Now that my internship at the City of Markham is complete, it’s hard to believe six weeks flew by so quickly.  When I look at the variety and range of projects, meetings, and events I participated in it’s hard to believe it was only six weeks.  The staff at the Markham Sustainability Office were a delight, welcoming me on very short notice and providing me a window on the range of activities coordinated through this small office.

My final two projects at the Sustainability Office were easily my favorites.  The first was a summary and report on COLAB: A Change Lab for Markham; this book is the final report of a post-graduate certificate class in Interdisciplinary Design Solutions.  The book lays out the nature and future of a change lab within the Markham municipal structure, a design solutions unit capable of tackling the big design issues in the City.  COLAB would be a multi-partner entity, engaging and recruiting in the municipal, community, and private sectors. It is intended to be pursued as a pilot project for three years, hopefully becoming permanent going forward.

My other project was more concrete in application.  Markham’s Greenprint sustainability plan includes 244 recommendations for becoming a sustainable city.  A year after publication of the Greenprint, the City is seeking to evaluate its progress and gaps in pursuing those recommendations; this is where the Greenprint Inventory comes in.  Using an Action Matrix to track all complete, ongoing, and planned actions the Sustainability Office engages with each municipal department for updates and feedback.  My role was to follow up on the basically-complete Action Matrix by identifying gaps and opportunities for the short- and long-term.

That’s the story for now.  It’s time to sit down and draft my report.

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