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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, and a York University library card. There is no monetary funding available for visiting scholar appointments.

Applications will be accepted at the start of each academic semester (September 1, January 1 and May 1). Visitors should apply a minimum of one semester ahead of when they plan to arrive at CITY.

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


Visiting Scholars:


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.


 photo-Kambiz_FotorKambiz/HR Akhavan Azari (September 2015 – July 2016)

Prof.Akhavan Azari received his bachelor degree in Community Planning /1979 and Master of Urban Planning & Design from Tehran University Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts/1985, while working with well known Iranian Consulting Engineers and Municipality of Tehran for five years/1980-1985 .He started his Ph.D. studies in Middle East Technical University Faculty of Architecture and Planning  Ankara-Turkey in Fall 1985.He submitted his Ph.D. dissertation both in METU and University of Tehran because he was invited to do so by his mother university – University of Tehran/1991-1992. During his Ph.D. studies he was in University of Minnesota-USA department of Housing as visiting Ph.D. fellow / Winter-Spring 1988. As a professional he established PARS ARG Consulting in Architecture/1993 and as an academician He was senior lecturer  and full time academic staff in Iran University of Science and Technology / Faculty of Architecture and Planning Tehran-Iran and Islamic Azad University School of Architecture Tehran-Iran /1993 -2013. During the time He established an architectural College named” Pardis Mimar College of Architecture and Design” Tehran-Iran /2002 and was appointed as the first dean of the college . He was the founder of Canadian Mid-East Academy (CMA) in Tehran –Iran as an academic advisory institution  / 2004 . The institution was in duty of intensive training of  foundation courses /pre- program of  Architectural Sciences  in Bachelor, Master and Doctorate levels of Canadian Universities according to Canadian curriculum of the programs.


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
Rosalie’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.


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.


joaoJoão Tonucci (January – August, 2015)

PhD Candidate, Graduate Program in Geography, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
João holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s in Architecture and Urbanism (University of São Paulo). His research interests range from political economy, critical urbanism and Henri Lefebvre to planning theory, contemporary philosophy and postcolonialism. He has done research and published on the themes of metropolitan economic and spatial restructuring, urban and housing planning, land and property politics, and right to the city in Brazil. In his PhD research, he is exploring the conditions and contradictions associated with the emergence and resistance of urban commons in Brazilian metropolises, such as the experience of housing occupations in the periphery of Belo Horizonte, taken as a case study

Phuong Thanh Tran, Masters Candidate, Department of Human Geography, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main (Fall 2016)

Thanh is a graduate of Goethe-University, Frankfurt with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology as well as a minor in Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology. She is currently enrolled in the master program “Geographies of Globalization – Markets and Metropolises” focusing on Economic Geography. In her studies she acquired an understanding of the social and cultural impact on individuals and societies during the 20th and 21st century focussing on the advance of technologies, cultural heterogenization, urbanization and increasing migrant movements. Her current research focusses on debates concerning the north-south divide and Political Geography regarding the relation between state politics and civil society in terms of social equity.


P1130213 (1)Gesa Trojan (April -September, 2016)

DFG-Fellow / Doctoral Student International Graduate Program Berlin – New York – Toronto
Gesa Trojan is a DFG doctoral fellow at the International Graduate Program “The World in the City. Berlin – New York – Toronto” at the Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS) at Technische Universität Berlin (TUB). By exploring Jewish immigrant foodways in Toronto at the beginning of the 20th century, she investigates the interlinkages of memory, migration and food in the urban landscape from a historical perspective. Gesa graduated in Cultural Studies with a focus on social and cultural history at the Leuphana Universität Lüneburg and studied at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. Before she became a culinary interested scholar, her academic work focused on Oral History, Concentration Camps, Collective Memory and Memorial Culture of National Socialism in Germany. She is also a devoted teacher and guide in various historical institutions, such as the Topography of Terror Documentation Center and the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial in Berlin as well as the historical education project “Geschichtomat” at the Institute for the History of the German Jews (IGdJ) in Hamburg.


TucaltanGül Tuçaltan

PhD candidate | project and research assistant, Darmstadt University of Technology

As a city and regional planner from Turkey, Gül Tuçaltan obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2006 from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey. Right after graduation, she worked as a research and teaching assistant at METU for about 3.5 years. In the meantime, she earned her M.S. degree in the Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments Department, METU. Throughout her years at METU; Gül not only worked as part of the teaching team for the third year planning and design studio, but also various projects, and voluntary activites. Working as a case study translator for European Local Transport Information Service (ELTIS) portal and being an editing board member of the Journal of Chamber of City Planners are two of such activities among many. Then she spent a year in the Urban Systems programme at NJIT, Newark, New Jersey, where she got another Master’s degree. Afterwards, in Turkey, she worked in national and international organizations, such as United Nations Industrial Development Organization and Regional Environmental Center Turkey, for almost three years, especially on projects with an environmental focus. Since January 2014, she is a scholarship holder, PhD candidate and a project and research assistant under the Strengthening Higher Education in Urban Sustainability and Transition towards Internationalisation of Academic Institutions and Networks (SUSTAIN) project at Darmstadt University of Technology (Technische Universität Darmstadt). Her research focuses on the (changing) inter-relations between urbanization, production of built environment, transformation of informal settlements and waste governance in Ankara, Turkey; which she aims to study with a(n) (urban) political ecology approach. In addition to her dissertation and project work, Gül Tucaltan taught Urbanization and Infrastructure at the international Master’s programme Mundus Urbano. More information could be reached at


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.