University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

John Hanna

Class of 2013 – HBA, USP

As John Hanna heads off to Calgary for graduate school, he reflects on how the Urban Studies Program helped to shape his future

As a student ofthe Urban Studies program I really enjoyed getting the insider look into my community andthe city at large. During my internship at the Fort York Food Bank, it was great seeing so many Torontonians helping others.  It really revealed the inner beautyof the urban jungle.  The program also gave me a chance to take many field trips to some great cities.  Walking through New York City helped me grasp the schematics of cities.  Along with my minor in Urban Studies, I did a specialist degree in Environmental Geography.  The two programs complement each other nicely.  I had read an article in an environmental design magazine some time ago that stated that 70% of our natural resources are consumed by new construction.

By pairing Environmental Geography and Urban Studies, I was able to understand the vast naturalresources that are required by our cities, and how to deal with the associated problems.  Onehighlight of my time at the University of Toronto was the ability to be published.  I wrote a piece called ‘Marcellus Shale: Conflicts and Agreements Within New York City’s Watersheds’ which was published in the American Studies Undergraduate Journal.  Now that I am off to Calgary to continue my studies, I am more excited than ever to explore another growing Canadian city.  I carry great hope to further dive into the environmental sustainability of cities during my Masters of Architecture at the University of Calgary. Perhaps there are a few more lessons for me to learn on my route to helping my city become a great place!


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