Urban Indigeneity / Indigenous and Racialized Communities

Whose Toronto Is It?

Project Title: The Cityzens

The Cityzens aim is to address the housing crisis and systemic inequalities faced by minorities and racialized communities in GTA through the creation of a platform that is easy and accessible to non-academics who can digest content in an interactive format.

This will be accomplished by partnering with HS Custom Homes to co-design and exhibit a prototype of the average affordable rental unit in the City of Toronto. Under the supervision of Associate Professor Marieme Lo, Associate Director, Education, School of Cities, the aim of our work is to encourage discussions, reflections and actions that are primarily focused on housing justice and the city, specifically to address how race, socio-economic status, ability and immigration intersect as key factors and determinants to account for in the search for solutions to the housing crisis in Toronto. 

The Cityzens Team, in partnership with HS Custom Homes, co-created a prototype of the average affordable rental unit in the City of Toronto

Prototype of affordable home in Toronto
custom home rendering
Prototype of the average affordable rental unit
June Exhibition Prototype
My Future City
Urban Indigeneity Working Group
Close up of Affordable Housing Unit
Close up of Affordable Housing Unit
Close up of Affordable Housing Unit

Urban Indigeneity Team

Working Group Members


Lubna Alli

(Undergraduate Representative) – Bachelor in City Studies & Public Policy, University of Toronto Scarborough

Lubna is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto pursuing a double major in City Planning and Public Policy. She has lived and studied in Siena, Italy; Brno, Czech Republic; and, Seville, Spain, and has recently been hand selected to go to Tokyo, Japan for a competitive urban design seminar with Masters of Planning students from Germany, China and Japan at the University of Tsukuba. In April 2019, Lubna was selected to be a Daughter of the Vote and join 337 other womxn in Ottawa for a historic seating in the Parliament of Canada, representing the riding of Ajax for the Honourable Mark Holland. Prior to this, Lubna placed 1st in the UTSC: 50 years Later Case Comeptition for her redesign of the proposed University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Master Plan. Currently, as a Parks Planning Intern with the Town of Whitby, and as a Research Fellow with the School of Cities, Lubna continues to feel the responsibility that each city-builder has to be hyperaware of the role that race, status, and income plats in their decision-making process. 

Drishya Nair

Drishya Nair

Master's of Engineering in Cities Engineering and Management


Drishya is first-year student at University of Toronto's Master of Engineering in Cities Engineering and Management. She finished her undergraduate studies in Civili Engineering from Gujarat Technological University. Her final year project on the proposal of a skyway in congested central area of Ahmedabad was awarded one of the best projects of the year 2017-18. She also worked as a research associate, for two key projects at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Her area of primary interest in the CEM program is a mix of urban policy and resilient cities. She keeps exploring how can we leverage inclusivity to make our cities more appealing, more livable.

Entisar Yusuf

Entisar Yusuf

Master's in Educational Leadership & Policy


Entisar Yusuf is a first-year Master student at OISE, University of Toronto. She is completing her Master in Educational Leadership and Policy with specialization in Comparative, International and Development Education. Professionally, she taught English, Math and Science overseas for eight years. In addition to her role as Grade 3 Teacher, she became Co-Team Lead for a team of eight teachers. She demonstrated effective management skills when overseeing, mentoring and evaluating teachers. Along with organizing and delivering regular team meetings, she guided teachers to achieve best practice and was the main point of contact between teachers and senior administrators. 

Ifrah Yousuf

(Graduate Representative) – Master's of Information in UX Design

Ifrah Yousuf is a first-year Master of Information student concentrating in User Experience Design. With a fundamental belief in the power of inclusion and a passion for youth advocacy, she has been involved in many initiatives to improve her community. Ifrah's academic interests include inclusive design and accessibility, and as a black woman navigating the tech industry, she is passionate about diversity and inclusion in technology.