“I didn't know about this project before the course. I got to do research that I wouldn't have otherwise done, and it's really opened my eyes."
When Brittany Basso enrolled in the Canadian Studies experiential learning course Active Citizenship in a Canadian Context, she had no idea it would spark an interest in urban planning. The course—one of a host of experiential learning options offered through UC’s interdisciplinary programs—provides opportunities for students to take the theory learned in the classroom, and apply it to real-world situations.
Brittany initially took Active Citizenship out of curiosity. “I thought it would be an opportunity to gain experience within the community and learn about some of the initiatives happening in the city,” said Brittany. Her course placement landed her in the office of city councillor Mary Margaret McMahon. Once there, she began researching a laneway project called Changing Lanes, investigating different uses for the city’s laneways, including: housing, places to play, pop-up shops and concerts.
During her placement, Brittany attended meetings, took notes, and gained technical experience creating a digital map of Toronto’s laneways. The experience had a huge impact on her personally and academically. “I didn’t know about this project before the course. I got to do research that I wouldn’t have otherwise done and it’s really opened my eyes,” said Brittany.
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