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By: Michelle Angkasa

On Monday, February 3rd, I had the opportunity to attend Research Talks, a lecture series hosted by the University of Waterloo. The theme of this particular session was “Designing Smart and Climate Savvy Cities”, and featured short presentations by the following experts: 

  • Kathy Bardswick, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices;
  • Jeff Casello, a jointly-appointed professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Planning;
  • John Cicuttin, the Manager of Transit Development at the Region of Waterloo;
  • Elizabeth English, an associate professor in architecture, specializing in amphibious foundation systems. 


The presenters tackled the issue of climate change in urban centres through the lens of their personal work, from addressing the importance of forming coalitions with financial institutions and civil society groups, to effective planning for compact cities, to multi-modal transportation, to constructing houses that can adapt to flooding. 

In addition to the lectures and a short Q&A period that featured questions from the audience, the attendees were invited to explore ALARM, the museum’s exhibition responding to the climate crisis. On THEMUSEUM’s website, the exhibition is described thusly. 

“On June 24, 2019 the City of Kitchener council unanimously declared a climate emergency and we are sounding the ALARM. It is time to take Action and Learn about our effects on climate. We must Adapt our lifestyles, take Responsibility and Mobilize climate action now!” 

THEMUSEUM looks to use its stage to shine a light on the efforts being done to help conserve a natural climate and make transformative connections to what individuals, corporations and governments must do to chart a new course of optimism for the future. 

The anchor, Agents for Change | Facing the Anthropocene, co-curated by Nina Czegledy and Jane Tingley features ten interdisciplinary women artists working on the theme of ecological change at the intersection of science, technology, and art. ALARM will also explore the impact on the melting polar ice caps, water, climate refugees and a family exhibition exploring at-risk species with a focus on the dwindling frog population as they approach the sixth mass extinction.” 



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