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CITY » Visiting Scholars
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CITY > People > Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars

Application Process

The City Institute is able to accommodate a limited number of visiting scholars each year. The Institute encourages applications from faculty members, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from other institutions.

Normally, we can provide visitors with a shared workspace, Internet access, an email account and a York University library card. There is no monetary funding available for visiting scholar appointments.

Starting in 2015, the CITY Institute will also have a visiting scholar in conjunction with the Urban Studies program in the Department of Social Science (FLAPS). This position provides the opportunity to teach a one-semester (renumerated) course with the Urban Studies program.

If you are interested in applying to becoming a Visiting Scholar with the City Institute, please complete and send the application form along with a current copy of your curriculum vitae to


juliaJulia Ricareda Reusing (August- December, 2015)

Institute of Geography at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Born and raised in Frankfurt/Main, a lot of trips to different countries and a 4 years long stay in Istandbul from the age 4 to 8 molded her interest for different cultures and the relationships between people, space and environment. After a 4-month long stay in Bristol, England, to improve her language skills, she developed a special interest for ecological issues in Urban Geography during her Bachelor in American Studies at Frankfurt/Main and an exchange semester at ETH Zürich. After finishing her Bachelor degree ‘The Organized Wild – An analysis of how much human protected nature in US American national parks can take’ she decided to continue her studies at the Master program ‘Geographies of Globalization’ at Frankfurt’s Geographical Institute.

She loves to travel, surf and bake, as well as photography and making music.


Dr. Wolfgang Andexlinger (August – December, 2011)

Institute for Urban Design and Spatial Planning, University Innsbruck, Austria
Wolfgang Andexlinger is an Assistant-Professor at the Institute for Urban Planning and Spatial Design at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. His main research focus is based on areas where urban systems collide with rural elements. He wrote his doctoral thesis about the superimposition of rural and urban elements and its spatial impact in tourist alpine regions in Austria. His research focused on action and planning strategies for those ‘rurbanised’ areas, comparing large urban areas such as Toronto with the tourist focused areas in the Alps. The aim is to identify comparable and non-comparable elements to develop strategies for a sustainable and liveable future.


 Dr. Miriam Alfie-Cohen (August – October, 2010)

Department of Social Sciences, UAM-Cuajimalpa
Miriam has a PhD in Social Sciences from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Campus Santa Fe, Mexico City. Her research looks at governance, environmental risk, environmental movements and democracy in North America. She is a Research Professor in the Department of Social Sciences, UAM-Cuajimalpa and is a “National Research” Level II within the National System of Researchers in Mexico. She is a member of the Mexican Association of Canadian Studies, and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Canadian Studies, and El Cotidiano Journal.


Marcela Arrieta Narváez, M.A. (May – June, 2013)

Technische Universität Berlin

Marcela is an urban anthropologist, associate fellow at the DFG International Graduate Research Program Berlin-New York- Toronto at the Technische Universität Berlin. She holds a  Master in historical urban studies with a focus on environmental history from the Center for Metropolitan Studies TU Berlin. She is interested in the sustainable development of cities an regards the cultural behavior, the discourses of the local inhabitants and their knowledge as inputs for city planning and resource management. The relation between culture and nature, between human beings and their environment have a central position in her research work. Marcela has been involved with anthropological and ethnographic research for the Columbia Coffee Growers Association, National University of Columbia’s “Group 15″, and with the Anthropology department of the National University of Columbia in Bogotá.


Sabine Barthold (September – December, 2012)

PhD Candidate, Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin.

Sabine is a fellow and PhD candidate in the International Graduate Research Program Berlin – New York – Toronto at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at TU Berlin. She studied sociology and political science at Dresden University of Technology and The New School for Social Research in New York. In her MA thesis on post-Socialist urban development in Dresden she investigated the transition process from modern to post-modern modes in the production of inner-city spaces. Her research interests range from urban sociology, urban environmental governance and political ecology to critical and Marxist geography and critical IPE. Currently, she is working on her dissertation project and conducts research on international city organizations and their role as networks for knowledge and policy transfer in global environmental governance and their influence on the production of urban political ecologies.


Markus Belz (Fall, 2013)

MA Candidate, Department of Human Geography, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main.

Markus is mostly interested in questions of sustainable transportation and city development. His bachelor thesis explored Berlin’s way to become a city adapted for cyclists. In Frankfurt he attended seminars on sustainable transport and mobility management, which were mainly focused on European cities. In Toronto he learned about ways to improve sustainable means of transport in car-dependent North American cities with sprawling suburbs.


