SCARP student Kylie Clark awarded CIP President's Scholarship

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It's our absolute pleasure to announce that SCARP MCRP student Kylie Clark is the recipient of the 2024 CIP President's Scholarship

Kylie was chosen for this award for her research on re-wilding small-scale urban spaces using Miyawaki method mini forests.

About CIP and the award

The Canadian Institute of Planners is a member-based organization which advocates for planners nationally and internationally, and provides a number of membership services. Being a student in SCARP, an accredited planning program, makes you more eligible to join in on many of these services!

The CIP/ICU Planning Student Trust Fund (CIP-PSTF) is the Canadian planning profession’s national charity, providing a scholarship, bursary, and award program to students in accredited planning programs in Canada. CIP created CIP-PSTF in 1989 to contribute to the advancement of professional planning.

The President's Scholarship is the top prize offered by CIP-PSTF and an incredible honour. 

The research that won Kylie this award

Re-wilding the City: Applying the Miyawaki Method to Small Urban Spaces

My research looks at the application of Miyawaki method mini forests in cities around the world with an equity-based lens. The Miyawaki method involves planting very dense, multi-layered mini forests in areas as small as 100m2. By planting native species closely together, studies find that the method encourages competition, improves ecosystem resiliency, and increases growth rate, resulting in a mature forest in 15-20 years. While popular in Asia and Europe, it is just starting to be implemented in North American cities, with Canada planting 15 mini forests last year as part of the National Mini Forest Pilot.

I wanted to understand current approaches to urban mini forest projects, including the level of consideration given to equity and community in their siting, planning, design, and implementation in order to identify both best practices and equitable implementation opportunities. I have found that this method is an excellent way to build community, increase social resilience, and invite neighbours into place-based climate action and environmental care. The participatory nature of the method engages the local community, fostering a sense of ownership and providing an opportunity to connect with nature. Re-wilding using the Miyawaki method thus presents a sustainable and near-term intervention option for increasing urban green space and mitigating climate impacts, while building community, increasing social resilience, and providing health and well-being benefits to priority neighbourhoods. Cities could utilize this method not only to achieve environmental goals (green space or canopy targets) but also equity and community engagement goals.

Kylie Clark, on her achievement

"It is an incredible honour to have been awarded the 2024 CIP President’s Scholarship. I am so grateful to have my research on mini forests as a small-scale urban greening strategy recognized and valued by the CIP/ICU Planning Student Trust Fund. Thank you for this generous support, encouragement, and opportunity to share my research work with the wider CIP community."

Congrats Kylie! We can't wait to see where your work takes you next.

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