Update August 1, 2018: Are you a faculty member looking for a CityLAB project?  Take a look at our available challenges for the fall!

Fall 2018 Projects

A preview of matched projects starting in Fall 2018

1. What’s in the water?

Staff: Donald Young, Hamilton Water Department

Faculty: Edward Berkelaar, Department of Chemistry and Environmental Studies at Redeemer University College

Department and Course: ENV 222 -Environmental Studies II: Pollution and Climate Change

Problem Description: Healthy watersheds are a vital part of environmental and human health. The Chedoke Creek watershed has had high levels of E. coli, nitrogen, and phosphorus, and the city has been repairing cross-connected infrastructure in an effort to improve water quality. Students will measure contaminants in water to assess its current status and compare it with data from previous years to determine the impact of the recent repairs.

Challenge Statement: What concentration of contaminants are currently in the Chedoke Creek and what has been the impact of the City’s cross-connection repair program?

Goal Area: Healthy Neighbourhoods

City Strategy Alignment: Healthy and Safe Communities & Clean and Green

2. Mischief in the Harbour Experiential Learning Course

Staff: Cynthia Graham, Department of Landscape Architectural Services in Public Works

Faculty: Erin Leonard, School of Interdisciplinary Science in the Faculty of Science at McMaster University

Department and Course: Interdisciplinary Experiences 3IE1 - Mischief in the Harbour

Problem Description: In 2017, the City of Hamilton experienced weather events that damaged the shorelines, negatively impacting City of Hamilton assets. Rehabilitation efforts will include the addition of riprap (rock or other material used to protect shorelines); however, the invasive fish species (round goby) select these rocky habitats with ample shelter for breeding. Therefore, rehabilitation efforts may encourage goby success compromising native fish breeding success as well as restoration efforts. Our Mischief in the Harbour course will assess goby populations at a rehabilitated and unaffected site to determine the impact of riprap on round goby success. This is a collaborative initiative between McMaster, City of Hamilton, CityLAB, and BARC.

Challenge Statement: This project is partnering with the Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) to assess whether rehabilitation efforts along the City of Hamilton shoreline is encouraging success of the invasive round goby.

Goal Area: Climate Change

City Strategy Alignment: Clean and Green

3. Hamilton Heritage Hunt

Staff: Nancy Prochuk, Department of Tourism and Culture

Faculty: Andrew Spearin, Department of Computer Engineering at Mohawk College

Problem Description: The problem – In the pursuit of inclusivity and community building it is important to knit the various stories of our past together, thus creating an understanding of a greater whole. Hamilton Civic Museums are limited in their ability to speak to the greater history of Hamilton due to the nature their physical spaces.

The solution - The Hamilton Time Quest App. Using the actual City Scape as an exhibit space/playing field, the users are toured through The City in a game structured format. The City’s public spaces and their artifacts are used as portals to the past; revealing its history using AR and various digital elements. All tours are anchored by the Civic Museums as hubs.

Challenge Statement: Create a scavenger hunt game app that is downloaded to a phone based on the history of Hamilton and incorporates AR, digital story telling, audio, text, film, etc. – Think - Pokémon Go…but better, Hamilton Go.

Goal Area: Healthy Neighbourhoods

City Strategy Alignment: Economic Prosperity and Growth & Culture and Diversity

4. Belonging, Well Being, & Engagement in Early-ON Child & Family Centres

Staff: Kristy Tadeson, Department of Healthy and Safe Communities

Faculty: Margaret Secord Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University

Robert Fleisig, Department of Engineering;

Salman K Bawa, Community Engagement Coordinator at W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

Problem Description: In order to support successful child development EarlyON Child & Family Centres provide families with children up to 6 years of age with a variety of programs and services. However, information obtained through community consultation and survey data indicates that there is a need to address barriers for families and children from underserved populations such as new immigrants and low-income families who are not currently accessing EarlyON Child & Family Centres. These barriers prevent families and children from accessing valuable information and resources that contribute to healthy child development.

Challenge Statement: What barriers do families and children experience in accessing EarlyON Child & Family Centres and how can we overcome these barriers?

