The City Beats

A custom handbook developed by researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough which became the backbone of the Community Voices study. The study was an effort to discover what residents in Scarborough valued most & their views on the policymakers that influence those decisions - striking a balance between science and cultural sensitivity.


An associate professor of Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto, Tong Lam wrote and published a photo essay using an urban village renewal project in the southern city Guangzhou to analyze the politics of eviction, demolition, resistance, and gentrification in light of the region's shift from low-value to high-tech industries. Tong depicts the reality of the normalization of China's uneven development by providing cheap dormitory-style accommodations to the country's vast army of unskilled rural migrants who flock to cities as precarious laborers.


Karen Chapple recently released a blog that digs deep into her and her team's research on the economic recovery of downtown Toronto from COVID-19. The study result showed that downtown Toronto is lagging behind compared to other North American cities. She demonstrates her proficiency in urbanism through this insightful blog post. The blog includes a collection of data from many North American cities including Toronto where it discusses cities’ recovery rates, trajectories and more.


In a recent blog, TMU researchers Frank Clayton and David Amborski argue for “orderly and comprehensively planned low-density development,” based on the contention that not all greenfield development is sprawl. But sprawl is only the development we don’t want. What about the development we do want? In this article, Karen Chapple the Director of the SofC and Professor of Geography and Planning (U of T) and Rolf Pendall, Professor and Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, address the question.


History has shown that those who are displaced tend to go to cities. This blog piece summarizes the reality of solastalgia and how people are affected by climate change. These remarks have been made by SofC Director Prof. Karen Chapple at the Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Displacement that have been edited for length and format.


One of the common goals that brings together University of Toronto Sociology Professor Prentiss Dantzler and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is to find ways to provide tenants with affordable places to live. This article discusses the benefits of learning about these issues are connected to residential stability civic participation, educational outcomes for children & more.


This article discusses School of Cities and their partners at the United Way of Greater Toronto launching the Leading Social Justice Fellowship program which was co-created by Nouman Ashraf, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, and Nation Cheong, the VP, Community Opportunities and Mobilization at UWGT-along with a network of community advisors to tackle the systemic racism and rising inequality in Toronto for decades.


For this opinion piece, Director of the Infrastructure Institute and professor of Geography and Planning Matti Siemiatycki, collaborated with Drew Fagan, a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto and a former deputy minister of infrastructure with the Province of Ontario, to shed light on the urgent need for better and more strategic planning of infrastructure investments in Canada.


December 17:

SofC's Holiday Reccos

The holiday season is officially underway! Since everyone is busy getting year-end chores done, the School of Cities has curated a list of media for urbanism enthusiasts to read, watch, listen to during the holidays. 
We hope you enjoy our little present and find our suggestions worth their while. Happy exploring!


As a part of a panel discussion at the 3rd Urban Economy Forum, UEF 2021, Prof. Karen Chapple proposed three ways to address land theft in the face of rising houselessness and displacement by borrowing from the Indigenous ways of knowing to redefine the modern concept of land ownership.


The CivicLabTO Academic Summit, to be held on Nov. 23-24, will focus on issues such as public health, housing, transit, transportation, climate change, green recovery and the future of public space. It will tap leading experts from the city and local post-secondary institutions to share best practices.

In this short QandA, SofC Director Prof. Karen Chapple, shares her insights about the impetus for the broader partnership between the city and the eight post-secondary institutions and the potential for such events to contribute to the development of a “Toronto School” of urbanism.


The School of Cities' Director Karen Chapple, who moved all the way from the San Francisco Bay Area recently, gets candid about her first impressions of the city of Toronto and with her vision for the institution.


How are the political parties approaching issues that are critical to Canada’s urban regions? The School of Cities has teamed up with the Urban Policy Lab to provide an analysis of where the major political parties stand on housing affordability, climate resilience, Economy and COVID relief and equality.

Urban Policy Lab Graduate Fellow Sean McGowan provides a breakdown in this special election primer for the School of Cities.


September 15:

Housing Platform Crunch

Dr. Alan Walks (Professor, Geography and Planning, University of Toronto), Sean Grisdale (PhD Candidate, Geography and Planning, University of Toronto), and the Affordable Housing Challenge Partnership collective provide a critical assessment of Liberal Party's proposed housing policy.