A woman on a bike with buildings in the background.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

UN SDG badges

UN Sustainable Development Goals

As we strive towards achieving a sustainable future, we must recognize the intricate nature of sustainability and understand that the path to solutions necessitates a level of cooperation and cross collaboration. From introducing climate-friendly urban policies to improving energy efficiency in buildings or providing access to housing and services for all, we need to work together and seek out impactful solutions no matter the scale. At UCalgary, we are sparking transformative change on campus to create resilient communities and cities by combining academic excellence with a spirit of innovation, advancing transdisciplinary collaborations and strengthening our multi-sector partnerships.

Marjan Eggermont

Professor (Teaching), Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering)

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Bulb abd grass
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Research and Innovation

Calgary Cityscape

Partnership with City of Calgary to promote quality of life for Calgarians

Urban Alliance is a strategic partnership between The City of Calgary and University of Calgary. It provides a framework for leading researchers and City employees to work together to tackle challenges such as transportation, waste reduction, energy and environment, youth crime, homelessness, poverty reduction and creating inclusive communities.

Packaging sample

UCalgary undergrad team creates plastic replacement to cut down food waste

UCalgary iGEM transdisciplinary team receives international recognition for their stronger, last-longer food packaging. A group of undergraduate students decided to team up on the Cellucoat project to tackle Canada’s food waste problem and take home a gold medal and Best Sustainable Development Impact award at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM)’s Grand Jamboree competition in Paris.

Woman on bike in a city.

Myths and benefits of the 15-minute city

UCalgary experts in urban planning explain how the concept behind the 15-minute city encourages healthier living with less environmental impact. The benefits of this type of design are wide ranging, from the physical health and well-being of residents to the environmental sustainability of large municipalities.

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Women in research

Teaching, Learning and Student Experience

Modern building

Bachelor of Design in City Innovation

The new Bachelor of Design in City Innovation (BDCI) degree provides students the tools and skills necessary to create positive change in the built environment, and to address complex issues affecting cities.


Collaboration with the City to foster vibrant Spaces for Calgarians

From 3D aluminum benches to creative robots, the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape is helping to create a more vibrant downtown. The aim was to target underutilized spaces and re-imagine these areas and to repurpose them for the benefit of the community, to enable sustainability.

Women looking at a chart

UCalgary students help build a home and a more equitable future for women

As part of the Habitat for Humanity initiative, Women Build 2022 sought to highlight the importance of women in industries in which they’re underrepresented, such as construction or energy, while raising funds to provide affordable housing options for women and their families. Under the guidance of construction professionals, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) students took a proactive step in serving and strengthening their community.

total waste generated
62% daily waste diverted in 2022-23
86% construction and demolition waste diverted in 2022-23

Campus and Community Impact

Styrofoam food packaging

UCalgary students divert 2,000-plus pounds of lab Styrofoam from landfill

Determined to figure out a way to reduce waste on campus, UCalgary students with support from the Office of Sustainability launched a new pilot program responsible for collecting and recycling over 2000 pounds of Styrofoam at Foothills campus.

Campus museum

Confronting social issues through art and culture

Through a carefully curated trifecta of exhibitions, tours and artist talks, UCalgary’s Nickle Galleries’ free programming focuses on creating a transformative learning experience for visitors by bringing social issues to the forefront.


Green Buildings: Promoting ecosystem and human health and well-being

UCalgary’s green buildings provide healthy places to live, learn, work, and play. They also contribute to ecosystem health and UCalgary’s goal to be a carbon-neutral campus. To date UCalgary’s LEED-certified projects have contributed over 177,000 square metres of healthy indoor environments.

Did you know?

UCalgary’s Mathison Hall aims to set precedent for future green energy learning spaces. 

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UCalgary to generate an additional 225 kilowatts of renewable energy with a massive solar wall. 

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LEED projects have diverted over 80% of construction and demolition waste, which equates to over 20,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.

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