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July 2013

Mitacs Globalink student facilitates growth in Toronto communities

For Globalink Research Intern Mariana Guimaraes from Brazil, Toronto is a breath of fresh air. Mariana comes to Canada from the University of São Paulo, where she is currently in her final year of a dual degree program in Architecture and Design and Civil Engineering.

Mariana is working on a research project with Dr. Leila Farah from Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science. Her research project –The Inclusive City: Cultivating Toronto’s Social Fabric, One Garden at a Time – will see Mariana first researching neighbourhoods in Toronto to identify specific communities with crime-related issues, and then survey spaces where urban gardens could be incorporated. The next step will be to develop the design proposal, as well as a well-thought-out plan for implementation of the urban participatory gardens.

Dr. Farah believes urban participatory gardens can aid in repairing social and urban relationships, and combat crime in challenged communities. Urban participatory gardens feed the community both literally and metaphorically, and plant the seed to re-engage members of the community, both young and old, while providing those in need with supplementary food.

When asked why she chose Mitacs Globalink for the summer of 2014, Mariana reflects on the difference between her internship at Harvard University last fall and her experience with Mitacs Globalink thus far stating, “At Harvard, I had very little guidance and direction from my supervisor, but with Globalink, I have a really great support system. The Globalink team and my Globalink Student Advisor have made my transition from the University of São Paulo to Ryerson virtually seamless.”

It was Mariana’s desire to participate in research abroad that initially brought her to Canada, but once her preconceptions of Canada’s unbearably icy temperatures had been defeated, she was sold on Toronto and is now eager to pursue her masters at Ryerson University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Mitacs would like to thank the following government and international partners, in addition to our full and associate university partners, for their support of Globalink in 2013: Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Le Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies, le Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior of Brazil, the China Scholarship Council, the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.