An Introduction to CITY

The City Institute at York University (CITY) brings together the university’s urban scholars—faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students and visitors—from fields as diverse as geography, environmental studies, planning, anthropology, sociology, political science, education, law, 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. CITY’s researchers have long-standing relationships with community groups, NGOs and policymakers.

CITY currently houses a number of research projects including the SSHRC Partnership grant "Urbanization, gender and the global south: a transformative knowledge network” and 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 here for upcoming events, and here for event archives to access audio and video from past talks.

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News and Events

Director's Message 2018

Dear CITY members,

As we start to become engaged in the new semester, I wanted to send a brief update about the City Institute and the activities we have set up for 2018. Coming back to campus after the strike has been an unsettling activity for many, but it does not have to be an isolating experience. The need for political engagement continues as we enter the era of Doug Ford politics in Toronto and Ontario, as is evident by our first City seminar of the academic year with Progress Toronto and a number of York faculty as discussants: “A Conversation About Toronto and its Upcoming Municipal Elections in the Doug Ford Era”. On the 5thof October we will be hosting an event on “Queer Toronto” with Jane Farrow and on the 26thof October we have another of our feminist urban reading groups led by Dr. Elsa Koleth. Our annual professional training session for early career folks (that we hold jointly with the Program in Planning at Waterloo University) will continue and we have a two day session planned for November  15thand 16th. This meeting will be held during the second visit of Professor Kevin Ward (Manchester University) to the City Institute. Kevin will be attending classes and holding meetings with graduate students as well as organising a one day workshop on “Urban Infrastructures” on November 8th.

Linda Peake Director, the City Institute

Although somewhat delayed by the strike, our SSHRC Partnership grant project (Urbanization, gender and the global south: a feminist knowledge network ) is well underway with our Research Project Manager in place, Leeann Bennett (welcome Leeann!). The project is holding its second AGM and a workshop on feminist urban methodology in Mumbai from the 28thto 30thof September with keynotes by Richa Nagar (University of Minnesota) and Cindi Katz (CUNY), as well as a panel discussion on feminist activism in Mumbai with members from a range of NGOs and civil society groups. Further information on the workshop and the project will be available soon when the project website is launched. In March 2019 we will also be holding a globally co-ordinated online conference on “Decolonising the urban; whose voices, whose agendas” organized by Dr. Elsa Koleth.

Meanwhile, we are entering into the final phase of Professor Roger Kiel’s MCRI grant on Global Suburbanisms and hosting various SSHRC funded grants including: my own SSHRC IDG grant “Gendered Subjectivities and Gendered Urban Forms: Urban Feminist Geographies of the Anglo-Caribbean,” Professor Alison Bain’s SSHRC Insight Grant “Queering Canadian suburbs: LGBTQ2S place-making outside of central cities,” and Professor Bain’s SSHRC Connections Grant “The power, potentialities, and paradoxes of controversy in feminist geography pedagogical praxis.”

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Welcoming Dr. Kevin Ward

Dr. Ward will be a visiting professor at York University over the next three years. He will make his first visit to York University in October 2017.  Please check back for events featuring him.

Kevin Ward is a Professor of Human Geography and Director of the Manchester Urban Institute at the University of Manchester and a Visiting Professor at The City Institute, York University.  His current work involves rethinking what is meant by ‘the urban’ in urban politics, as elements of different places are assembled and reassembled to constitute particular ‘urban’ political realms. Kevin has published over a 100 journal articles and book chapters, and his books include the co-authored volumes Urban Sociology, Modernity and Capitalism. (Macmillan, 2002) and Spaces of Work: Global Capitalism and the Geographies of Labour (Sage, 2004) Kevin is also editor of Researching the City: a Guide for Students (Sage, 2013) and co-editor of Neoliberalization: States, Networks, Peoples (Blackwell, 2007), Mobile Urbanism: Cities and Policymaking in the Global Age (Minnesota University Press, 2011) and Researching the City (Sage, 2013).  He currently edits Urban Geography.