Prof. Bernd Belina (frequent visitor)

Department of Human Geography, Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany
Bernd’s research interests include urban and political geography and critical criminology. His main fields of research in recent years have been urban policing, crime mapping, basic notions of historical-geographical materialism, and the recent history of radical and critical geography in Germany. During his stay at York he conducted research on the way in which policing is organized in different municipalities in the Toronto region as part of a larger project that looks into the complicated relationships between core city and more peripheral parts of the global city regions  of Frankfurt and Toronto.


Prof. Robin Bloch (November, 2009)
Centre for International Development and Training, University of Wolverhampton
Professor Bloch is an urban and regional planner with professional experience in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He specialises in urban, metropolitan and regional planning; local and regional economic development; and environmental management. His work has included the entire project cycle, from project identification and formulation through implementation, quality assurance, and monitoring and evaluation of individual projects and programmes.


Rosalia Camacho (February, 2007 – January, 2008)

Masters Candidate, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Rosalia’s research looks to the role and influence of transportation systems in the construction of urban spaces. Using Mexico City as a case of study, the research explores the types of mobility that have been produced in this specific urban process. Drawing attention to the different neoliberal policies applied to the current transportation system, observing what kind of projects are promoted in the mobility of the city and who are the main actors and activities behind this urban construction.


Laura Calbet Elias (September – December, 2013)

Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin.
Laura Calbet is a PhD-Student at the Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin and Assistant Professor & Researcher in the Department for Urban Design & Development at Technische Universität Berlin. In her  research she explores the financialisation of housing, specifically the changing patterns in the production and consumption of inner-city real estate, as well as the conceptualization of housing as means of reproduction. Further research interests are urban redevelopment in Barcelona and Berlin, public space in planning politics, and the critical teaching of urban design. She is member of the editorial board of the urban journal sub\urban.


Postdoctoral Researcher, Academy of Finland / University of Helsinki, FI
As a Postdoctoral Researcher (2011-13) at the Department of Geosciences and Geography of University of Helsinki,he was affiliated with FES at York University, and funded by the Academy of Finland. Galanakis was one the members and instigators of the project OURcity for the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. His Doctor of Arts degree for the University of Art and Design, Helsinki (FI) culminated with the publication of his book Space Unjust (Gummerus 2008) that deals with socio-spatial discrimination against certain transnational people in urban public space. In his Master of Arts thesis “Sustainable Public Space – 21st Century Agoras,” for the Design Academy Eindhoven (NL) Galanakis dealt with the system of public space, people and things from the perspective of environmental sustainability.


Denise Fernandes Geribello (frequent visitor)
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Denise is a PhD student in History and Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism from University of São Paulo. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism and a Masters in History. Her master thesis was about railroad heritage preservation, focusing on the relations between dwellers and the architectural heritage. Her present research explores the designation and preservation of industrial heritage through Itatinga Hydropower Station case study. Her research interests include heritage preservation, industrial heritage, identity and the relations between memory and the city.


Dr. Susanne Heeg (frequent visitor)

Department of Geosciences/Geography, Institute of Human Geography, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Dr. Susanne Heeg is professor in urban geography at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main. Her current research explores the globalization of the real estate industry in Canada and Germany. In Toronto, she has conducted interviews with different real estate actors about their spatial strategies. She has also worked on the interrelationship of the real estate industry and urban planning in respect to a large scale redevelopment project in Boston.


BIO Susan HMSusan Holland-Muter (2014)

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town
Susan’s PhD thesis is exploring the politics of gender and sexuality, with an intersectional lens, through an examination of lesbian women’s experiences of their bodies, intimate relationships and everyday negotiations of Cape Town.


