In the Fall of 2020, as the pandemic raged on, the looming threat of climate change remained a pressing concern. McMaster University students enrolled in the CityLAB Hamilton Semester in Residence (SIR) are keeping the climate conversation alive through their Resilient Cities series for the CityCAST podcast: a 13-episode series of interviews with climate leaders from across Canada about climate change and Hamilton’s future.
CityLAB SIR students say the next decade is critical for climate action. Hamilton will experience heavy rain events, wetter winters, more frequent flooding, and droughts. Climate change must be addressed with the same urgency and dedication as the pandemic. The pandemic can provide us important insights on how to respond to an ever-changing global crisis, in a concerted and timely manner.
CityLAB SIR students were connected with the Public Works department to help support them in the development of a climate resiliency strategy. Their aim was to build a more sustainable and resilient Hamilton.
“The podcast is a call to action, and each episode features the voice of sustainability advocates, ranging from local leaders at Environment Hamilton to Vancouver’s Director of Sustainability,” said Ananya Yadav, a student who worked on the project. It provides insights into filling sustainability and environmental gaps in Hamilton and sharing inspiration from positive success stories.
In a typical in-person semester the students might have hosted events to engage with the local community to inform their research. However, the virtual nature of work during the pandemic provided them with an opportunity to connect with sustainability leaders across Canada, and a podcast was a perfect fit to share their interviews with Hamiltonians. Alongside the podcast, they also authored a report that presented 71 recommendations to guide the City’s sustainable growth in areas such as transportation, water management, infrastructure and land use. Hamiltonians can listen to the podcast series on anchor.fm/citycast.