Mitacs Globalink student facilitates growth in Toronto communities

Mariana Guimaraes plants the seed for crime-free neighbourhoods through design and implementation of urban participatory gardens

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 thanks the Government of Canada and  the Government of Ontario for their support of theGlobalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

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