Fernando Calderón Figueroa

PhD Student - Sociology



Fernando Calderón Figueroa is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto. Fernando studies the relationship between the built infrastructure of cities and social solidarity. His main interests are urban and political sociology, social policy, and quantitative and computational methods.

As a member of the Urban Genome Project, he conducts interdisciplinary research on urban social policy and neighbourhood change. Before joining UofT, Fernando worked for the Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office and the Peruvian Ministry of Culture developing policy-oriented data on political engagement, local communities, and indigenous peoples. On my spare time, he enjoys cycling and swimming.

Research Areas

Urban sociology, political sociology, social theory

Cities of Focus

Toronto and Latin American cities


The Spatialization of Social Issues (Fernando Calderón-Figueroa, Dan Silver, and Olimpia Bidian)

This paper (published in Socius) examines the spatialization of social issues. My co-authors and I use this concept to refer to the dual process of sanctioning official neighbourhood boundaries for social policy and targeting interventions on a subset of them. We argue that, regardless of the policy’s goals, spatializing social issues has negative externalities, including the potential stigmatization of target areas. To support our hypotheses, we analyze the Toronto’s Priority Area Program (2006-2011), a policy aimed to improve the social infrastructure of 13 “priority areas for investment.” The study concludes with suggestions for potential strategies to mitigate the negative externalities of spatially targeted policies.