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Urban Planning Course to Québec, Fritz Wagner, Landscape Architecture and Régent Cabana, Université Laval

August 31, 2007

The six universities of this trilateral consortium include Université Laval in Québec City and Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. The consortium NEXOPOLIS is developing a comparative program of study in the area of central city revitalization. The program allows students from the United States, Canada, and Mexico to become knowledgeable in the area of comparative urban studies with regard to central city revitalization and related issues while working toward completing their degrees in Mexico or Canada. The grant included a field course to Québec.

This past summer, Professor Fritz Wagner, Chair, UW Landscape Architecture, and I, and eleven UW students from diverse disciplines such as urban planning, landscape architecture and architecture studied a variety of urban issues in Montréal, Québec City and the Charlevoix region. We met professors, government officials and other urban experts for lectures, tours and discussions during a 10-day study tour of the province of Québec.
The course, L ARCH 495: Comparative Urban Planning and Design—Canada and the US, examined similarities and differences between cities in the two nations. The students looked more particularly at current urban issues confronting communities in Québec. They studied the physical layout of cities, urban design, urban growth, problems related to the environment, governmental institutions as well as historical, social and cultural factors specific to Québec cities.

By the end of the program, students had gained a new perspective of Québec and Canada as well as a better understanding of economic, political, social and cultural differences between the two countries—all key factors in making decisions relating to urban planning. They now possess a wider perspective from which to think creatively about solutions to improve urban living conditions in our neighborhoods, cities, regions, and countries. The students also gained access to a wide network of academic and professional contacts on urban issues in Canada and the United States better preparing them to enter the North American job market.

Congratulations to the following students Architecture?who received $200 scholarships from the Center’s Pacific Northwest Québec Initiative Grant, Québec Government, to participate in the program, Eriko Kawamura and Christopher Sung-Hey Kwong (Architecture); Becky Chaney, Brian Gregory, Christine Plourde and Eric Streeby (Landscape Architecture); Ming-Yi Hsu and Nicholas Kindel (Urban Design and Planning); Joyce Chen and Calder Danz (Anthropology); Myles Brenner (Political Science).

“Understanding how history (the relationship between French and English in Canada) has influenced the city structure and development is my biggest gain from this Québec Studies trip and will influence my future studies.” ?— Christopher Sung-Hey Kwong, Architecture

Régent Cabana has more than 20 years of experience in international academic programs and international relations either as an officer for the foreign service of the Québec Government or as a coordinator of academic programs abroad. He is the Program Director of URBANA and NEXOPOLIS, two consortia of universities in Mexico, Canada and the United States that support student and faculty exchange programs abroad. ?The College of Architecture and Urban Planning is the recipient of a four-year Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).

Funding – This course was made possible, in part, thanks to funding from the Center’s Québec Pacific Northwest Initiative Grant, Québec Government, Canada.