Ryerson intern clears the air in Toronto

Globalink researcher from Germany collaborates on a vision for public health in North York

Florian Mayer, a Mitacs Globalink intern who spent his summer at Ryerson University in Toronto, wants to figure out how cities and roads can be built to reduce traffic, while working to improve long-term health outcomes in the world’s busiest cities. Researching alongside Associate Professor Leila Farah, Florian examined how the urban environment affects public health and how planners can work with communities to improve it on a local level. 

Following an initial literature study, Florian and his professor worked with residents of Flemingdon Park, a neighbourhood in Toronto’s North York district, to envision a new design that would emphasize public health. Such a design could include more green spaces and parks, improved traffic flow, and spaces for social integration and cultural connection. Their collaborative approach to developing the design also helps the community to define their own needs and determine what public health looks like to them.

For his part, Florian enjoyed a summer of learning, saying, “Ryerson’s Department of Architectural Science, where I was working, is a very good research facility. The students and researchers are very ambitious and the quality of work they create is astonishing.

“I have never had a more rewarding experience, or gained so much — professionally or personally — in such a short time as I have this summer.”

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink research internship 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 Saskachewan and Research Manitoba.

In addition, Mitacs is pleased to work with the following international partners to support the Globalink program: Universities Australia; the China Scholarship Council; Campus France; the German Academic Exchange Service; Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education, Tecnológico de Monterrey, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico; and Tunisia’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Mission Universitaire de Tunisie en Amerique du Nord.

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