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Join us at Laurier

Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


In the Capstone Urban Sustainability Project (CUSP) you will undertake a yearlong consultation with our community partner, the City of Cambridge, Ontario. Collaborating with others in your consulting team, you will seek to resolve an aspect of urban planning and development with a solution grounded in principles of sustainability and professional practice. Your team will bring together skills in project management, written communication, graphic design, mapping, public speaking, research analysis, and community engagement.

Projects differ each year and have included the assessment of downtown streetscape improvements, heritage mapping, and the repurposing of places of worship. At the end of the course, your team will be invited to compete in front of a panel of planning practitioners and will be adjudicated on the basis of your professional practice. Cash prizes are awarded.

Students from previous years tell us about the following highlights of their CUSP experience:

  • Learning involves a combination of in-class workshops, field-based research in the city, team collaboration, independent research, and presentations both to professionals and to the public.
  • Professional development workshops are led by practicing planners, developers, lawyers, and experts in the assigned project.
  • Problem-solving requires students to apply interdisciplinary approaches that draw on skills from across different specializations.
  • Through multiple field experiences students discover and become familiar with the local community.
  • Practical experience in the issues and practices of urban planning.
  • Adjudication by planning professionals.
student in Toronto

Learn More About CUSP

For first-hand accounts of CUSP, check out the Capstone Urban Sustainability Project video.

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