Students Propose Achievable Solutions to Urban Challenges in the City of Oshawa

April 16, 2019

Spring City Idea Lab student showcase part of TeachingCity initiative

two students stand in front of presentation board that reads"Hidden homelessness: community movement skills for youth" with sociology professor

Students have been hard at work this semester proposing a variety of programs and initiatives to better our community. This comes as part of City Idea Lab, a course-based initiative run through the City of Oshawa’s TeachingCity program, bringing together educational partners in the region to provide solutions to urban issues. Earlier in April, Child & Youth Studies and Sociology students had the opportunity to present their findings to community officials, fellow students, and the community at large.

Throughout the experience, Trent students had the unique opportunity to visit areas of the community and tour facilities to have a better understanding of the challenges that different populations face, the facilities and programs that currently exist, and speak to City staff members to understand the full scope of their perspective demographics. Groups of students took different approaches to these questions, and proudly presented achievable recommendations for the community at the event. From free summer skateboarding drop-in programs, to providing practical trade skills to homeless youth, to young people claiming their space through creative expression at the South Oshawa Community Centre, students had  the chance to provide real-world and implementable solutions to barriers that the Oshawa community faces every day.

 “Every idea needs to be looked at because it may help to improve the City, the residents, and the people that visit here,” said deputy mayor of Oshawa Bob Chapman, while addressing the group of faculty, staff and community members during the student showcase event. “The City staff will now consider how these ideas can be implemented over time. We appreciate having these ideas with some solid base to them, so that we can make the appropriate decisions to improve our city.”

“The City Idea Lab program has offered an innovative experiential learning opportunity for students at Trent, Ontario Tech, and Durham College,” said professor of Child & Youth Studies, Dr. Alba Agostino. “This has provided students with a new level of engagement in the city of Oshawa. Trent University Durham looks forward to its continued partnership with the City of Oshawa’s TeachingCity and City Idea Lab after a very positive first term with the program and we are committed to continuing to offer courses through this partnership.”

Commenting on the experience, third-year Child & Youth Studies student Selina BavInka-Davy said:

“Seeing my group’s project come to life through our pitch proposal poster was an experience to remember. Having lived in Oshawa as a teenager for a few years, it was nice to see a collaborative program between Trent University and the City that would benefit youth.”

The TeachingCity experiential learning opportunities allowed students to earn academic credit in Child & Youth Studies and Sociology programs. Learn more about Child & Youth Studies and Sociology programs at Trent University Durham GTA.