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May 12, 2009
International Green Roof Congress announces student design competition
Organizers of CitiesAlive!, the World Green Roof Infrastructure Congress, today announced the launch of an international student design competition called Transforming the Face of Buildings. Sponsored by Ryerson University, the design competition challenges students to consider environmental sustainability and reduce the impacts of climate change by incorporating green infrastructure elements - such as green roofs, green walls and urban forestry - in the design of walls and buildings.

Winning designs will be displayed at the CitiesAlive! World Green Roof Infrastructure Congress taking place in Toronto, October 19 to 22, 2009. With the theme Green Roof Infrastructure - A Global Solution to Climate Change, the congress is a joint venture between the City of Toronto and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

“Today's students will play a key role in the research, design and implementation of green roof infrastructure in the City of Toronto and beyond,” said Joe Pantalone, Deputy Mayor of the City of Toronto and CitiesAlive! Congress Co-Chair. “We are excited to create this opportunity for students to participate in a growing sector of the green economy with the CitiesAlive Student Design Challenge."

“We are delighted to harness the creative powers of youth to explore the numerous, multifaceted benefits of holistic green infrastructure design at CitiesAlive,” said Steven Peck, CitiesAlive! Congress Co-chair and Founder and President of industry organization Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. “May the best team win!"

"Ryerson University is proud to encourage the development of student acumen regarding the interdisciplinary aspects of sustainable urban design,” said Tas Venetsanopoulos, Vice President of Research and Innovation at Ryerson University in Toronto. “Our sponsorship of the CitiesAlive student challenge exemplifies our belief that today's students can and must create urban design that mitigates climate change through innovation, imagination, and collaboration."

Registration for the Transforming the Face of Buildings student design competition is now open. Students at all educational institutions may participate with the support of a sponsoring faculty member. A multi-disciplinary panel of experts drawn from the infrastructure, design and building sectors will review submissions.

More information about the student design challenge, including online registration, is available at More information about the CitiesAlive! 2009 International Green Roof Infrastructure Congress is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) was founded in 1999 as a small network of public and private organizations. GRHC is now a rapidly growing not-for-profit industry association for green roof experts in North America. Our mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of green roofs and green walls, and other forms of living architecture through education, advocacy, professionalism and celebrations of excellence.

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative career-focused education, offering close to 90 PhD, master’s, and undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Arts; the Faculty of Communication & Design; the Faculty of Community Services; the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science; and the Ted Rogers School of Management. Ryerson University has graduate and undergraduate enrolment of 26,500 students. With more than 64,000 registrations annually, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education.

Media contacts:
Rebecca Black, Director, CitiesAlive! 2009, 416-971-4494 (ext 224),
Nancy Ruscica, Manager Partnerships and Innovations, Toronto Environment Office, 416-392-2984,
Hitesh Doshi, Chair, Student Competition Steering Committee, Ryerson University, 416-979-5000 (ext 6502),



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