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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.


CanU6 National Summit- Sept 18-20

September 16, 2014
CITY institute Director Linda Peake and colleagues Roger Keil (Faculty of Environmental Studies) and Sean Hertel will be presenting at the Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU) 6th annual National Summit. The summit gathers Canada’s top leaders in urbanism. Entitled “Cities at the Edge – Urbanizing Suburbia in the Regional City“, the event will explore trends, more »


Suburban Working Group Ignites the OPPI Symposium

September 10, 2014
Sean Hertel and Roger Keil of the Greater Toronto Suburban Working Group are taking their show on the road, leading an ignite session at next month’s OPPI Symposium. The annual meeting of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute gives Keil and Hertel a chance to discuss the group’s efforts to break down stereotypes and build bridges, more »


Two new articles explore suburbanism in Africa

July 10, 2014
The journal African Studies includes two new articles by researchers with the Global Suburbanism‘s project’s Africa cluster. Chloe´ Buire’s “The Dream and the Ordinary: An Ethnographic Investigation of Suburbanisation in Luanda” 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 behaviours.” “New African 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 »


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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).