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Panel Discussion:
Climate Change and Green Recovery

A net zero future for the city means a radical transformation in buildings, transportation and waste requiring labour and education training to match this ambition. This discussion explored the advantages and pitfalls of collaboration between the City and HEIs. How can we best undertake joint research intended to inform municipal public policy related to the climate crisis and green recovery? We are hoping to generate ideas for a way forward.

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Erin Foster
Master in Environmental Studies (Planning Program) Student, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University

Erin Foster is both a Master of Environmental Studies (Planning) student at York University and the co-managing director of York Sustainable Enterprise Consultants, a student run consultancy made up of graduate and undergraduate students from York University. Her academic research focuses on climate change, political economy, and political ecology. Before returning to university, Foster spent two years working as a Planning Services Technician II at the City of Calgary where she assisted a broad range of customers and industry professionals in the application of development and building permits. Recently, Foster also had the opportunity to work with Hamilton Street Railway’s customer experience and innovation team where she spent time researching tools to improve customer experience and a variety of North American transit fare programs.

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Rosanna Chowdhury

Rosanna Chowdhury

Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change’s Experiential Education (EE) Coordinator, York University

Rosanna Chowdhury is the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change’s Experiential Education (EE) Coordinator and Equity Committee Co-Chair at York University. Chowdhury works closely with students to provide internship and career development coaching, workshops, and networking initiatives. A key part of her role is to cultivate partnerships with community organizations such as the City of Toronto to connect them with students and researchers for experiential opportunities. Chowdhury currently sits on the President’s Advisory Council, EDI, and several working groups related to equity and EE at York University. Rosanna is completing her Master of Education with a specialization in Higher Education focusing on enhancing the student experience to equip students to become career-ready for graduation. In her spare time, she volunteers as the Head of HR for the Community Climate Council and Orfe Eco-Art.

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Stewart Dutfield
Stewart Dutfield
Acting Manager, Public Energy Initiatives, Existing Buildings, Environment and Energy, City of Toronto

Stewart Dutfield is the Acting Manager of the Public Energy Initiatives – Existing Buildings unit within City of Toronto’s Environment & Energy Division (EED). Dutfield is part of a team responsible for supporting the transition of existing buildings to net zero under the City of Toronto's TransformTO Climate Action Strategy and the recently adopted, Net Zero Existing Building Strategy. Dutfield has more than 12 years of experience working on various climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience policy and program/project initiatives. 

Dutfield holds a Master’s in Environmental Studies (York University), a Certificate in Climate Change and Policy and Practice (University of Toronto) and a Bachelors in Environment Design – Architecture (University of Manitoba).

Stewart Dutfield
Rosanna Chwdhury
Erin Foster
Shahrir Ghahremanian
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Shahriar Ghahremanian
Dr. Shahriar Ghahremanian
Professor, Humber College

Dr. Shahriar Ghahremanian specializes in building, industrial and transportation energy systems, sustainability, climate change and advanced fluid dynamics. Dr. Shahriar leads projects to save energy cost, to provide a comfortable indoor environment for people and to save our planet, Earth. He worked for more than 20 years in various roles with engineering consulting firms, government agencies and universities in 3 different continents. He holds a PhD and MSc degree in mechanical engineering from Sweden, and a MSc and BSc from home. Dr. Shahriar published more than 14 peer reviewed scientific articles. He practices as a professional engineer and a project management professional. Dr. Shahriar was a senior energy advisor at Infrastructure Ontario prior to joining Humber College as a professor, where he was responsible for energy performance of infrastructure projects including new hospitals, data centres, transit projects and existing assets.

Erin Foster
Cheryl Teelucksingh
Cheryl Teelucksingh
Dr. Cheryl Teelucksingh
Professor & Department Chair, Sociology, Ryerson University

Dr. Cheryl Teelucksingh’s research over the last twenty years has focused on examining the relationship between environmental justice in Canada and concerns for social inequality. Dr. Teelucksingh also has participated in SSHRC and CIHR funded grants and has authored numerous publications in the areas of environmental justice and racialization in Canada. Her research uses a range of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore her areas of interest, including community-based research.

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