Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » About CITY » Director's Message

Director's Message

Dear colleagues, students, and esteemed community members,

It is with great pleasure that I warmly welcome each of you as the new Director of The City Institute at York University (CITY).

Since its establishment in 2006, CITY has been at the forefront of facilitating critical, interdisciplinary, and collaborative research on urban matters on a global scale. I would also like to acknowledge and express deep appreciation for the exceptional work of our former Director, Professor Linda Peake, and our founding Director Professor Roger Keil, before her. Their legacy and contributions have been instrumental in shaping CITY as an open community and establishing its reputation as a leading hub of urban scholarship.

I am committed to upholding CITY as an inclusive space and advancing our mandate, fostering an environment that cultivates internationally excellent research, and promoting dialogue on Canada's urban agenda at York University and beyond. We are proud of our enduring partnerships with community groups, non-governmental organizations, and policymakers, both locally within Toronto and across the Greater Toronto Area, as well as globally. These partnerships underscore our commitment to bridging academia and society.

CITY is located on the 7th floor of Kaneff Tower in our Keele Campus, in the geographic heart of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). As a vibrant metropolis, the GTA serves as a living laboratory for urban and regional studies, offering a rich tapestry of (sub)urban challenges, innovations, and opportunities that directly impact the lives of its 6.2 million residents. CITY's privileged central location enables us to actively participate in and contribute to the ongoing urban and regional transformations, policy debates, and community initiatives that shape the future of one of North America's largest city regions. It also compels us to seek new ways to respect and take care of this land, which is the ancestral territory of many Indigenous Nations, including the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat, and the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit.

Having been an active member of CITY since joining the Planning Program at the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change (previously the Faculty of Environmental Studies) at York University in 2016, I have had the privilege of contributing to the Institute's mission as an affiliated faculty and as a former member of CITY's Executive Committee. In this new role as Director, I am thrilled to embark on this journey with all of you, building upon the foundation laid by Professors Peake and Keil and the collective expertise, fresh perspectives, and dedication of our faculty, post-doctoral fellows, students, visitors, and community members.

Once again, welcome to CITY. Together, let us explore new frontiers in urban scholarship and practice.


Luisa Sotomayor

Associate Professor

Director, CITY Institute




Prof. Linda Peake's 2021-2022 Director's message

Prof. William Jenkins' 2020-2021 Interim Director's message

Prof. Linda Peake's 2018-2019 Director's message

Prof. Linda Peake's 2017 Director's message

Dr. Alison Bain's (2015-2016) Acting Director's message

Prof. Linda Peake's 2014 Director's message

Prof. Linda Peake's 2013 Director's message

Vice-President Shapson's 2006 CITY Institute launch speech

Prof. Roger Keil's 2006 CITY Institute launch speech

Prof. Engin Isin's 2006 CITY Institute launch speech

Prof. Patricia Wood's 2006 CITY Institute launch speech

Story and pictures from the CITY launch event