The Fall 2013 edition of Spacing national magazine on Education and Urbanism has named Willowbank 'one of the most innovative "laboratories" in Canada'.
In a section called:
8 Amazing 'Real-World' Urbanism Laboratories
Going above and beyond traditional research centre, "urban labs" are bridging the divide between theoretical and real-world urbanism. These practical classes attempt to harness academic and institutional knowledge and put it to practical use in local communities. Over the past decade, urban labs have sprouted in cities across the globe. Here's a look at some of the most exciting urban lab projects in Canadian schools.
Willowbank: School of Restoration Arts
Based near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Willowbank's School of Restoration Arts is one of the most innovative "laboratories" in Canada. Taking a cross-disciplinary and holistic approach to heritage conservation, the school attempts to teach its diploma students in design, conservation theory, and craft skills. While semi-rural Niagara doesn't exactly stand out for its urbanity, the academics at Willowbank are extremely contextual: all craft skills are practivied on the physical school itself, an 1830's Greek Revival mansion built for nation-builder Alexander Hamilton. It also happens to be a National Historic Site. The school accepts an assortment of students, with backgrounds ranging from high school to trade school to PhDs.
UBC: Vancouver Planning Laboratory University of Calgary: Urban Lab George Brown: Institute Without Boundaries Dalhousie University: Transportation Collaboratory McGill: Making Megaprojects Work for Communities University of Toronto: Neighbourhood Change York University: Hip Hop and the City
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