Robert-MarburgRobert Kraenfeld (Fall 2014)

MA Candidate, Department of Human Geography, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
Robert is  interested in cultural perspectives on global economic restructuring and questions of sustainable development. In his Bachelor’s thesis he worked on the creation of retail markets in the greater region of the Togolese city of Kpalimé and focused specifically on the relational embeddedness of traders.


toronto_photoEva Kuschinski (Fall, 2013)

Masters Candidate, Department of Human Geography, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main 

Eva is graduate student in Human Geography and Sociology. She is interested in Marxist as well as poststructuralist theoretical approaches, more precisely in housing markets and policies and the right to housing, as well as feminist geographies. In her research she focused on the changing patterns of public and affordable housing policies in the age of neoliberal capitalism.


ich_münchenFriederike Landau

PhD Candidate, Department of Urban Sociology, Technical University of Berlin

Friederike is a political theorist and urban researcher (M.A. Political Science / Philosophy, Brock University). Friederike has worked as Strategy Consultant in a Berlin-based consulting firm, engaging with actors from the Cultural Administration, cultural institutions and Berlin’s independent contemporary art scenes. In her dissertation at the Department of Urban Sociology at the Technical University of Berlin, Friederike analyzes formations of political mobilization and articulation amongst Berlin-based artists and their influence on cultural policy. She explores groups’ forms of (self)-organization as moments of the political. During her time at CITY Institute, Friederike seeks to gain insights into the landscape of Toronto’s cultural protagonists and their relationships with the Cultural Administration as well as an understanding for Toronto as a Creative City.



Dr Crystal Legacy is an Australian Research Council (DECRA) Fellow and a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. She completed her PhD in Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne in 2010 before moving to the University of New South Wales to join the City Futures Research Centre between 2011 and 2013. Currently, Crystal is undertaking her DECRA research examining the impact of large-scale economic crises on local democratic planning practices in Australian and Canadian cities.   In 2013, Crystal published a co-edited book titled Building Inclusive Cities: Women’s safety and the right to the city (Routledge) and she is currently working on a second edited book titled Instruments of Planning: Tensions and Challenges for more Equitable and Sustainable Cities to be published by Routledge in early 2015.


Marilena Liguori

PhD Candidate, Center for Urbanization, Culture and Society
National Institute for Scientific Research (Montreal)

Marilena is a PhD student in urban studies at the Center for Urbanization, Culture and Society at the National Institute for Scientific Research in Montreal. Her doctoral work is being carried out under the supervision of Dr. Julie-Anne Boudreau. Marilena is interested in urban governance and, in particular, the municipal policy response to international migration. Using Toronto as a case study, the research explored the construction of the image of social harmony and the treatment of difference as diversity by looking at city marketing strategies employed by the City of Toronto.


Christoph Matthias (September, 2011 – February, 2012)

Masters Candidate, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Christoph is interested in questions of urban governance and planning, in particular, the forms of (public) service delivery and the governance of infrastructure. His bachelor thesis looked into the management of a Frankfurt-based public-private partnership as an example of new forms of service delivery in an entrepreneurial city. His interests revolve around transformation of service delivery and infrastructure management.



Christian Mettke (frequent visitor)

PhD Candidate, Graduate Program ‘Topology of Technology’Institute IWAR
Darmstadt University of Technology

Christian Mettke holds a degree in Geography and Political Science from the Free University of Berlin. His main research interest lies in urban development and the transformation of urban infrastructures. Christian completed his diploma thesis on “Resource efficiency in China’s urban transportation system”. He is currently a doctoral student at the Institute for spatial and infrastructure planning at Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany). In his dissertation project he is conducting a comparative study on the transformation of the public transit systems in Toronto and Frankfurt (Germany). The key issue in this study, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), is the changing institutional and political context of public transit provision and accessibility to public transit in suburban spaces.


Lara-Maria Mohr (Fall, 2012)

Masters Candidate, Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany.
Lara is a graduate student from Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany. Lara earned her Bachelors degree in cultural anthropology and has since changed to human geography for her Masters degree because of her interest in urban studies. Lara’s Bachelors thesis explored the possibilities of converting offices to residential use in Frankfurt, but she is also interested in environmental planning.


Dr. Jochen Monstadt (frequent visitor)

Chair for Spatial and Infrastructure Planning
Institute IWAR
Darmstadt University of Technology

Jochen Monstadt is professor for spatial and infrastructure planning at Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. His research interests are at the interface between urban/regional studies and social studies of technology. He has conducted and coordinated extensive comparative research on the urban transition of energy, water and wastewater systems, on the co-evolution of cities and infrastructures and on infrastructure planning and urban governance in Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the United States and Vietnam. His research at the City Institute explores the transition of urban infrastructures in Toronto and L.A. and its impact on urban environmental governance and planning.


Prof. Jan Nijman (March, 2008)

Department of Geography, University of Amsterdam
Prof. Nijman is a comparative urbanist and political geographer. His research and teaching interests include: urban and regional development; comparative urbanism; globalization; world cities; geopolitics. He has regional interests in Metropolitan Miami and Greater Mumbai. Prof. Nijman has completed extensive field work experience in urban India.


