Staff and Graduate Assistants

CITY Staff

Prof. Linda Peake

Director urban activities (since becoming Director of the City Institute)

Professor Peake is a feminist geographer with interests in the gendered social organization of urban space. She has conducted research on the articulation of social relations of class, gender, race and sexuality in relation to urban places in Canada, the USA and Guyana.Prof. Peake studies urban Canada and feminist geography, particularly the gendered social organization of urban space.



  • Why Women in Cities Matter. In Bain, A., and Peake, L. (eds.) 2017. Urbanization In A Global Context. Toronto: Oxford University Press. Chapter 17.
  • Introducing Urbanization in a Global Context. In Bain, A., and Peake, L. (eds.) 2017. Urbanization In A Global Context. Toronto: Oxford University Press. Chapter 1.

Books and Journals Edited

  • 2018    Co-editor with Prof. Michelle Buckley, Prof. Sue Ruddick, Prof. R. Reddy, Mr. D.  Patrick, and Mr G. Tanyildiz, of a theme issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space on Planetary Urbanization
  • 2017    Bain, A., and Peake, L. (eds.)
    Urbanization In A Global Context. Toronto: Oxford University Press
  • 2013    Peake, L., Rieker, M. (eds.)
    Rethinking Feminist Interventions into the Urban. London: Routledge.

Leeann Bennett

Leeann Bennett is the new coordinator of the City Institute. She took on this role in April 2017. Leeann has a Master's degree in Women's Studies from York University. Her research interests include Sexuality Studies, particularly sex work and LGBTQ activism, Caribbean Studies, transnational feminism, and popular culture. To contact Leeann, please email her at

Urbanization, Gender, and the Global South (GENURB) - Staff

Jamilla Mohamud

Jamilla is an undergraduate student completing a Bachelors in Environmental Studies with an area of focus in Urban and Regional Planning. She is interested in city building through community partnership and understanding the intersecting issues that communities confront as part of the process of urbanization.

Jamilla will be working as a research assistant on the SSHRC PG Grant, "Urbanization, Gender, and the Global South: A transformative knowledge Network (GENURB)" for Fall and Winter 2017/18.

Esteban Sabbatasso

Esteban Sabbatasso is a Graduate Assistant for GenUrb for Fall and Winter 2017/18.  He will be helping to create and administer the project website.  Esteban is a Masters student in the department of Political Science at York University.  His research interests include postcolonial studies, international development, indigenous studies, new social movements and civil society in the global south.

Esteban has 15 years of experience in communications and project management in the non-profit sector in Latin America, including community development in villas miseria (shanty towns), and the planning and execution of school support programs and recreational events for underprivileged children.

MCRI “Global Suburbanisms” - Staff

Lucy Lynch

Project Coordinator
Lucy Lynch is the Project Coordinator for the MCRI “Global Suburbanisms” project. She completed her Master’s in Environmental Studies at York University in 2016 where she focused on the Greater Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt, leapfrog development, and urbanization pressures facing Lake Simcoe. Lucy’s interests include urban development, growth policies, infrastructure and governance.

Cara Chellew

Research Administrator
Cara Chellew is a Research Administrator for the MCRI "Global Suburbanisms" research project at York University. Cara is a graduate from the Master of
Environmental Studies program in urban planning at York University. Her research focuses on the design, regulation, and politics of public space. She is a co-editor of the March/ April 2017 issue of the Ontario Planning Journal entitled, "The Future of Planning."

Student Interns

Maymun Abukar

Undergraduate Student, Geography and Urban Studies
Maymun Abukar is an undergraduate student currently double majoring in Geography and Urban Studies in the Liberal Arts and Professional Studies department at York University. Her work with organizing community facilitations and focus groups, and research regarding planning within public housing in Toronto as well as the city’s taxicab industry demonstrate relevant experience with The City Institute and comprehending the complexity of urban space. Maymun’s research interests are planning within the city regarding public housing for immigrants along with the social and spatial location of newcomers.

Aisha J Jallow

Undergraduate Student, Geography and Urban Studies
Hi! I’m Aisha and am currently in my fourth year of studying geography and urban studies here at York. I am international student from the Gambia and I am very happy to join the team here at City Institute!

Bryan Mark

Undergraduate Student, Screenwriting and Urban Studies
Bryan is a fourth year student double majoring in Screenwriting and Urban Studies. While this might seem like a weird combination, he is enthralled by the city, its different people, and their stories. My research interests include investigating the “low” city and documenting its change.