King's students help design a better tomorrow for London
King’s Psychology students will be displaying their research that will make London more liveable, sustainable and joyful as part of CityStudio London’s virtual HUBBUB project showcase, taking place online on April 21, 2022, from 9 a.m. – noon. King’s students will join others from Brescia, Fanshawe, Huron and Western in this celebratory digital showcase and networking event.
CityStudio London is an initiative launched in 2019 as a collaboration between the City of London, King’s University College, Brescia University College, Huron University College, Western University, Fanshawe College and the Pillar Nonprofit Network. This initiative connects post-secondary intuitions with City of London staff to co-create applied projects and work towards a better city for all. Students are matched with City staff, learn about current issues in the city, and apply their knowledge and skills to research and implement creative solutions for civic issues.
The students from Psychology 3840 Survey Design and Construction, taught by Dr. Wendy Ellis, Associate Professor of Psychology, have three projects as part of the HUBBUB. Students working in groups of four were given the following as a choice of projects and each group selected the one of greatest interest.
Dundas Place – The students examined ways Dundas Place can engage the public and profit local businesses, and also investigated if there are specific hours or days when Dundas Place should be closed to traffic and parking, to allow more pedestrian usage. As part of the project, the group created a survey to learn what the London community is interested in seeing at Dundas Place regarding events, business use, and how the space can be used to accommodate all visitors.
Ambassador Program – This project was a baseline qualitative survey to help determine the ongoing roles and responsibilities of the new Downtown Ambassadors as they begin to provide service post-pandemic.
Public Washroom Project – The third project was investigating what can be done to improve the quality of this municipal service. Keeping bathrooms accessible to the public offers dignity to those who occupy those spaces. However, with an uptick in drug use, monitoring those spaces has become increasingly complex. It is often left to municipal employees to make sure that people who are in those bathrooms are well.
Each group collected data and created a final report and poster to share with the City.
“Working directly with the community is an excellent way for students to experience the benefits of research and apply their knowledge directly,” says Dr. Ellis. “It is a win-win situation: students can learn by doing and have fun working as part of a team, and the city is provided useful information for planning programs.”
Students gain valuable skills while helping to make the city more liveable for everyone, which enables them to understand the work that is needed in the world. This assists them with workplace knowledge and concepts to examine after graduation. The work that they do simulates the projects they could do as working professionals. They also have the opportunity to tap into a larger network of people and organizations in this sphere, which gives them an advantage when they look for employment.
Dr. David Malloy, King’s President, recorded a special video greeting for those in attendance at the CityStudio HUBBUB.