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SSHRC-funded global suburbanisms project receives media coverage

SSHRC-funded global suburbanisms project receives media coverage

Novæ Res Urbis (NRU), Toronto’s city policy newsletter, covered the global suburbanisms project led by Roger Keil, Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and director of the City Institute at York University. His team of 44 researchers at 29 universities in 12 countries is embarking on a seven-year project to take stock of suburban developments around the world and attempt to alter the dialogue around suburban life.

“It is based on a lot of experience and a lot of existing work but it also is quite innovative in the way it puts together the suburban research worldwide,” said Keil.

The researchers have been granted $2.5 million from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, which is one of the largest study grants given by the research council.

The project is believed to be the first of this magnitude, one that “systematically takes stock of worldwide suburban developments while analyzing their governance models, land use, infrastructure and suburban everyday life.”

The project objective is not only to document suburban patterns but to also examine the environmental and economical effects and emerging issues related to growth beyond the city limits.

“It’s more than a project, it’s an initiative,” Keil said. “Everybody thinks they know their suburbs…we would like to break that mould and open the view up to a more global view of the suburbs so that we can find common denominators of very different kinds of peripheral urban development.”

The complete article is available on Novæ Res Urbis' Web site to subscribers.

Keil and York Professor Douglas Young also published an article on "Reconnecting the In-between City" on on April 17:

The socio-spatial landscape of what we call the “in-between city”, includes that part of the urban region that is perceived as not quite traditional city and not quite traditional suburb. This landscape represents a remarkable new urban form where a large part of metropolitan populations live, work and play. While much attention has been focused on the winning economic clusters of the world economy and the devastated industrial structures of the loser regions, little light has been shed on the urban zones in-between.

We view this new landscape with a particular view towards urban Canada. Applying these concepts to a North American city, Toronto, Canada, we look specifically at the 85 square kilometres around York University, an area that straddles the line between the traditional suburb and the inner city.

The full post, which features photos of York's campus, is available on

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, with files courtesy of YFile – York University’s daily e-bulletin.