Our Actions and Goals

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
Sustainable Development Goals by the numbers:
[Percentage wheel 8%]
Approximately 8% of the university’s expenditure was on arts and heritage in 2022.

Our goals in action

Research and innovation

Working in real time

During the construction phase of the recently opened $180 million, 1.2 km Waaban Crossing bridge, the City of Kingston approached Queen's to partner in finding tools that could help track the performance of this new major piece of infrastructure. Researchers and students from Queen's Ingenuity Labs installed sensors along the bridge's expansion joints and bearings and are using drones to provide the city with access to real-time quantitative data to help make more informed decisions about the performance and maintenance of the structure in a cost-effective way.

[Construction of the Waaban Crossing bridge in Kingston, Ontario.]

Queen's Art of Research Submission: Third Crossing Bridge by Sushant Neupane, MASc Student (Civil Engineering), Kingston, Ontario

City of the future

Queen's researcher and Canada Research Chair in Youth and African Urban Futures Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin has been named a Fellow of CIFAR's new program, Humanity's Urban Future. Alongside a team of researchers from around the world, Dr. Adeniyi-Ogunyankin is studying how metropolitan centres have changed over time and space with the goal to engage policymakers, political advisors, and civic actors for future social impact.

Teaching and student life

Decolonizing and Indigenizing our campus

As part of Queen's ongoing commitment to truth and reconciliation, two new Indigenous gathering spaces have been opened. Inspired by traditional Anishinaabe wigwams, a stand-alone structure has been built near the south end of Tindall Field which incorporates significant Indigenous symbology such as entryways positioned facing east and west with the overall design nodding to the medicine wheel. At the centre of the new Endaayaan – Tkanónsote residence courtyard is a gathering space featuring a six-metre wide stone turtle designed by local Indigenous artist David R. Maracle. Surrounding the turtle are benches featuring the pattern of the Two Row Wampum belt representing the basis of all treaties by the Haudenosaunee people. Both gathering spaces are important places of ceremony, learning, and reflecting for the Queen's community as locations for ceremonial fires, and teaching, learning, and engaging with Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

[Indigenous gathering space located at the south end of Tindall Field on Queen’s University campus.]

Student safety

Two programs provide around the clock safety for the members of our community – AMS Walkhome is a service provided by the Alma Mater Society offering safe walks to students, both on the Queen's campus and within the Kingston community, and Safe Walk is run by Campus Security when Walkhome is off duty.

A home away from home

The Queen's Off-Campus Living Advisor has directly supported more than 1,400 students in evaluating off-campus housing, tenant rights and responsibilities, and moving resources.

Community impact

[Line drawing of a bowl of groceries]

Queen's radio station CFRC celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022 making it now one of the oldest campus stations in the world. CFRC is unique in Kingston as it encourages volunteers and staff members to have a voice on current issues and initiatives. In addition to covering news, sports, and weather, CFRC also spotlights researchers and diverse populations in the Kingston community. 

It's all in the data

For the past two years, researchers from Queen's Department of Geography and Planning have been working with municipal partners to investigate the community's resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project has grown into the online platform Kingston IN Focus which highlights a range of community indicators, including information about the local economy, employment, environment, housing, and cultural heritage. The platform allows community members to delve deeper into the themes, and compare local, provincial, and national data, and relies on advanced computing techniques to perform automatic updates whenever new data becomes available.

Better homes

Queen's is working to support the City of Kingston's new retrofitting program, Better Homes Kingston. Students volunteer as program ambassadors and help identify opportunities to improve the city's housing stock. Participating residents enter into a property loan program to complete home renovations that will increase comfort, affordability, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

All are welcome to Queen’s campus

We have and will always welcome the public to use and enjoy many of the university’s arts spaces, libraries, museums, and natural heritage lands, such as the Queen’s University Library, Miller Museum of Geology, Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute’s Visitor Centre, and sports fields.

[Photo of the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery on Queen's campus]

World renowned public art gallery on campus

More than a professional art centre and academic and research resource, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre is also a leading, internationally recognized public art gallery. One of its feature exhibits is its Indigenous Art Collection which is comprised of significant works by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists from Turtle Island as well as Indigenous artists and communities internationally.

A campus built among the trees

Many rare trees exist on the Queen's campus, including those native to Canada and those that have been introduced from other parts of the world. The Queen’s University Snodgrass Arboretum was established in 1999 to recognize these unique species. A campus map also allows visitors to take self-guided tours and identify the more interesting specimens.

[Students walk down Founders Row on Queen’s University campus.]

Performances by internationally acclaimed talent

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, or "The Isabel" as it is fondly known, hosts public performances, bringing local, national, and internationally renowned artists and performers of all genres to the local community, including musicians and performing artists.

Administration and operations

[Line drawing of recycling bin and the number >$20M]

Since 2014, over $20 million has been spent on conservation efforts.

Driving sustainable commuting

Queen’s is committed to reducing our environmental footprint by encouraging positive behaviour change and alternatives. Our Alternative Transportation Sub-Working Group is mandated to develop solutions for daily commuting in the Kingston area for employees and students with a focus on benefits for the environment, human health, as well as economically. Current initiatives include the Transpass Program which includes discounted monthly passes, unlimited monthly bus rides, and other incentives for using public transit. We also participate in the National Commuter Challenge – a week-long competition designed to encourage active and sustainable commuting.

The campus at the city scale

Decisions made by the university have an impact on the surrounding city and community. As such, it is important that there is coordinated planning to ensure mutual benefit between Kingston and the University. The Queen’s University Campus Master Plan outline’s Queen’s commitment to ensuring our planning decisions complement the vision and policies of the City of Kingston.

[Aerial photo of Queen’s University campus capturing buildings along Union Street, including Douglas Library, Ontario Hall, and Grant Hall in the foreground.]