Infrastructure Institute

Overview

The Infrastructure Institute is a training, advisory and applied research hub at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities, aiming to build global expertise in infrastructure planning, decision-making and delivery. 

Led by Prof. Matti Siemiatycki, the Infrastructure Institute will create international connections to transform the status quo, refine public-private partnerships and propose innovations in project financing and funding tools. The Institute will: 

  • Investigate the barriers to successful infrastructure developments, including global research in business models for delivery, cost-overruns, and operations and maintenance planning; 

  • Train infrastructure leaders and practitioners on project delivery, innovative financing models, and strategic decision-making with an equity lens; and 

  • Engage practitioners, policymakers, and community activists to introduce new models of co-ownership and equitable involvement in major infrastructure projects.

 

Updates

Infrastructure Fellow: We are looking for an Infrastructure Fellow to undertake primary research on a topic of their choosing from September 2021 until April 2022. The selected fellow will be supervised by Prof. Matti Siemiatycki and receive a stipend. Application review will begin on August 15th until filled. Details here.

Transit-Oriented Communities: A paper outlining the complex planning context regarding transit-oriented communities, including the Ontario government’s recently passed Transit-Oriented Communities Act. By Matti Siemiatycki and Drew Fagan. Read the paper here.
 

Watch this space for updates by Fall 2021

Work

Our work focuses on three areas: engagement, creative-mixed use, and research.  

Engagement 

Our engagement work involves public presentations, events, and training. We want to build awareness on current urban issues, 

International Doctoral Cluster (IDC): In partnership with University of Manchester and University of Melbourne, the IDC connects talent around the world to facilitate transformational innovation and ideas, with access to mentoring by a global networking of leading researchers. Current participants include two PhD candidates from University of Manchester, and two PhD candidates from the University of Toronto. 

SPRE Training Modules: The School of Cities at U of T and Social Purpose Real Estate (SPRE) Toronto led a series of training modules to support non-profits and community/social service providers. The training modules were designed to enhance the knowledge and capacity of organizations, empowering them to become partner-ready to pursue real estate development. All modules are available online - if you’re interested in accessing them, please email us directly at infrastructureinstitute@utoronto.ca 
 

Infrastructure Leadership Academy: This program will equip executives with sector specific knowledge, skills and capacity to lead various mega projects and investments programs, with consideration for inclusion, economic development and environmental sustainability. More details to come. 

Infrastructure Policy Series: A series of research briefs, seminars, and policy papers focused on P3 development, business models for delivering infrastructure, and new strategic paths towards evidence-based policymaking. This series will launch in Winter 2022. 

Infrastructure Workforce Diversity: Fostering a national network of informed leaders and investors in the inclusion of diverse communities, and pathways to ensure BIPOC representation in leadership and decision-making roles. More details to come.

Creative Mixed-Use 

The Creative Mixed-Use Initiative at the School of Cities was launched in 2019 to provide matchmaking services for building partners, offer training to help organizations through complex development processes, and provide site-specific support for mixed-use buildings. As an established real estate sector initiative, this approach creates path-breaking projects that accelerate the formation of public-private-non-profit partnerships to deliver innovative, mixed-use projects.

Toronto is a leader in the development of creative, mixed-use buildings. These buildings bring together public and private uses in creative ways, locating unexpected partners in the same facility. Many of these projects have significantly contributed to the social and economic fabric of the city, bringing affordable housing and social and community services to the forefront. Examples in the Toronto region include homeless shelters attached to condominiums and community and cultural hubs underneath residential towers. However, buildings of this nature emerge out of complex, unpredictable processes rather than a deliberate effort.

Contact

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