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Urban Studies

December Newsletter

The Urban Studies Program at Innis College aims to provide students with a multitude of lenses through which to observe, interpret, and understand urban life.


Developers, Habitat for Humanity strike 'innovative' deal on affordable housing for Bloor-Dufferin Project
Urban Studies instructor Emily Paradis comments on the failures of community groups in the development of affordable housing.
Can Innisfil, a town without its own bus service, build a transit-centred city of the future?
The Urban Studies Program's Director, Professor Shauna Brail is quoted in this Toronto Star article. Check it out!


DenCITY Accepting Submissions

We are now accepting submissions for the fourth volume of denCITY, the peer-reviewed undergraduate journal produced by the Urban Studies Students Union (URSSU). 

DenCITY aims to showcase the multidisciplinary nature of urban studies as a field. In our journal, we try to achieve this aim by accepting a variety of submissions from a wide array of disciplines. This is a wonderful opportunity to have your work published as an undergraduate student.

We are looking to showcase not only traditional academic essays but also photography and poetry submissions. You can find the submission criteria and instructions here: 

DenCITY Submission Criteria 2020 

All submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 10th, 2020. We strongly encourage you to submit your work for consideration!

If you have any questions, please contact

Heritage Toronto - Emerging Historian Opportunities 

The goal of the Emerging Historians program is to provide students and young professionals with opportunities to develop practical skills, build their professional networks, and shape the future of Toronto.

Opportunities for Emerging Historians in 2020 are:

  • Researching and developing a new tour (where the tour topic has already been determined)
  • Researching and revising an existing tour
  • Researching and developing digital content for a new or existing tour

To qualify, Emerging Historians are students or young professionals in the first five years of their career, and can be from any field relevant to heritage. You can find more information or apply, please visit our website. The deadline to apply is January 3rd at 4:00pm.


Profile: Professor Kate Nelischer 
Instructor for INI235H1

This semester you taught INI235: A Multidisciplinary Introduction to Urban Studies I: Theoretical Foundations of City Building.
What has been your favourite part of teaching this course?

The students! I found the class to be very engaged and interested in the topics we covered. I was so impressed with how willing students were to ask questions and offer comments during lectures, which resulted in really interesting group discussions. Participation from the class makes lectures even more enjoyable for me as I love hearing about the experiences of my students and understanding their unique perspectives on the issues we discuss.

You are pursuing a PhD in Planning at the University of Toronto. What is the focus of your dissertation?

My dissertation focuses on partnerships, decision-making, and public participation in smart cities. I’m exploring these topics through a case study of Sidewalk Toronto, a public-private partnership between Sidewalk Labs (an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary) and Waterfront Toronto (a tripartite government agency) to plan a smart city. I’m looking at the project’s initial consultation and planning processes, and thinking about these within the history of planning and development on Toronto’s waterfront. It has been challenging to research an ongoing (and quite controversial) project, but that also makes it more interesting!


How do your work and volunteer experiences connect to your approach to teaching?


Prior to my doctoral studies, I spent years working in public consultation for the City of Toronto, City of Brampton, and a local firm called The Planning Partnership. Currently, I’m the Assistant Dean, Academic Planning and Governance at the UofT Daniels Faculty. I gained a lot of experience facilitating workshops, public meetings, and collaborative processes through these roles, and this helps me to engage my students and (hopefully!) retain their attention during lectures. I have also volunteered as a member of the National Board of Directors of YWCA Canada since 2013. This is the country’s oldest and largest women’s multi-service organization, and a key provider of shelter and long-term affordable housing for women and girls. My involvement with this organization has given me a deeper understanding of many of the urban challenges experienced by vulnerable residents. I try to highlight these issues with my students, along with the roles of city-builders in working towards social justice.


Aside from Toronto, what is your favourite city?

A difficult choice, but I’ll go with San Francisco. The landscape, weather, and food are all incredible!

Events Sponsored by Urban Studies

Urban Career Expo: Talent and Career Fair
Friday, January 24, 2020, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Great Hall, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle 
Please register by January 14 here

Upcoming Events

Experts Discuss "Towards a Feminist City (II): Gender and Diversity in the City Building Industry"
Thursday, January 30, 2020, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Desautels Hall, Rotman School of Management, 105 St. George Street

Relax over the break with some cool links!

Volunteer or make a donation this break! Here are just a few ideas: 

Adopt a Senior 
CAMH Gifts of Light
Coldest Night of the Year
Daily Bread Food bank

Romero House
Salvation Army
Shoebox Project
Socks 4 Souls


Curl up with a book:
Frontier City
Perfect City
Radical Suburbs
The Death and Life of Great American
Toronto 2033

Explore Toronto
Attend a DJ skate night at the Harbourfront Centre
Go on walking tour of Toronto's Christmas Lights
Ring in the New Year at Nathan Phillips Square with Fireworks 
Take a winter stroll through High Park 
Visit the Toronto Christmas Market 

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Copyright © 2019 University of Toronto,
Urban Studies Program

Room 323, Innis College, University of Toronto
2 Sussex Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5
Prepared by Prabhsimran Bal, Urban Studies Student
All rights reserved.
Contact Us:
[P] 416-946-7107

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Urban Studies Newsletter · 2 Sussex Avenue · Toronto, ON M5S 1J5 · Canada

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