Who We Are

Landscape view of University of Toronto with CN Tower


Our Vision

The School of Cities will be a world-leading centre for innovative interdisciplinary urban research, education and engagement. It is where diverse communities will come together to spark new insights and design creative ways for cities and their residents to thrive.




putting puzzles together like a mission


Our Mission

The School of Cities is a solutions incubator for urban-focused researchers, educators, students, practitioners and the general public to explore and address the complex global challenges facing urban centres. A living laboratory, the School leverages urban data and lived experience to improve policy and decision-making, and collaborates with communities around the world to make cities and urban regions more sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and just. 



three human blocks standing near to form a community



The School of Cities seeks to leverage our extraordinary community of urbanists and urban-oriented researchers to create a rich, multidisciplinary community of urban faculty, researchers and students across disciplines and perspectives.

In addition to facilitating interdisciplinary research projects and partnerships and funding opportunities, we provide a hub for urban-focused interdisciplinary and collaborative learning.




University of Toronto building with the LGBTQ Flag


Statement Acknowledging Traditional Lands

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land. 




Colour paper mashe of people

Statement on Institutional Culture and the Practice of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

The School embraces equity, diversity and inclusion as a source of creativity and inspired scholarship. These values are embedded in the School’s leadership, institutional culture, and governance structures, manifested across its research, education, and partnerships/outreach, and in its activities. The School aims to reflect the diversity of people and communities of the local urban region, and is especially committed to the active participation of under-represented and equity-deserving groups, especially Indigenous, Black, immigrant, and racialized people, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+ people.
The School will reflect a global sense of urbanism, with attention to the interplay between local and global contexts, and the relationships and networks that shape a sense of place. Locally, its scope will include the cities and metropolitan areas that comprise the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Internal and external partnerships and engagement will be the bedrock of the School. The School’s core values will inform its partnerships, and it seeks meaningful collaborations with its partners, recognizing that communities and their members are not sites or objects of research, but actors and collaborators in knowledge-making projects.  


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About the Director

Karen Chapple

Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is the Director of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, where she also serves as Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as department chair and held the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of regions in the U.S. and Latin America, with a focus on economic development and housing. Her recent books include Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions: Towards More Equitable Development (Routledge, 2015), which won the John Friedmann Book Award from the American Collegiate Schools of Planning; Transit-Oriented Displacement or Community Dividends? Understanding the Effects of Smarter Growth on Communities (with Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, MIT Press, 2019); and Fragile Governance and Local Economic Development: Theory and Evidence from Peripheral Regions in Latin America (with Sergio Montero, Routledge, 2018). She has published recently on a broad array of subjects, including the use of big data to predict gentrification (in Environment and Planning B), the fiscalization of land use (in Landscape and Urban Planning), urban displacement (in the Journal of Planning Literature and Cityscape), competition in the electric vehicle industry (in Local Economy), job creation on industrial land (in Economic Development Quarterly), regional governance in rural Peru (in the Journal of Rural Studies), and accessory dwelling units as a smart growth policy (in the Journal of Urbanism). Read more here.



Ben Liu Headshot
Ben Liu

Executive Director

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Prentiss Dantzler

Faculty Advisor,
Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts & Science

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Marianne Hatzopoulou

Faculty Advisor, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

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Cara Krmpotich

Faculty Advisor, Museum Studies, Faculty of Information


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Fadi Masoud

Faculty Advisor, John H, Daniels, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design

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Kate Mulligan

Faculty Advisor, Social & Behavioural Health Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

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Nasim Niknafs

Faculty Advisor, Music Education, Faculty of Music


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Aradhya Sood

Faculty Advisor, Rotman School of Management & Department of Management, UTSC


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Daniel Silver

Faculty Advisor, Department of Sociology, UTSC

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Enid Slack

Director, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance

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Michael Widener

Faculty Advisor, Department of Geography and Planning, Faculty of Arts & Science

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Stanka Radovic

Faculty Advisor, Department of English and Drama, UTM


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Mark S. Fox

Director, Urban Data Centre


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Eric Miller

Director, Mobility Network

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Matti Siemiatycki

Director, Infrastructure Institute

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Richard Florida

Distinguished Scholar in Residence

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Jeff Allen

Lead, Data Visualization

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Cassandra Alves

Program Coordinator

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Taylor Brydges

Research Officer

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Tony Chang

Communications Officer

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Katherine Danks

Programs Officer

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Felicity Heyworth

Senior Communications Officer

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Trish McGrath

Director of Development

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Lara Muldoon

Senior Partnerships, Engagement and Projects Officer

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Nida Shams

Finance and Administration Officer

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David Allens

M.Ed., Adult Education and Community Development

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Elspeth Brown

Department of Historical Studies, UTM

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Beth Coleman

Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, Faculty of Information

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Heather Dorries

Department of Geography & Planning, Faculty of Arts & Science


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Catherine Economopoulos

B.A., Architecture


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Steven Farber

Department of Human Geography, UTSC

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Richard Florida

Rotman School of Management

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Mark S. Fox

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

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Sheng Liu

Rotman School of Management

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Liat Margolis

John H, Daniels, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design

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Eric Miller

Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

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Anika Munir

B.A., Public Policy and City Studies



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Ramesh Pokharel

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Chelsea Rochman

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Arts & Science

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Laura Rosella

Dalla Lana School of Public Health


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Shoshanna Saxe

Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering


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Matti Siemiatycki

Department of Geography & Planning, Faculty of Arts & Science

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Enid Slack

Director, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance


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Bryan Yau


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Cheryll Case

Early Career Canadian Urban Leader

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Zahra Ebrahim


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David Gordon

Visiting Professor

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Kofi Hope



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Don Iveson

Canadian Urban Leader

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Adam Vaughan

Canadian Urban Leader

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Amir Forouhar

Postdoctoral Fellow | School of Cities

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Robert Stewart

Postdoctoral Fellow | Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance

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Yinnon Geva

Postdoctoral Fellow |
Infrastructure Institute

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Ramesh Pokharel

Postdoctoral Fellow |
Mobility Network