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

Current Projects:

GenUrb - Urbanization, Gender, and the Global South: a transformative knowledge network

Situated within the dynamic early 21st century context of urbanization, the proposed research project will be conducted in seven strategically chosen cities in lower middle-income countries to advance understanding of how the relationship between poverty and inequality is being transformed, focusing in particular on how this is reconstituting gender relations and women’s right to the city. The research is timely given that it was only very recently that the majority of the world’s population began living in urban centres, with urbanization fueled by rapid urban population growth in the urban global south (through natural increase and migration) and largely unrestrained capital mobility and accumulation. Contact: Linda Peake

StudentDwellTO: Student Affordable Housing Project

The intention of the StudentDwellTO project is to identify creative initiatives and potential partnerships to keep housing adequate and accessible for Toronto’s increasingly diverse post-secondary student population. StudentDwellTO will look at housing affordability from a range of perspectives, bringing together disciplines including architecture, art, education, engineering, environmental studies and design, geography, psychology, real estate management and urban development and planning. Contact: Linda Peake

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

Guyana4Understanding Geographies of Gendered Insecurities in Georgetown, Guyana

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

Russian_Embassy_in_Helsinki,_LGBT_pavementQueering 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.

Placing Labour in the New Urban Economy is a collaborative, international research project focused 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.

IMG_2002 - Version 2The impact of high-rise revitalization on suburban public spaces in Canada and France

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