York U’s president brings important perspective to CityAge Toronto conference

York University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton speaking an the CityAge conference

“Canada’s cities – and in particular Ontario’s cities – have a major opportunity. A technology boom, a population boom, and billions of dollars of public and private investments – they’re all happening at the same time. Will we use this moment to build cities that work and an inclusive economy?” – CityAge Toronto 2017

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton joined municipal leaders, public policy influencers and business representatives at the CityAge Toronto conference, which took place Wednesday, Nov. 22 at the MaRS Innovation Centre, to engage in a dialogue about the importance of building cities that are inclusive, innovative and smart.

York University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton speaking at the CityAge conference, which took place Nov. 22 in Toronto

Lenton delivered a keynote address, “The Role of Inclusion in Building Smart Cities,” which highlighted York University’s positive trajectory and noted the new Markham Centre campus and much-anticipated York University subway stops. (Read Lenton’s keynote speech.) Lenton emphasized that universities must be involved in key decisions that impact communities, from infrastructure investment to affordable housing, by leveraging knowledge and expertise in relevant research areas such as York University’s City Institute, led by Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Professor Linda Peake; Schulich School of Business Professor James McKellar’s real estate and infrastructure programs; Faculty of Education Professor Stephen Gaetz’s leading homelessness research; and more.

McKellar also participated in the conference, chairing the afternoon panel discussion focused on “Building the Future’s Urban Infrastructure,” during which panellists debated how to answer the question: How can we design and build the infrastructure the future demands?