An Introduction to CITY

The City Institute at York University (CITY) brings together the university’s urban scholars and graduate students from fields as diverse as planning, 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 and 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 2017

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 exciting activities we have set up for the rest of 2017. First of all, we have had a bitter-sweet change over of staff as our Co-ordinator, Sara MacDonald, left us earlier this year to start her doctoral studies at Utrecht University (good luck Sara!) and we welcomed Leeann Bennett in her place. We have been blessed with two such dedicated and competent staff members at the Institute.

Linda Peake Director, the City Institute

We have already had one meeting on Healthy Cities with the CIHR’s Institute of Population & Public Health (chaired by one of our Executive Committee members, Professor Harris Ali), which has recently relocated to the York campus. As a funding body, they are interested in building up work on Healthy Cities—which they recognise crosses over into the social sciences and humanities— and we will be arranging a future meeting for all those interested in research (and funding) in this field.

Earlier this year, the City Institute was also successful in securing a major SSHRC Partnership grant (more information about this will follow, once it has been officially announced by the Federal Government) and we now have a Research Project Manager in place, Prabha Khosla (welcome Prabha!). Meanwhile, we are entering into the last phase of Professor Roger Kiel’s MCRI grant on Global Suburbanisms with a series of Towards Suburbia seminar presentations taking place throughout the year as well as a major international conference (After Suburbia) that will be taking place from the 19th – 21st October (or register here for the conference). The conference organisers are still looking for volunteers to help with the meeting and you can contact them at suburban@yorku.ca. Another York held conference—the 33rd Biennial Conference of the Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies—being held from the 26th – 28th October, with a strong urban content, is being led by the Director of the Centre for Asian Studies, Professor Abidin Kusno.
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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.