The UPL Case Competition is an annual case competition organized by and for graduate students. It challenges MPP and MGA students to analyze and solve a pressing urban policy issue by working in teams and presenting their solution to a distinguished panel of judges. The topic for this year’s case competition is community economic development on a street level. The case competition will be on January 22nd from 12-5pm.
On January 24, more than 35 students participated in the 2020 edition of the Urban Policy Lab Case Competition, organized by UPL Graduate Fellow Josh Cho. Eight teams of students were tasked with developing an implementation strategy to advance transit-oriented development in Toronto that also addresses challenges with affordability, gentrification and buy-in from developers and local communities. Continue reading »
On January 10th, the Urban Policy Lab hosted its second annual Career and Skills Development Day, a jam-packed schedule of interactive panels and small-group workshops to help MPP students gain specialized skills and knowledge relevant for a career in urban policy in multiple sectors and levels of government. UPL communications coordinators Kelly Husack and Kimberley Chan sat in on several sessions — a portion of over 11 hours of concurrent programming — and shared what they learned.
UPL hosts inaugural Toronto Black Policy ConferenceDecember 1, 2019 in Events
On Saturday, November 30, the Urban Policy Lab hosted the inaugural Toronto Black Policy Conference, in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit. The first-of-its-kind event was organized by Munk School alumni Anna-Kay Russell, Sharnelle Morgan, and Eunice Kays, founders of the Toronto Black Policy Network. Continue reading »
On October 11th, the Urban Policy Lab launched its interactive speaker series ‘Get Lunched!’ with a lesson on service design from Taylor Cook and Andrew Do from the City of Austin. UPL graduate fellow Jolene Funk, who organized and attended the event, shares what she learned from our guests.
On October 11th, Taylor Cook and Andrew Do from the City of Austin came to the University of Toronto and led an interactive workshop on Service Design for Municipalities. The event was attended by Master of Public Policy Students and MPP alumni working in provincial and municipal governments.
UPL launches Munk in the City 2019, federal election editionSeptember 25, 2019 in Events
Our Munk in the City initiative, now in its second year, invites students from the Munk School’s MPP and MGA programs to step out of the classroom and into the community, to explore and report on key election issues in each of Toronto’s 25 federal ridings.
This year’s edition kicked off with a civic engagement workshop led by Zahra Ebrahim (@zahraeb), an award-winning city builder and chair of Jane’s Walk, to prepare and inspire students to chronicle the city around them.
Follow our students’ adventures by looking out for the #munkinthecity hashtag across social media. A compilation of student submissions will be posted to the UPL website later this fall.
In the weeks leading up to the federal election, 25 pairs of students from both the Master of Public Policy and Master of Global Affairs programs will step out of the classroom and into the community, venturing to all corners of the city to explore and report on key issues and concerns in each of Toronto’s 25 ridings.
For more information and to register, visit our events page.
On August 12, the Urban Policy Lab arranged a walking tour for MPP students and alumni exploring the connections between public policy and Indigenous knowledge and history. UPL graduate fellow Jolene Funk organized the walk and shares her reflections on the experience.
The field of behavioural science — the science of understanding, analyzing and motivating human behaviour — holds enormous potential to improve public policy and the delivery of public services. In recent years, behavioural insights derived from scientific knowledge and methods in the fields of psychology, cognitive/neuroscience, and economics have been applied by governments around the world. Most of these applications, however, have been limited to national and provincial contexts.
On June 5, the Urban Policy Lab co-hosted a half-day workshop for municipal practitioners from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton region, in partnership with Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR) and the University of Toronto’s School of Cities.
Nearly 100 students participate in Urban Policy Career & Skills Development DayFebruary 28, 2019 in Events
As part of the Munk School’s MPP Professional Development Week, on January 16th, the Urban Policy Lab organized Urban Policy Career & Skills Development Day, a full day of interactive panels and small-group workshops to help MPP students gain specialized skills and knowledge relevant for a career in urban policy.
Nearly 100 first- and second-year MPP students participated in sixteen hours of concurrent programming, organized into eight different activities. Sessions tailored for first-year students highlighted career opportunities in urban policy and helped prepare students for internship opportunities related to the municipal sector. For second-year students, workshops focused on specialized topics, such as infrastructure planning, regional growth management, and municipal budgeting, delivered by urban policy practitioners (and in many cases, MPP alumni) working at all levels of government.
Below is a recap of the day’s events.
Four Great Ideas from the Urban Policy Lab Case CompetitionJanuary 29, 2019 in Events
Members of the winning team Arsalan Esmaeili, Cindy Liu, and Nicholas Chu pictured with the Urban Policy Lab’s graduate fellows Rebecca Hellam, Samuel Jerez, Matthew Plouffe, and Breanne Bateman, and judges Carolyn Kim and Kelly Strueby.
The Urban Policy Lab Case Competition is an annual student-led initiative, organized by the Lab’s Graduate Fellows, that focuses on tackling municipal and urban policy problems. This year marks the fifth edition of the event formerly known as the Municipal Policy Action Case Competition, which offers students at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy the chance to hone their creative and analytical abilities in a fast-paced, real-world simulation exercise.
Past topics have ranged from mental health within Toronto Community Housing, to digital government, to affordable housing. This year’s competition challenged thirty Master of Public Policy students to brief a panel of expert judges on innovative policy solutions to the first and last mile transit problem in Toronto.
Urban Policy Lab organizes “Munk in the City” student initiativeSeptember 5, 2018 in Events
The Government of Ontario’s recent decision to slash the number of Toronto city councillors in half, from 47 to 25, has dramatically changed the upcoming municipal election. But on the ground, the city’s 2.8 million residents face the same day-day-to challenges as in major cities around the world: access to affordable housing, poverty and inequality, traffic congestion, immigrant integration, and climate change.
“Munk in the City” is an initiative by the Urban Policy Lab and newly reimagined Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy to motivate students to grapple with these challenges first-hand, and consider the urban policy solutions that can address these issues.