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Field notes #3: map-making, open-source networks and a museum partnership

In this new strategic directions report, provost fellow Janis Timm-Bottos outlines Concordia’s ‘embrace the city’ initiatives
November 30, 2015
By Janis Timm-Bottos

This year, Concordia identified 
nine strategic directions to a next-generation urban research university. As Phase 2 kicks off, we asked a diverse group of community members to describe encounters, ideas and campus activities that relate to these directions.

Here, Janis Timm-Bottos, the provost fellow for Community Engagement and an associate professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies, highlights how Concordia is developing city-friendly strategies.

Janis Timm-Bottos: embrace the city, embrace the world

Discussions around Concordia's "embrace the city" strategy have been exciting and wide-ranging, with four particular threads that I'll call attention to here.

Online mapping

Through a series of university idea cafés and online surveys, information is being collected to inform the "embrace the city" strategy.

We are currently developing a plan to create an online map to make visible the numerous community-university projects that students, staff and faculty are initiating and participating in throughout the city.

We're conceptualizing an open-source network that will help professors link across disciplines to develop new community-engaged coursework, help students find out where action is already happening and where there is a need to start their own collaborative projects, and lastly, to let staff know how to direct both students and faculty to existing opportunities. 

To create this map, we are hoping to partner with participants who came to the first national Community-Campus Mapping Summit, that was held at Concordia from November 4 to 6, 2015.

Concordia courses with community engagement

Another thread is a research project that has already been underway, to identify the Concordia courses that involve some type of community-city engagement. These courses will potentially be identified for incoming students as city-engaged courses.

Cultural collaboration

A third aspect of our emerging city strategy focuses on building partnerships and collaborations, actively participating in the development of a creative, diverse and inclusive city which celebrates the sharing of co-created knowledge.

One example of a compelling university-city intersection is our new partnership with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In the collaboration, we hope to find many ways to build a bridge between the two important cultural institutions.

This is an example of connecting the community of Concordia professors, practitioners, students and potential students to the social, economic, and environmental needs of our dynamic city.

Collaborative space

Lastly, we have been discussing the development of a collaborative space on the downtown campus for showcasing city-oriented research projects, learning activities and recruiting. 


Learn more about Concordia’s nine strategic directions.


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