Goal Area: Healthy Neighbourhoods

City Strategy Alignment:

Healthy and Safe Communities

The Hamilton Early Years Community Plan 2016-2020

Public Health Multi Year Business Plan 2018-2021

5. Enhancing Public Safety

Staff: Carla MacDonald, Healthy and Safe Communities Department

Faculty: Margaret Secord & Shahad Al-Saqqar, Health Sciences Program at McMaster University

Problem Description: For the Hamilton Fire Department, public awareness and education is an important tool in ensuring public safety and helping limit the loss of life and property. An effective and targeted public education program must take into consideration both the types/causes of incidents the Fire Department is responding to and the changing demographics of the City. Furthermore, an assessment of the effectiveness of public education activities is required in order to know if risks have been reduced and/or if behaviour has changed.

Challenge Statement: What demographic characteristics correspond to the types and locations of fire-related calls that the Fire Department responds to? I.e. Where are our incidents occurring, to whom and why? And, how effective have public education activities undertaken by the Fire Department been? Why were they effective or why were they not effective?

Goal Area: Healthy Neighbourhoods

City Strategy Alignment: Healthy and Safe Communities

6. Reducing Food Waste in Hamilton

Staff: Ruby Samra and Elizabeth Smith, Public Health Services - Healthy Environments Division, Healthy and Safe Communities Department

Faculty: Kate Whalen, Academic Sustainability Programs Office (Faculty of Engineering) at McMaster University

Problem Description: Consumer behaviour is one of the root causes for edible food being wasted. To reduce food waste in Hamilton, the City is planning a Food Waste Reduction Action Plan with the community. To support this initiative, the City is interested in understanding residents’ attitudes and perceptions towards household food waste. The student project will include: a study on residents’ perceptions and attitudes towards food waste, data analysis, a summary of findings, and the creation and evaluation of possible solutions. Finally, the students will work with City staff to implement a solution and assess its effectiveness in reducing food waste.

Challenge Statement: How can understanding residents’ attitudes and behaviours help us to reduce food waste in Hamilton?

Goal Area: Healthy Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

City Strategy Alignment: Healthy Neighbourhoods, Clean and Green, Community Engagement and Participation

7. Accelerating Community Representation – Dismantling Barriers to Diverse Leadership in Hamilton

Staff: Cindy Mutch and Shylo Elmayan, City Manager’s Office, Strategic Partnerships & Communications Division

Faculty: Kate Whalen, Academic Sustainability Programs Office (Faculty of Engineering) at McMaster University

Problem Description:

The Our Future Hamilton Annual Summit explores current issues as identified by residents and stakeholders during the city’s 25-year community visioning process. Over 430 residents, community partners, and civic advocates attended the 2017 Summit to discuss barriers to democratic engagement and identify areas for improvement. Through facilitated table discussions, attendees identified increased community representation as a top-recommended action for improving democratic engagement in Hamilton. Students involved with this project will develop skills in research, communication, Indigenous knowledge, and community engagement. They will also have the opportunity to grow their network and connect with a broad spectrum of community leaders in the city.

The goal of the project is to identify opportunities for increased Indigenous inclusion in the stewardship of local environmental bodies. A number of city-wide engagement efforts identified this as an area for improvement including:

 Our Future Hamilton Community Vision

 2017 Our Future Hamilton Summit: Shaping Democracy through Civic Engagement

 City of Hamilton’s Urban Indigenous Strategy

Challenge Statement: How can we work to remove barriers that prevent and discourage women, Indigenous community members, and racialized individuals from being represented in leadership roles in the community? More specifically, how can we increase Indigenous inclusion in the stewardship of local environmental bodies in Hamilton?

Goal Area:  Healthy Neighbourhoods

City Strategy Alignment: Community Engagement and Participation, Healthy and Safe Communities, Clean and Green, & Culture and Diversity

More Matched Projects Coming Soon!

CityLAB is currently finalizing details for upcoming partnerships around lots of City challenges, such as:
- Upgrades to CityHousing
- Healthy lifestyle by way of active transportation