Elizabeth Shaw and Michelle Zhang are 4th year Peace, Conflict and Justice majors from Victoria College and Innis College, respectively. Elizabeth also majors in Contemporary Asian Studies and minors in Political Science, while Michelle is pursuing a specialist in Urban Studies. Together they are this year’s recipients of the Richard Charles Lee Insights through Asia Challenge research grant from the Asian Institute.

Their project is a comparative study which seeks to understand the role of innovation in our urban futures, using Sidewalk Toronto and Singapore’s Punggol Eco-Town as case studies. They investigate the intersections of digital and smart city innovation, green urbanism, and public versus private development, paying particular attention to their social impacts. Their findings will be presented to the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy this coming fall.

This research project is based off of a paper Elizabeth wrote for PCJ360: The Climate Crisis, taught by PCJ instructor, Dylan Clark. In her paper, she postulated that the Singapore’s green “city in a garden” concept is more for state and economic growth, rather than environmental or climate justice advancement. The paper, titled “Green Authoritarianism,” will soon be published in the Rapoport Journal, the PCJ undergraduate student journal.