Community Engagement

Community Engagement header center picture - Bri and Will October 2017

Running on Hamilton’s Waterfront Trail has been a great stress reliever over the years.  In the above photo, I am preparing to run a 400 m interval with my running buddy, Dr. Will Coleman of Political Science (Will is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at both McMaster University and the University of Waterloo).


My early professional goals were to be a County Engineer, or a Director of Public Works for an intermediate-sized city. But instead I went down the university professor path, and have no regrets. But now, at this stage of my career, the opportunity arose to work with a broad spectrum of students on projects of direct interest to the City of Hamilton. CityLAB's Semester in Residence program allows me the opportunity and privilege to explore design-related concepts with amazingly motivated students and City staff, and to get back to my municipal engineering roots.

2019 CityLAB students envisioning a more livable Hamilton, on the grounds of Whitehern
2019 CityLAB Semester-in-Residence students and faculty with Mayor Fred Eisenberger and City Manager Janette Smith
2019 CityLAB Semester in Residence students out in force in front of Hamilton City Hall!
Fresh off her Semester in Residence project on a Minimum Grid Cycling Network, Gabriella Christopher (CityLAB SIR '19 Alumna) made a Hamilton City Council delegation in February 2020 to advocate for the use of area rating funds to add protection to existing bike lanes in Wards 1-3. Council's recovery phase mobility plan includes Gabriella's recommendations, plus the addition of additional bikeway connectors. Way to go, Gabby! (photo credit: Gurvir Chana)
CityLAB 2019 Teaching Team-MSU Teaching Award Winner
The 2019 CityLAB Semester in Residence Teaching Team of Anna Marie Pietrantonio, Dave Heidebrecht, Randy Kay and Brian Baetz (left to right, photo credit: Mr. Gurvir Chana), were awarded the McMaster Student Union Community Engagement Teaching Award in March 2020

Dundas EcoPark

For 30 years, my family has been involved with the Dundas Chapter of the Conservers Society of Hamilton and District in the preservation of the Pleasant View lands in Dundas, which are the open space connectors between Cootes Paradise and the Niagara Escarpment. This has evolved to be known as the Dundas EcoPark, which is a significant component of the broader Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System. The work is ongoing, but with the vision and support of the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Hamilton Conservation Authority, the City of Hamilton, Conservation Halton, Hamilton Naturalists Club and countless locally-based individuals, this has become a legacy project with very positive benefits for downstream generations.

Dundas EcoPark Map (courtesy of Ben Vanderbrug and Richard Woodworth of the Hamilton Conservation Authority)

Emerging Topics

As different community engagement projects come into play, they will be encapsulated here...

The McMaster Forest
Growing Your Own Way to Micro-Localized Food Security
Go for GO: Extending Go Transit into Dundas
Alternate Route 15 Route Change to Service Watsons Lane Loop (Dundas) by Adam Chojecki
The Gateway Connecting Dundas and the C2EP
Connecting Dundas through the Spencer Creek Trail
Protecting Heritage Buildings and their Architectural Significance
Enhancing the Urban Tree Canopy Through Micro-Nurseries