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An Introduction to CITY

The City Institute at York University (CITY) brings together over 60 of the university’s urban scholars and scores of graduate students from fields as diverse as planning, geography, environmental studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, education, law, transportation 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 and CITY’s researchers have long-standing relationships with community groups, NGOs and policymakers.

CITY currently houses a number of research projects including 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 the event archives for information and to access audio and video from past talks. Below are clips from the recent Suburban Revolution Conference.

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transitequityTORONTO – FEB. 2, 2016 – In the fast-growing, complex and diverse Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, transit discussions rarely focus on improving access for the greatest number of people and addressing the complex needs of the public. As plans are made, money is spent, routes are plotted and fare schedules are set, “transit equity” must enter the discussion.

Next Stop: Equity – Routes to Fairer Transit Access in the Grater Toronto and Hamilton Area, a York University study released today, argues we need to reframe the discussion to consider transit equity, or how to use infrastructure investment and operation to help the greatest number of current and future transit users across the region.

Instead of focusing on equality, where everyone is treated the same, transit equity recognizes that people have different needs, situations and challenges that require different responses.

Research for Next Stop: Equity was funded by Metrolinx and conducted by Roger Keil at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, City Institute researcher Sean Hertel and planning Master’s student Michael Collens. It relied on extensive stakeholder consultations, case study research and an analysis of fares across the 10 GTHA transit agencies.

Next Stop: Equity can be downloaded Here


SEAN HERTEL leads an urban planning consulting practice and is a researcher at the City Institute at York University, specializing in transit-oriented development, housing and suburbs. / @Sean_Hertel

ROGER KEIL is York Research Chair in Global Sub/Urban Studies at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and Principal Investigator of the Major Collaborative Research Initiative, Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land and Infrastructure in the 21st Century. / @rkeil

MICHAEL COLLENS is a student in the Masters in Environmental Studies program at York University, concentrating on planning for sustainability and equitability in public transportation. / @michaelcollens


CITY News and Upcoming Events

Cancelled – “Urbanizing the Regions, Master Planned Transformations and the Change of Urban Shapes”. Professor M. Facchinetti

February 5, 2016 6:31 pm : Events
We regret to announce that the below seminar has been cancelled for February 10.  We will attempt to reschedule it for later in the year.    SUBURBSTALK: Urbanizing the regions, Master planned transformation and the change of urban shapes  Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm Location: Room 764, Kaneff Tower, York University   The more »



February 2, 2016 7:08 pm : News
TORONTO – FEB. 2, 2016 – In the fast-growing, complex and diverse Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, transit discussions rarely focus on improving access for the greatest number of people and addressing the complex needs of the public. As plans are made, money is spent, routes are plotted and fare schedules are set, “transit equity” more »


Call for Papers: “Challenging Traditional Notions of Property in Land Use Planning” – Interdisciplinary Workshop, York University, June 9-10, 2016

January 31, 2016 11:09 pm : Events
Keynote speakers: Nicholas Blomley (Professor, Simon Fraser University) Nicholas Blomley is Professor of Geography at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He is a geographer, with a general interest in law, and a particular interest in property in land. His work includes the tracing of property in many conflicts and social relations, including gentrification, urban gardening, the more »


The City Seminar: “Why Don’t Chomsky and Zizek Come to a Slut Walk and Announce the Revolution” – February 5

January 31, 2016 11:05 pm : Events
The City Seminar: Why Don’t Chomsky and Zizek Come to a Slut Walk and Announce the Revolution?: The City and the Politics of Protest Date: Friday Feb 5th, 2016 Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm Location: Room 305, York Lanes, York University    The CITY Institute is pleased to announce its February City Seminar hosting Patricia Wood, a Professor within the Department of more »


New Article: Lisa Drummond – Inside Hanoi’s gated communities

January 23, 2016 7:56 pm : News
Lisa Drummond,  Department of Social Science, and former post CITY doctoral fellow, Danielle Labbe are quoted in the article titled “Inside Hanoji’s gated communities: elite enclaves where even the air is cleaner”. As quoted by The Guardian “The rapid growth of Vietnam’s super-rich means multi-billion dollar developments are rising across this ancient city, separating the more »