Call for Proposals – Envisioning the Urban: Adaptive Habitats through Ecological Design


2018 Ontario Climate Symposium hosted by the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) - October 11th and 12th

The Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) and Ontario College of Art and Design are pleased to host the 6th Ontario Climate Symposium. This year’s Symposium aims to generate important discussions surrounding the role that art and design can play in developing adaptive, low carbon cities. By exploring how ecology meets tactical urbanism, the Symposium will showcase real-life examples of how technology, policy, green infrastructure and strategic design can come together to transform cities.

We wish to encourage the development of positive, innovative, interdisciplinary visions that foster a transformative cultural shift toward low carbon communities, sustainable adaptation and the adoption of green infrastructure and design in urban cities. We hope such visions will bring to life and highlight the interconnection of urban planning and development, urban ecology, landscape design, art and culture, land use policy, public health, climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

Within the overarching themes described above, we will be organizing the program around a set of sub-themes, including:

  • Urban Planning for a Healthy Community (e.g. affordable housing, marginal communities, accessible urban spaces);

  • Re-imagining Development (e.g. re-naturalization, novel ecosystems, civic ecology, tactical urbanism, gentrification);

  • Collective Visioning of Transformational Futures: how we challenge existing paradigms (e.g. informing existing paradigms / regimes / frameworks)

  • Creating a Culture of Sustainable, Transformative Design (e.g. social enterprise, social justice, environmental racism, environmental inequality);

  • Indigenous Perspectives and Worldviews on Sustainable Futures; and 

  • Creating Progressive Policy that Challenges a Changing Climate. 

The Ontario Climate Symposium is an interdisciplinary event. As such, we welcome a variety of innovative and multidisciplinary research proposals and visions. However, non-traditional styles of research/concept presentations will be prioritized. These include, but are not limited to, exhibitions or installations, short films and documentary screenings, themed sessions/panels, art and digital media, workshops/interactive sessions, posters, presentations, and tour ideas that express or examine the Symposium theme(s) described above.

General Instructions: Submit your proposal as a Microsoft Word or PDF document to as soon as possible, but no later than 5pm on April 19th, 2018. All proposals will be reviewed by the Symposium organizing committee with decisions made by May 11th, 2018.

Proposals: Please submit a maximum 300-word description under the following headings

  • Medium of choice (e.g. exhibition, installation, short film, panel etc.); b) Intent of the research/concept being presented;
  • Context and Rationale for the proposed vision/concept
  • Research Approach and/or analysis (if applicable)
  • Inspiration behind the design for the proposed approach (if applicable); and f) Relevance of such a concept/vision to the Symposium themes described above.

Proposals will be accepted from undergraduate and graduate students, academic researchers, practitioners, government and non-government organizations and researchers etc. Those that address some aspect of the theme will be given priority.

The Ontario Climate Consortium recognizes the financial burden of certain mediums of research and will strive to support applicants where a lack of financial resources poses a barrier to participation. If you require financial assistance in the completion of your research for the Symposium, please indicate this in your proposal.