk, drew up a formal set of rules and established the Knickerbockers Baseball Club. Before...

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SustainableJoes' #RETHINK Tour Visits UOIT

Posted by Mehdi Hosseini on August 13, 2014

SustainableJoes founder Stephen Szucs is traveling via a solar and pedal powered tricycle from Canada to Key West to ask individuals, communities,...

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If Sustainability was the Game – Leafs Win the Stanley Cup

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on August 12, 2014

The National Hockey League recently released what is probably the most comprehensive sustainability report ever prepared by a professional sports...

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Shooting for the Moon – From a City Near You

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on August 07, 2014

From 1942 to 1946 more than 100,000 scientists, engineers, military strategists, factory workers and financiers came together at a cost of $2...

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A New Climate for Ontario

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on July 02, 2014

Crystal balls are notoriously unreliable. Climate modelling is almost as challenging. But there are a few inexorable and inevitable trends already...

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Hillary Clinton’s Thoughts on Energy

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on June 24, 2014

Peter Mansbridge interviewed Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State, recently while she was in Toronto selling her new book. At the...

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Insights on Climate Change Study

Posted by Mehdi Hosseini on June 17, 2014

Cities consume most of the world’s energy, so they release the greatest amount of global carbon emissions. They are also the primary...

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Why a City's Not a Duck

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on March 21, 2014

Up north on the lake, every year near our cabin, we see a pair of nesting ducks. We call her Mrs. Merganser as she leads her 8 to 16 ducklings...

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Hydro Power - Building Better Cities

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on March 20, 2014

Often I can hide it – posing maybe as an economist, risk manager, a finance-guy, public-policy wonk; I’ve even once been complimented...

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Socioeconomic Pathways and Regional Distribution of the World’s 101 Largest Cities

Posted by Mehdi Hosseini on January 28, 2014

Regional trends in population, urbanization, resource availability and scarcity, as well as economic growth and decline are often best observed in...

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Why Running a City is Like Paddling a Canoe?

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on January 24, 2014

Canadians are supposed to be good in a few things: skating, painting trees and rocks, welcoming newcomers, writing engaging stories that surely...

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The Old Man is Snoring

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on January 23, 2014

‘It’s raining, it’s pouring. The old man is snoring.’ Truth be told, I apparently snore, and I suppose I’m not that...

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Peak Waste and Poverty – A Powerful Paradox

Posted by Daniel Hoornweg on January 23, 2014

Urbanization is the most powerful force shaping the planet today. This can be good news as urbanization is the best bet we have to meet our global...

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