The City Institute at York University is the home of several funded research projects. These projects have been developed by members of the Institute and are housed in the CITY offices. Inquiries about these projects and their results can be directed either at the researchers directly or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Global suburbanisms: governance, land, and infrastructure in the 21st century
Based on the experience of Canadian suburbanization, and ranging from North America's wealthy gated communities to Europe's high-rise-dominated suburbs, the exploding outskirts of Indian and Chinese cities to the slums and squatter settlements of Africa and Latin America, this project is the first to systematically take stock of worldwide suburban developments while analyzing their governance models, land use, infrastructure and suburban everyday life. Contact: Roger Kiel
In the current era of neoliberal development, framed in the global south by the policy of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is a paradoxical occurrence of, on the one hand, increased efforts to lift people out of poverty and on the other increasing levels of insecurity in everyday lives. This interdisciplinary four-year research programme, situated at the intersections of urban, development, feminist and Caribbean Studies, aims to critically examine this paradox via the nexus of gender, poverty and insecurity in Georgetown, Guyana. Contact: Linda Peake
Queering Canadian suburbs: LGBTQ2S place-making outside of central cities
This research will address key knowledge gaps regarding the lives, service needs, and place-making practices of suburban Canadian LGBTQ2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Two-Spirit) populations. The dearth of attention to sexuality among suburban scholars and the limited investigation of the suburbs by geographers of sexualities means that we know little about the LGBTQ2S populations living there, or how to situate them within changing suburban landscapes. In Canada, this inattention has significant implications: a limited understanding of the spatial, embodied and discursive dimensions of everyday queer lives in suburbia; an inadequate grasp of the support services and the socially inclusive policymaking needed at the municipal and metropolitan scales; and an inability to imagine suburbia as a queer location. This research uses queer and intersectionality theories to document the geographies of queer suburban lives as they intersect with other minority identity markers (e.g., ethnicity, racialization, class, gender, and age) in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
As the region serviced by Metrolinx is at the cusp of major investments into its transit supply and operation systems, we intend to ask what consequences the proposed funding has for the people, communities, and sub/urban municipalities it is meant to provide with better mobility. While the Toronto region is growing by leaps and bounds, we have become aware that such growth occurs increasingly in ways that create more socio-economic and socio-spatial inequalities. Often, the areas with the fastest rising, and most concentrated poverty are also the least well served by mobility infrastructures. We ask specifically whether and how planned transit investments under the Big Move can serve to stave off additional inequalities, whether they might, in fact, improve the situation of people in – often suburban – “transit deserts,” or whether they might, at a minimum, not make things worse for the most vulnerable and immobile groups on our growing city.
Mobilizing New Urban Structures to Increase the Performance and Effect of R&D in Universities and Beyond This project examines the specific conditions under which public investments in R&D can do more to stimulate innovation and economic growth. This synthesis speaks directly to emerging best practices in creating and sustaining effective networks, collaboration and linkages of researchers with firms and communities; the transfer of knowledge from higher education to private and public producers and service firms in urban regions; and in stimulating knowledge receptor capacity in the economy.
Comparing Metropolitan Governance in Transatlantic Perspective: Toronto, Montreal, Paris and Frankfurt
A comparative investigation of the globally-induced transformation of metropolitan governance systems in Toronto, Montreal, Paris and Frankfurt. The focus of this research project, is the urban region with its growing web of metropolitan governance. The emergence of collective action at the metropolitan level in Canada and Europe is examined through infrastructure, public health, green space, and human security.
This project explores the legacies of 20th century socialist urbanism in three cities - Berlin, Hanoi and Stockholm – and considers their impact on urban policy, spatial form and everyday life in the 21st century. Through an exploration of changes underway in districts in each of the case study cities, we address three key questions: How is their socialist and modernist past discursively framed – as a problem or a possibility? In what way can urban politics be considered a confrontation with those legacies? What policy lessons could be applied to Canadian urban regions?
Placing Labour in the New Urban Economy
A collaborative, international research project focusing on the various 'entrepreneurial' roles that trade unions have defined in the neoliberal period (1980s - current). Organized labour's urban strategies may be qualified as entrepreneurial in the sense that unions are assuming an active role in the promotion and re-regulation of their respective sectors, a role which often entails the promotion of 'high road' employment practices that overlap with the shared concerns of local governments and locally-dependent firms in workforce development, increased inward investment and competitiveness-oriented social policy, and the interests local communities have in the expansion of employment opportunities and the provision of public services. This research project is structured as a comparative case study with five industry clusters (film industry, tourism, green building, child care, mass transit) being compared across two case cities (Toronto, New York City).
Addressing Gendered Insecurities In The Urban Global South
This project will establish an interdisciplinary research programme, situated at the intersections of urban, development, and feminist studies, aims to critically examine the aforementioned paradox via the nexus of gender, poverty and insecurity in the urban global south. Based on five case studies in the small sized city of Georgetown, Guyana, Tehran, Iran, the medium sized city of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the mega cities of Mumbai, India, and Shanghai, China, the programme has three empirical dimensions. Contact: Linda Peake
In-Between Infrastructure: Urban Connectivity in an Age of Vulnerability
With city planning focused primarily on the downtown and suburban regions, what lies "in between" has yet to be explored. Using the region surrounding York University, this research project investigates the relationships between investments in highways, airports, institutions and industrial structures, and the frequently under-serviced residential and natural areas that lie among them.
Canadian Cities on the Edge: Reassessing the Canadian Suburb
The Visible City Project + Archive
Producing Spaces of Urban Nature
The City in the New Millenium: An International and Comparative Perspective
Making Immigrant Neighbourhoods in Miami's and Toronto's In-between Cities
Urban Sustainability and Environmental Research in Canada: Prospects for Overcoming Disciplinary Divides?
The Policing View is a three-year project, the core objective of which is to offer independent academic inquiry into an area of police, surveillance, and public accountability that has, heretofore, been monopolized by internal police research. This central objective will be addressed through two sets of inter-related empirical and theoretical questions.
In both Canada and France suburban high-rise social housing districts built in the post-war period now pose increasing physical, environmental and socio- economic challenges and have becomes the subject of municipally-led renovation programs. Such programs aim to alter not only the physical structure of high-rise buildings (by recladding the exteriors of high-rises and upgrading individual units) but also re-order the parks, transport hubs, and community spaces that make up high-rise neighbourhoods. Focusing on four case studies where both physical and social neighbourhood changes are stated aims of revitalization programs – Toronto and Hamilton, in Canada;; Paris and Montpellier, in France – this study examines the impact of such programs on the hundreds of high-rise towers, and thousands of residents, encompassed in revitalization plans and through this seeks to provide critical knowledge for improved public space access and enhanced social environments in suburban neighbourhoods. Dr. Roza Tchoukaleyska, Prof. Theresa Enright, Prof. Ute Lehrer