Image of energy-driven urban design
Zhongming Shi

Dec. 8, 2021

Researchers in energy-driven urban design and sustainable food bolster School's community-based initiatives

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape welcomes two new faculty members as it expands work on city building challenges

Following an international search, the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) is pleased to announce two new faculty members will join the School in January 2022.

Dr. Zhongming Shi joins the faculty via ETH Zurich’s Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, where he has been the principal investigator of the Building-​Integrated Agriculture project, and postdoctoral researcher and coordinator of the Cities Knowledge Graph project. He was also part of the Multi-Scale Energy Systems for Low Carbon Cities (MuSES) project at Future Cities Laboratory, completed in 2020. Zhongming obtained his Doctor of Sciences at ETH Zurich, Master of Science degree in Urban Design at Georgia Tech, Master of Architecture at Tongji University, and Bachelor of Architecture at Dalian University of Technology in China. He has also worked for the Sino-​US Eco Urban Lab at Tongji University in Shanghai and Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Zhongming’s doctoral research focused on the topic of energy-driven urban design, which highlights the interdependencies between urban design and energy performance. He is a member of the development team of City Energy Analyst (CEA), an open-source urban building energy modelling tool. Upon joining SAPL, Zhongming will continue investigating and contributing to the Building-Integrated Agriculture project, established through collaboration with the National University of Singapore and awarded by Singapore’s National Research Foundation.

Headshot of Dr. Zhongming Shi

Image courtesy Zhongming Shi

Dr. Rebecca Laycock Pedersen is a transdisciplinary researcher and educator working in the field of sustainability science. Her research focuses on urban agriculture, sustainable food, sustainability education, and participatory/action-oriented methods. Rebecca joins SAPL from Blekinge Institute of Technology’s (BTH) Department of Strategic Sustainable Development in Karlskrona, Sweden. At BTH, Rebecca has been studying the impacts of a Malmö-based urban agriculture incubator programme.

She received her doctorate in Environment and Sustainability from Keele University, England, a Master of Science in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science from Lund University, Sweden, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria.

Her doctoral research focused on understanding and managing the impacts of transience in student-led university food gardens. At Keele, Rebecca was co-founder of the University's Sustainability Research Network (KUSRN) and co-convener of the Sustainability Seminar Series.

Headshot of Dr. Rebecca Laycock Pedersen

Image courtesy Rebecca Laycock Pedersen

About joining SAPL, Rebecca says: “I’m excited and honoured to return to my hometown as I join SAPL at the University of Calgary. Having studied and researched abroad for the past 10 years, I look forward to re-growing roots in Calgary while carrying with me my learnings from overseas. I am especially looking forward to contributing to the Sustainability Studies Certificate because students are so eager to better understand how they can be a part of creating a more sustainable future. Indeed, there is no better place to learn about sustainability transformations than a city like Calgary, where there is both such a strong need and demand for sustainability thinking.”

Shi and Laycock Pedersen join SAPL at a critical time as the School seeks to carve out a distinctive role in rewriting the way cities are designed, built and operated.  By working with the next generation of designers to address issues of climate change, food scarcity and social inequality, SAPL hopes to pave the way for a more sustainable future.

“We are very excited to have Zhongming and Rebecca join our School and look forward to their active participation in our teaching program as well as community-based research through our downtown City Building Design Lab,” says John Brown, dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.