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Read the Roundtable Report of the Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group.

A team of 50 researchers and 18 partner organizations are involved in this seven-year research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Major Collaborative Research Initiative program. Housed at the City Institute at York University (CITY), this is the first major research project to take stock of suburban developments around the world and attempt to alter the dialogue around suburban life.

We are planning to analyze recent forms of urbanization and emerging forms of (sub)urbanism as well as the dilemmas of aging suburbanity. We broadly focus on the governance of suburbanization, that is, efforts to guide and regulate its development. It involves state, market and civil society actors and implies democratic deliberation and social conflict. The categories land, which includes housing, shelter systems, real estate, greenbelts, megaprojects, and infrastructure, including transportation, water and social services, serve as the two prime anchors upon which we hinge specific research projects. Examination of Canadian suburbanization and suburbanism will serve as a basis and comparative “control” case to understand suburbanization in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.


Two new articles explore suburbanism in Africa

July 10, 2014
The journal <em>African Studies</em> includes two new articles by researchers with the <a href=””>Global Suburbanism</a>’s project’s <a href=””>Africa cluster</a>. Chloe´ Buire’s “<a href=”″>The Dream and the Ordinary: An Ethnographic Investigation of Suburbanisation in Luanda</a>” looks at how the social order of Angola’s capital is reproduced as “individual dreams of home ownership meet top-down attempts to discipline urban more »


Town and gown in postsuburbia: Toronto’s universities in the global age

May 20, 2014
By Jean-Paul Addie and Roger Keil Toronto is a university town. But more and more, the weight of student numbers shifts out of the central city into the sprawling Canadian metropolis’s burgeoning sub- and exurbs. Clearly, the importance of the centralized campuses of the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and OCADU is not waning. However, more »


Article on the changing face of suburbia features Roger Keil & Sean Hertel

May 12, 2014
“Skyscrapers in the Subdivision,” a new article on NextCity compares the changes confronting suburbia in Montgomery Country, Maryland and York Region, Ontario. MCRI primary investigator Roger Keil and Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group co-ordinator Sean Hertel are featured in author Amanda Kolson-Hurley’s tour of the fast-growing, diverse suburb of Markham. It’s tempting to view Keil more »


Resilience: not a cuddly kitten, more like a beastly cat

February 24, 2014
Roger Keil Resilience is a tough and controversial term. Inspired by a recent invective by Tom Slater, in which he roundly rejects resilience as a concept and bemoans especially its use by the evil powers of regeneration and gentrification, I want to offer a few thoughts of my own. In a commentary on an article more »


Sub/urbanization and density: A few critical notes

February 14, 2014
Roger Keil Density is a concept that enjoys much love in urbanist circles.(1) It is often seen as a necessary precondition for sustainability and even resilience. It has become a rarely questioned normative objective. Densification and intensification are desired processes of urban planning and development. So how about ‘good density’? Is the term as simplistically more »


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This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through funding from the Major Collaborative Research Initiative “Global suburbansims: governance, land, and infrastructure in the 21st century (2010-2017).