Urban Sustainability and Environmental Research in Canada: Prospects for Overcoming Disciplinary Divides
Michael McMahon and Richard Oddie
The report resulting from this research will not attempt to unravel the future of funding commitments to the environment and the ongoing research that is needed to better shape it. But it will work to situate the present environmental moment in Canada in relation to past such moments. This history includes the Federal Green Plan of 1990 and the eco-research that followed, wherein Canada’s three main research funding agencies supported innovative interdisciplinary teams of university academics each, with community partners in urban and regional settings. To speak to the origins, contents and management of funding programs such as this goes hand in hand with the terms of reference for this report. In a proposal that we made to Olivier Coutard, Director of France’s Laboratoire Techniques Territoires Social (LATTS), the research plan for this paper was to examine:
i) the recent history (mid-1980s to present) of interdisciplinary research funding in Canada, particularly concerning overlaps between urban sustainability and the environment
ii) questions of “good practice” in program management
iii) research objects or themes that might or should be emphasized in future research funding programs.
This project was commissioned by Oliver Coutard, Directeur adjoint, Laboratoire, Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés, for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France.