RPD Thesis Defence: Michael Kvern

Date and Time


Via videoconference


Michael Kvern, a Master of Science in Rural Planning and Development student, will defend their thesis research title “It comes down to what they value: Understanding how energy is integrated into rural Manitoba land use plans”. A brief description of their thesis research is listed below:

Canada is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This requires Canada’s energy systems to transition from fossil fuels towards renewable sources. As this occurs, energy infrastructure will become a predominant land use, especially in rural areas. This poses a challenge for rural municipalities who need to adapt land use planning frameworks to renewable energy. Using a novel plan quality evaluation framework (N=57) and semi-structured interviews (N=18) this thesis assesses the state of energy planning and land use planning integration in rural Manitoba. Results highlight that integration of energy within official plans is poor. However, some communities are creating energy-inclusive plans. These changes are being driven by enthusiastic individuals, termed champions, who are advocates for local sustainability action. While improved funding and changes to provincial policy are needed to overcome capacity barriers, local leaders are most influential in enabling rural energy planning.

Members of the examination committee will include: Prof. Leith Deacon (advisor, SEDRD), Prof. Dave Guyadeen (Graduate Faculty, SEDRD), Prof. Chad Walker (examiner, Dalhousie University), and Prof. Nicolas Brunet will serve as chair. The thesis defense will take place via video conference on July 14 starting at 9.00 am EDT. The thesis is open to the public and instructions for joining the video conference can be requested from rpd@uoguelph.ca.

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