Students recommend ideas for putting climate change plan into action

Developing more green roofs, erecting more shade structures, and increasing sewer infrastructure were among the variety of ideas a group of students presented yesterday to help Windsor adapt to climate change.

“We talk a lot about global change, but people are most concerned about what’s happening right around them,” said Maria Cioppa, a professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences whose third-year students were assigned the task of figuring out how to implement at least one of the 25-to-30 recommendations contained in the City of Windsor climate change adaptation plan.

Presented to city council last fall, the plan proposes suggestions to increase Windsor’s resiliency to weather extremes created by climate change like temperature spikes and flooding due to increased precipitation. Students in Dr. Cioppa's class adorned the walls of the second floor hallway in Memorial Hall with posters explaining their ideas on how to put the pp

Fourth-year students Brittany Jennings and Nick Falk worked on a project that focused on the operations at the Lou Romano sewage treatment plant in Windsor’s west end. They figured that by raising awareness about how the plant works – and especially how much it costs – Windsorites would be more inclined to conserve water.

“If they know how much it costs them, people will be much more aware of their water use,” Falk said.

Jennings created a list of questions about water treatment, covering everything from water safety and clarity to whether bottled water is a better alternative than municipally treated drinking water. She suggested creating a Facebook page as a way of providing information to people wanting to know more about how their water is treated, and encouraging them to conserve it.

Another project suggested implementing a $7 per square foot subsidy for building owners who install green roofs, while enacting a bylaw requiring all future developments to have green roofs that support native, drought-resistant species.

Dr. Cioppa said at some point she hopes to reach out to municipal representatives to share some of her students’ ideas with them.

Watch a video of Nick Falk explaining the project.