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International Perspectives on Suburbanization: A Post-Suburban World edited by Nicholas A. Phelps and Fulong Wu

Suburban Constellations edited by Roger Keil

Alex Schafran reviews two books edited by MCRI researchers in the International Journal for Urban and Regional Research. Read the review here.


 “One way of thinking about the contemporary moment is that the goal is not to define or redefine suburbia, but instead to grapple with the ‘post-suburban’ moment, to understand how this place called suburbia has changed and what it has evolved into, even if we now acknowledge it was never quite what we thought it was. The idea of ‘post-suburbia’ is at the heart of Nick Phelps and Fulong Wu’s edited volume International Perspectives on Suburbanization: A Post-Suburban World?, and to their credit they grapple with historical, spatial and political-economic definitions of the term. Is the post-suburban about a new age of suburbanism, a new physical/economic space or a new set of networked actors and institutions?”


Roger Keil’s Suburban Constellations sees Simone embracing Matthew Gandy over halal Chinese in a strip mall in Markham. It is a fabulously bold explosion of color from Keil who, along with Ute Lehrer and co-conspirators like Alan Mabin, has dutifully been attempting to provided structure, support and inspiration to global suburbanists the world over (in the interests of full disclosure, I too have benefited from their efforts, and will be part of one of the forthcoming collections). One of the first of many forthcoming products from the Global Suburbanisms project hosted at York (in post-suburban Toronto, naturally), Constellations is a structured bricolage of short essays, photos, brief snippets of larger empirical projects, suburban wanders and one very interesting report on a novel university–community ‘working group’ on suburban planning and community development.”




Tridel, Hullmark and Kirkor Architects/ Wikimedia Commons

Are the suburbs becoming more like cities? Are the cities being suburbanized? Research by MCRI co-investigator Professor Markus Moos has recently been cited by Richard Florida in a widely noted article called, “The Fading Distinction Between City and Suburb” in The Atlantic CityLab online magazine.

“Most of us who are sometimes labeled “urbanists” believe the new age of the city is squarely upon us. Cities and urban neighborhoods once counted for dead are adding people, in some cases faster than the suburbs; at the same time, we’re seeing shortages of affordable housing in some of America’s largest and most vibrant cities. This is what Alan Eherenhalt dubs “the Great Inversion” a reversal of fortunes in which cities grow as suburbs decline.

But a recent study indicates that the traditional suburban lifestyle continues to be widespread. The study, by Markus Moos of the University of Waterloo and Pablo Mendez of Carleton University, found that key features of suburban life not only remain commonplace in the suburbs but are often continued by high-income people even after they move to cities.” Keep Reading.


Hiring Research Administrator at CITY

September 25, 2014
Position Title: Research Administrator Department: The City Institute at York University (CITY) Term of Employment: Contract- one year, with a possibility of renewal Band Level / Rate of Pay: $18.55/hour Hours of Work: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, 24 hours per week, 4 days per week Reports to: HR Business Partner, Office of the Vice President more »


Roger Keil Speaks to Metro Morning about the Urban/Suburban Divide

September 24, 2014
Does the urban/suburban divide still exist in Toronto and how does it relate to the city’s upcoming municiple election? Professor Roger Keil from York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies talks to Matt Galloway on the CBC’s Metro Morning. Listen to the conversation here.


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 »


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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).