Sarah Burch

Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Governance and Innovation

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
University of Waterloo
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

519-888-4567, ext. 31932

Research involves

Interviewing and surveying businesses and governments in cities around the world that are pursuing sustainability.

Research relevance

This research will contribute to Canada’s pursuit of sustainable, resilient communities and lead to new strategies for responding to climate change.

Accelerating Innovation on Sustainability in Urban Spaces

Solutions to the challenge of global climate change lie in unexpected places. The trick to finding them is to harness the innovative potential of small businesses, build partnerships with governments at all levels, and create spaces to explore transformative visions of the future.

Dr. Sarah Burch, Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Governance and Innovation, is uncovering the pathways cities follow as they shift towards more resilient, low-carbon futures. Burch and her research team are looking at examples of transformative change in urban spaces around the world, and engaging directly with decision-makers and businesses to understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to sustainability.

Burch’s research shows that thinking about sustainability holistically can reveal strategies that deliver multiple benefits at once: not just reduced greenhouse gas emissions, but healthier, more prosperous, vibrant communities too.

Her findings will inform sustainability plans and climate change response strategies at all levels, locally to nationally. By engaging with social media and the broader community of sustainability decision-makers, Burch and her team are also opening up a conversation about the kind of future we want—and the governance strategies (both public and private) that may help get us there.