MorgenPeersMorgen Peers  (May – December, 2014)

Town & Country Planning,  UWE Bristol
Morgen researches the growth of outlying villages and counties in regions like Toronto, Ontario. He studies the history of neighbourhood planning and wrestles with the design and transportation challenges of peri-urban communities. Morgen is interested in placemaking, sprawl repair and the role of short-term experimentation in local regeneration. Morgen also studies the roles of visual communication in community planning processes. His M.A. thesis focuses on the role of water systems in southern Simcoe County, adjacent to the Provincial Greenbelt.



Clémence Petit (September  – December, 2009)

PhD Student, Centre for European Political Sociology, Strasbourg University (France)
Clémence’s doctoral work looks to the ‘uses of Europe’ by national and local actors in the diffusion of new frames and tools of urban public action – and more precisely participatory mechanisms in Turkey. Using the Urban Regeneration Policy of Istanbul as a case study, her research questions the respective roles of national heritages (institutions and political culture), external pressures or influences (from the EU and other international organizations like the World Bank, but also from the alter-globalist movement) and actors’ strategies and interests in the greater demand for citizens’ participation to the formulation and the implementation of local projects of urban regeneration. The aim of her work is finally to examine the impact of theses processes on the political order, characteristics of public action and claims of collection actions on the themes of ‘metropolitan citizenship’ and ‘local democracy’ in Istanbul.


Tino Petzold (July – October, 2010)

Masters Candidate, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Tino is generally interested in Marxist theories of law in relation to concepts of space. His bachelor thesis dealt with the role of law in the expulsion of the homeless from public spaces in Frankfurt am Main during the 1990s. His research draws attention to the rescaling of law to supranational forms. Examples are the implementation of a European legal form in the course of the project of a European Union and recent attempts to establish a global legal form in order to govern climate change.


_SAM9472Lucas Pohl (September – December, 2013)

Masters Candidate, Department of Human Geography, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main
Lucas is a graduate student in Human Geography. Generally, he is interested in philosophy, critical theory and concepts of space. He has researched homelessness and right-wing development in Germany as well as in Hungary. His current research focuses on questions of fear and anxiety, especially in neoliberal societies.


Melanie Pooch (March – May, 2011)

PhD Candidate, Graduate Program ‘Formations of the Global’, University of Mannheim, Germany
Melanie Pooch holds a degree in English Language and Literature as well as Business Administration from the University of Mannheim. Her main research interest lies in American literature and culture. She studied abroad on scholarship at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, USA. She completed her diploma thesis on the development from post-colonial hybridity to global transculturality in North American minority literature. She is currently a doctoral student and scholarship recipient of the graduate program ‘Formations of the Global’, investigating processes of cultural globalization from literary perspectives. In the doctoral program, she is concentrating on the global cities of Los Angeles, New York as well as Toronto and their function as (trans)cultural nodal points. Her primary focus is the description of the transcultural urban novel in a globalizing world.


RuchserTobias Ruchser (Fall 2014)

MA Candidate, Department of Human Geography, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
Tobias holds a Bachelor degree in sociology and political science as well as in economic sciences from the Goethe University Frankfurt/Main. He is generally interested in conceptions of time and space which influence social behavior and strategic negotiation processes within societies. He sees cities as the relevant places of analysis where social struggles can be observed best. His contemporary, comparative research focusses on the spatial allocation of infrastructure, security, wealth and traffic on the basis of capable quantitative items in the regions of Frankfurt/Main and Toronto.


Sebastian Schipper

PhD Candidate, Department of Human Geography, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Using the city of Frankfurt am Main as a case study, Sebastian analyses in his doctoral work the neoliberalization process of urban politics from the 1960s until now with special focus on the impact of the current economic crisis. On a theoretical level he asks in what way insights from materialist theory (Regulation approach, state theory) and from poststructuralist ways of thinking (especially Governmentality studies) could be combined for a better understanding of local transformation processes. Generally he is interested in Critical Theory and Geography, Urban studies, Political Geography as well as Tel Aviv. Sebastian was with CITY from October 2010 to March 2011.


Marisa Schönhofen

Masters Candidate, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Marisa is a Graduate Student from Goethe-University in Frankfurt, Germany where she studies human geography. Even though her focus there is on economic geography she is very interested in urban planning, especially participatory processes in planning and planning policies. Marisa was at CITY from from November 2012 until May 2013.

