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An Introduction to CITY

The City Institute at York University (CITY) brings together over 60 of the university’s urban scholars and scores of graduate students from fields as diverse as planning, geography, environmental studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, education, law, transportation and the humanities. This interdisciplinary institute facilitates critical and collaborative research, providing new knowledge and innovative approaches to comprehending and addressing the complexity of the urban arena.

The Institute also plays a vital role in developing Canada’s next generation of leaders and thinkers, with graduate and post-doctoral fellows playing a central role in the life of the Institute and CITY’s researchers have long-standing relationships with community groups, NGOs and policymakers.

CITY currently houses a number of research projects including the Major Collaborative Research Initiative “Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land and Infrastructure in the 21st Century”. Learn more about other CITY research projects here.

CITY frequently hosts events, including our City Seminar series: check the event archives for information and to access audio and video from past talks. Below are clips from the recent Suburban Revolution Conference.

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Please join us for a


Monday, September 21, 2015

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Registration at 3:30 p.m.

Council Chamber, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West


Getting here is standing in the way of being here. Together we can fix this.

Join us on September 21st for an interactive symposium on the challenging transportation issues facing students in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). The presidents of Toronto’s universities, along with policy leaders and students, will discuss the difficult and sometimes bewildering obstacles students confront when travelling in the GTHA.

Going to school? Sounds easy but it definitely is not in Toronto. For the city’s postsecondary students, the challenge of doing well in the classroom starts with getting there. University students are among the largest group of users of the region’s already strained system of transportation. They are transit dependent but often not served well by the trains and buses that connect the downtown to choice destinations in the larger region. They are a prime group for active modes of transportation but their homes are often too far from their institution of higher learning to walk and cycle. StudentMoveTO is a joint initiative by the presidents of OCADU, Ryerson, University of Toronto and York to understand better how their students get to and from campus, and how that mobility relates to other needs in their lives.

What issues do students face in getting around the region? What ideas and aspirations do they have for improving mobility in the future? What are the views of leading transportation experts and university presidents? Because student-specific data are scarce, student transportation needs are not always considered in transportation policy decisions. To help correct this, we will also be launching a new student travel behaviour survey, one of the largest such surveys ever conducted. We anticipate an eventful evening and we hope you can join us.

Reception to follow.


Please advise of any accessibility requirements.

About us: StudentMoveTO aims to promote and improve mobility for students within the GTHA through research, teaching and knowledge mobilization. StudentMoveTO serves as a central hub to mobilize students to engage with transportation issues across all participating universities.

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CITY News and Upcoming Events

The City Seminar: Shanghai Urbanism – October 2

September 25, 2015 8:42 pm : Events
Event: The City Seminar: Shanghai Urbanism: Reflections from the Outside in Date: October 2nd, 2015. 12:30pm – 2:00pm Location: Room 141, HNES Building, York University


Recently released articles from CITY Scholars

September 17, 2015 6:29 pm : News
Volume 39, Number 3, May 2014, ISSN 0309-1317 Entanglements of Periphery and Informality in Mexico City Authors: Liette Gilbert and Feike De Jong Abstract – Mexico City is a well-known case of urban expansion. Most of the growth has been in its peripheries, occurring during two phases of housing privatization: a predominantly self-built urbanization by more »


Watch: Ute Lehrer on Waterfront Redevelopment (CTV News)

June 2, 2015 8:10 pm : News
Professor Ute Lehrer speaks to CTV news about the speed of development in the Port Lands area of Toronto. Watch the video clip here.


Arrival Cities: How Immigration Succeeds and Fails on the Edge of the City (April 11)

April 1, 2015 6:00 pm : Events, News
  Doug Saunders, author and international-affairs columnist at The Globe and Mail will deliver the Ismaili Centre Lecture on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm on the topic of Arrival Cities: How Immigration Succeeds and Fails on the Edge of the City. Register and purchase tickets here Click on the below poster for more more »


Graduate Student Exchange: Frankfurt 2015-2016

April 1, 2015 5:47 pm : News
Graduate Student Exchange Frankfurt 2015 – 2016   The City Institute at York University and the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies in cooperation with FES and the Department of Geography offer one or two study abroad opportunities to spend one or two semesters during the 2015-16 academic year at the Department of Human more »