Juliette Segard

PhD Candidate, Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. Juliette Segard is a PhD student in Geography at University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. Her doctoral work focuses on governance and local political structure in the suburbs of Hanoi, and especially in craft villages. She also studies the impact of territorial administrative reforms on the Red River Delta region, and on State-society relations. Juliette was at the City Institute from November 2011 to February 2012.


Photo-Payam-MahastiDr. Payam Mahasti Shotorbani

Assistant Professor of architecture, Cyprus International University. He is particularly interested in “place making” that links urban planning, geography, economics, and tourism together. His area of expertise is in modeling placemaking and simulation modeling in urban planning. He has more than 15 years experience as an urban planner with almost 20 projects, which some of them has been awarded. He is working in a joint program with Dr. Ali Asgary in order to introduce Anylogic as an agent-based modelling tool in urban studies. They plan to develop a tutorial book that will explain how to develop urban agent-based models with Anylogic. This book helps undergraduate and graduate urban planning and urban geography students to understand and develop GIS-based Agent-based Models using AnyLogic software.

stuphotoTracey Skelton

Associate Professor at NUS and was previously Professor of Critical Geographies at Loughborough University (where she is still a visiting professor) in the UK. Her research and publications have made significant contributions to the development of critical geographies through their focus on social justice issues in relation to gender, race, disability and age. She is internationally known for her work on the geographies of children and young people and is currently Editor-in-Chief of a Springer Major Reference Work of the same name. Since relocating to NUS in 2007 she has conducted two major research projects in the Asia-Pacific region. Young People, Citizenship and Global Futures: A comparative study of Auckland and Singapore and more recently, a Global Asia Institute funded project, Asian Cities: Liveability, Sustainability, Diversity and Spaces of Encounter. The latter involved a team of 8 scholars working in 4 cities (Busan in South Korea; Hyderabad in India; Kunming in China; Singapore). It demanded complex cross-cultural translation and interpretation of both methods and collected data in 7 languages. Tracey is currently developing two writing and editing projects: a monograph with Polity on Youthful Urban Futures and a co-edited collection (with Rachel Silvey) on Securitisation, Migration and Subjectivities in Asia, (ARI-Springer Series). She is the Commissioning Editor for Asia of Children’s Geographies. Tracey was at CITY from March to April 2014.


Pedagogical University Berne, Switzerland
Human Rights and Research Institute IPC, Medellín, Colombia
Dr. Angela Stienen has a PhD in Social Anthropology from Berne University, Switzerland. Her work has included extensive field research in Colombia on globalisation, urban politics and conflict transformation. In Switzerland she has researched migration, urban development, cultural politics and education. Recently, she co-directed a research project in the programme, Religion, State, and Society of the Swiss National Science Foundation. She is professor in Sociology at the Pedagogical University Berne and associate researcher at the Human Rights and Research Institute IPC in Medellín, Colombia. Angela Stienen was at the CITY Institute at York University during her sabbatical from January 2011 to January 2012.


Jakob Svensson

Junior Fellow
PhD Candidate, Lund University, Institute of Communication

Jakob’s research is tied to a participatory democratic project within the Municipality of Helsingborg, southern Sweden. His specific focus revolves around civic identities. In studying different activities organized by the municipality, the focus is on how people construct themselves and others as citizens through language. Which identities become more relevant than others, in what way and why? Preliminary findings suggest that an emphasis on the future, active and unselfish engagement makes participation relevant, especially if you are a middle-aged parent with a strong sense of local identity. Jakob was at York University for the Fall semester of 2007.


Prof. Li Wei

Canadian Studies Centre/History Department Shandong University, P.R. China
Prof. Li Wei is a historian and his research and teaching related to Canadian studies has included history of Sino-Canadian relations, historical evolution of Canadian federalism and labour movement. His current interest is in Canadian urban development, especially focusing on the history of Canadian government housing policy and programs and the policy-making process. Prof. Li Wei was at CITY from March to July, 2012.


Prof. Mark Whitehead

Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Prof. Whitehead’s research and teaching focuses on environmental and political geography with a particular concern with the emergence of green and sustainable cities. Prof. Whitehead is a committee member of the Royal Geographical Society’s Political Geography Research Group and is on the editorial board of the journal of Social and Cultural Geography. Prof. Whitehead was at York University in September 2007.